London (change)

Euphorbia and lime heather pot display

You will need

Euphorbia x martini x1

Nandina domestica 'Fire Power' x1

Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' x1

Lime heathers Erica arborea 'Albert's Gold' x2

27cm Fibreclay faux-lead square container

Crocks or broken polystyrene

Multi-purpose compost

Do it: October
At its best: autumn and winter
Takes just: 30 minutes


This zingy scheme is all about foliage colour and texture, proving you don't need flowers to provide an interesting display. The euphorbia and lime heather provide the main colour hit in a container that's guaranteed to brighten any autumn day. Blue festuca and the red-leaved Nandina offer a contrast, while keeping the overall look simple. These plants enjoy a bright spot, so place the container where it will get winter sunshine. Don't be too quick to dismantle this container as the euphorbia will produce lovely flowers in the spring.

If you're looking for more to do in autumn, take a look at our top 4 jobs for wildlife in autumn, or create dead wood habitats.

How to do it


Place a layer of crocks or broken polystyrene on the bottom of your pot to ensure good drainage.


Fill the pot two-thirds full, using multi-purpose compost.


Position the tallest plants first - in this case the euphorbia and nandina - teasing out the roots as you go. As a general rule, the taller the plant, the further towards the back of your container it should go.


Add the remaining shorter plants to the front and sides, then fill in the gaps with more compost, firming down well with your hands. Water the container well and move it to its final position. It's important not to let the compost dry out.

Discuss this project

Talkback: Euphorbia and lime heather pot display
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carexcarex 07/06/2014 at 01:10

What Euphorbia is this? I justbought one of these and will put it in a pot but the label calls it E. Polychroma!


Verdun 07/06/2014 at 07:28

Yes.....euphorbia Polychroma   Carex carex.

This is a lovely variety.  Deciduous though but early spring through to now it forms a mound .....60 cm or more high....of acid yellow flowers.  Nice pale green foliage but, as with all euphorbias, watch out for the sap when cutting the faded flowers. Wonderful contrast next to berberis atro nana.  

Better In the ground.  Not really a pot plant, ESP with its toxic sap.

Fairygirl 07/06/2014 at 07:39

Had a look at the related topic carexcarex and they use Martini which is also nice. I pass a house near where I work which has a stone wall with a bank behind it full of Polychroma and ivy and it looks tremendous just now.