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The characteristics of the spurge
- Type: flowering shrub
- Height: up to 1.50m
- Flower color: pink, green, yellow, orange
- Desired exposure: sunny, semi-shaded
- Type of soil: normal, well drained
- Foliage: obsolete, persistent
- Interview : significant light requirement, easy to maintain
- Sanitizing: no
- Diseases and pests: aphids
- Varieties: Euphorbia characias, euphorbia griffithii, euphorbia dulcis, euphorbia palustris, euphorbia polychroma
Origins and characteristics of the spurge
Spurge (euphorbia) is part of the botanical family of euphorbiaceae. This perennial with an amazing habit is the ideal ally of borders and beds to give them color throughout the seasons. As the euphorbias count more than 2300 varieties, it is essential to turn to a professional to know the specificity of each. However, there are broad lines to observe common to all to know how to deal with them.
We aknowledge the diversity of euphorbias through their shapes, size, foliage or even their flowers. Their main points in common? All spurge species have the distinction of having a white latex for sap which can be very irritating if it is in contact with the skin or eyes. They greatly appreciate the light and do not appreciate the humidity during the winter season.
We plant euphorbias in flowerbeds and indoor pots. Their bright colors make it possible to have many interesting contrasts in a garden.
Plant the spurge
Given its rusticity, spurge likes in all terrains as long as they are not full of water and the exposure is mainly sunny, there are only a few varieties like the spurge which swamps in exposure to mid- shadow . This plant does not support standing water at its roots. It is more interesting to plant it in autumn to allow it to take good root and get all its appeal the following season.
Plant perennial spurges in the open ground and preferably in autumn. It is also possible to plant them in spring, after the last frosts. Annual euphorbias can be sown in the open ground in April or under a frame in early spring, in March.
In general, it is better to avoid soils that are too rich to plant your euphorbia. It is necessary to know the variety of spurge well in order to plant it under suitable conditions. Depending on the species, some will prefer drained and dry soil or cooler soil.
Most varieties of spurge can withstand temperatures of -15 ° C.
Cultivation of the spurge
Most euphorbias do not require special maintenance. Their roots being fragile, it is not recommended to hoe too close to the euphorbia. Then choose a mulch to fight against weeds.
You don't need to water a lot your spurge plants. Always reduce watering in winter as it does not tolerate humidity during the winter season.
To give it vigor, allow it to grow and flourish abundantly, spurge being nevertheless a bit invasive in the wild, it should be contained in its beds or borders. Also, once the flowers have wilted, you can cut the stems without hesitation.
But above all, it is essential to wear gloves, because the spurge is toxic. When pruning, do not come into contact with the latex flowing from the stems. In the event of ingestion or contact with the eyes, it is essential to consult a specialist.
Diseases and pests of spurge
Herbaceous spurges may be attacked by aphids or botrytis. To treat them, simply shower your plants to make the aphids disappear and Bordeaux mixture to fight against botrytis.
Mealy caterpillars can attack succulent varieties. To eliminate them, spray your euphorbias with a solution of water and black soap.
Uses of spurge
Despite a high toxicity known to all, spurge is not just a pretty "trapped" flower. The pollen of its flowers is appreciated by bees. The spurge honey is known to relieve sore throat and is a good toner. Some even say that it would promote the fertility of women…
Another medical power is recognized: the variety euphorbia hellioscopa or spurge alarm clock heals warts thanks to one of the components of its latex.