By Mark Raduziner
I love all my plants. Maybe not equally, but I wouldn’t own them and care for them if I didn’t love them all. Still…
I really do enjoy my Euphorbias. Sure, they come in many varieties. But, they tend to live while in my care, probably more than any other plant.
I have a special place in my heart (and collection) for Euphorbia decaryi, cylindrifolia, spirosticha, and their individual varieties of leaves and structures. From Madagascar, their cork-like stems are succulent and sturdy. Some varieties grow in a more spiraled, horizontal and matted manner. Some grow directly upright, and they all produce tiny colorful blooms that range from yellow to green to red. Their leaves range from narrow to oval to a zig-zag shape.
These plants love the sun. In summer, they prefer a drier environment but do require water and good drainage. I fertilize mine three times during the late spring to late July only and they always seem to produce flowers, even with just a couple hours of east/southeast sun daily.
They look especially attractive in shallow or bonsai pots…and they grow fairly slowly.
During the winter, they sit in a south-facing window. I place all of mine (I have 7) together on their very own shelf, where they require little if no water. They rarely drop their leaves during this time, a special feature of the plant.
These plants need very little pampering (another benefit to growing them) and will punish you if you are overly attentive to them. Letting them be will provide you with years of dense growth in a most interesting growing habit.