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Pruning Euphorbia

Posted by heckabore Zone9/Sunset15 (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 10, 08 at 19:15

I have some Euphorbia that I planted last year: the regular E. characias, that I see everywhere, and some cute little E. Dean's Hybrid, that I bought at Heather Farms Garden in Walnut Creek.
After they finished blooming, I cut off the flowers and the plants are doing OK, but E. characias looks pretty forlorn right now, and E. Dean's Hybrid has many tiny shoots at soil level while the old shoots are completely dead-looking. How do I encourage more shoots to come up? Do I prune out the dead-looking shoots on E. Dean's Hybrid? These plants look great near my purple Berberis, and I want to make sure they are as healthy as possible.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pruning Euphorbia

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 10, 08 at 22:55

Remove the older stems down to the ground to make room for the new shoots.

RE: Pruning Euphorbia

Be careful pruning Euphorbias - the sap can give you a severe rash (contact dermititis) that lasts for weeks.

RE: Pruning Euphorbia

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 14, 08 at 15:12

It's very much like Salvia leucantha. When you see the new growth coming in at the base you can cut all the old growth off and the plant is completely renewed and looks beautiful again.

And as slave2thefur said, wear gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from the sap, just in case.

RE: Pruning Euphorbia

Thanks to everyone who replied. I put on my thickest gloves and cut out all the dead looking stuff. I also cut out some stalks that flowered last year, although they look healthy, in hopes of encouraging some new shoots.

What about composting this stuff? Would the latex/sap cause any problems if I added the euphorbia stalks/leaves to my pile?

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