With more than 2000 species under its umbrella (not even counting varieties and subspecies), the genus Euphorbia is one of the largest and most diverse in all flowering plant-dom. How diverse, you ask? Some euphorbias are trees that grow 15’-30’ tall, some are leafy shrubs, and some are small, thorny, cactus looking plants.
In fact, just about the only things all euphorbias have in common are very basic flowers and a thick, white, milky sap that often has medicinal properties (typically as a “purgative” or laxative). The bad news is that the sap is usually also at least a bit toxic, so it’s not recommended as a home remedy. The good news is that many species of euphorbia are vital in the plant trade, including poinsettias (yep, the Christmas one), Mediterranean spurge, and Coral Cactus.
The Euphorbia Genus - beautiful tropical plants for indoors and outdoors
Part of the beauty of Euphorbia being such a widely diverse species is that there’s a Euphorbia for virtually any setting and situation.
For example, Euphorbia Tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’ is a rounded, virtually leafless bush whose fleshy stems start out green at their base, but turn bright orange at their tips. It’s perfect for a water-wise garden or xeriscape. On the other hand, Euphorbia Griffithii ‘Fireglow’ has a ton of dark green, maroon-tinged leaves and clusters of bright red flowers. It’s ideal in a pond-side setting with moist soil. Then comes Euphorbia x Martinii (Martin’s Spurge), whose light green leaves and bright chartreuse flowers with purple centers are just right for an herb garden.
We could go on, but you get the idea. Euphorbias are vibrant, versatile, and vital. We love them.
It's like having your own tropical plant nursery… —
Care requirements will differ a bit depending upon which of the 2000+ species of Euphorbia you happen to be tending. That said, most of the Euphorias have a reputation for being as durable and easy to care for as they are attractive. They are almost invariably tolerant of a wide range of lighting situations and soil types, and require very little special treatment with regard to watering and fertilizing. Other plants may be prima donnas who need lots of attention. Euphorbias are more laid back. They don’t need to be the center of attention. But they look so good, they might be anyhow.