Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfennii

How to grow euphorbias

Find out all you need to know about growing and caring for euphorbias in this detailed Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December


Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does flower in April

Plant does flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December


Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do not Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do Prune in June

Do Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do not Prune in September

Do not Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Euphorbias are a large family that ranges from Christmas poinsettias and cowboy cacti to large shrubs like Euphorbia mellifera. The shrubby hardy varieties make excellent garden plants for a range of situations, depending on their size and preference.


They’re easy to grow and look exotic and striking all year round. They add structure and texture to a mixed planting scheme, making them a great companion for colourful shrubs and perennials.

Take a look at our handy euphorbia Grow Guide.

Euphorbias are a large family that ranges from Christmas poinsettias and cowboy cacti to large shrubs like Euphorbia mellifera.
Euphorbia x martini 'Ascot Rainbow'
Euphorbia x martini ‘Ascot Rainbow’

Where to plant euphorbias

Euphorbias generally require a sunny position and fertile, well-drained soil. However, some varieties are shade tolerant and will cope well under trees and shrubs as ground cover.

Mulching euphorbia
Mulching euphorbia

How to plant euphorbias

When planting pot-grown euphorbias, dig a generous hole and add some compost or leaf mould. After firming in your euphorbia, water well and mulch to keep in moisture and prevent weeds. Watch Monty Don planting euphorbias.

Pruning euphorbia
Pruning euphorbia

How to care for euphorbias

Euphorbias do not require feeding or special care as long as the growing conditions are right. Cut back flowering stems after the blooms have faded. Always wear gloves when working with euphorbias as the milky sap they produce when cut irritates the skin and is poisonous if ingested. Follow our guide to pruning euphorbias.

Taking euphorbia cuttings
Taking euphorbia cuttings

How to propagate euphorbias

You propagate euphorbias by taking cuttings. Watch Monty Don take euphorbia cuttings in our video guide.

Maroon stems and lime flowers of Euphorbia 'Efanthia'
Maroon stems and lime flowers of Euphorbia ‘Efanthia’

Euphorbias: problem solving

Euphorbias do not suffer from any particular pests and diseases.

Silver grey, fir cone like foliage and lime flowers of Euphorbia myrsinites
Silver grey, fir cone like foliage and lime flowers of Euphorbia myrsinites

Great euphorbia varieties to grow

  • Euphorbia x martini ‘Ascot Rainbow’ – with dark grey-green rosettes of leaves and upright bracts in lime-green with a red eye. They emerge with a pink flush and develop a red-marked, creamy yellow margin with age. They may also develop pink colouring in winter. The spring flowerheads are variegated green, cream and red. It forms a low, weed-smothering carpet over the ground.
  • Euphorbia myrsintes –small and drought-tolerant, E. myrsinites is good for bordering paths or patios, alpine gardens and containers. It has elongated silvery-green fir cones, with pale silvery green scale-like leaves overlapping all the way along the stems. In early summer these have typical flat heads of yellow euphorbia flowers at the ends.
  • Euphorbia x pasteurii – a large evergreen shrub, this is a cross between Euphorbia stygiana and Euphorbia mellifera. It is rounded in shape and slender, with dark green leaves with white mid ribs, turning red in autumn. Flowers are bronze/green and sweetly scented. Grow Euphorbia x pasteurii in well-drained soil in a Mediterranean style or gravel garden. Cut back spent flower heads in autumn.
  • Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae – a dark, evergreen variety that thrives in poor dry soil in shade, making it perfect for growing under big trees. It spreads by underground runners, eventually forming a low weed smothering carpet. Lime green flowers appear from spring to early summer.
  • Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii – an architectural perennial, with bluish-green evergreen foliage and large, dome-shaped, lime-coloured flowers in spring. It’s ideal for growing in a sunny border or gravel garden.