Cutting back Euphorbia

lisa2004(NY Z5/6)June 8, 2011

I planted one Euphorbia polychroma a few years ago and now I have them everywhere! My question is, can't I cut them back after blooming? And if yes, how far? They are so beautiful in the spring that I like to let them self-seed, but they end up in all the wrong places and look bad when the "flowers" fade. Thanks!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

just rip out the ones that are misplaced.. and half of the others.. then let the remaining go to seed ...

if they are in the wrong places.. why would you cut those back.. and allow them to seed ...

be the master of your domain ...


    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 1:04PM
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Yes, you can cut them back. When all the color has faded and they have pretty much gone to seed, cut them back by about 1/3 or even half if you have healthy leaves that far down. I cut mine back usually about the end of May. It will recover to a nice little blue/green shrub in a couple weeks that will stay nice till it freezes. Do use gloves or watch that white sticky sap carefully. It can irritate the skin.

I, too love this little Euphorbia. When I get volunteers I spread them around and share the wealth with all who have asked about that neon yellow plant in my front ysrd beds.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 1:23PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Mine get mildew-y this time of year, so after blooming I cut back to the ground. Usually it sends up a nice flush of new foliage after doing that.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 1:40PM
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Actually I have a question that I cant seem to find the answer to in regards to my Euphorbia. Ihave two side by each and one looks extremely sick. For three years it was beautiful. What could have happened?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 6:49PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Euphorbia is almost as big a nuisance as mint. I have pulled out a ton of it but it keeps coming back. Al

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 9:59AM
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Al - what type of euphorbia is it that you say is " big a nuisance as mint"? I've had the same single euphorbia polychroma for 20+ years, it has never self-seeded and it grows exactly the same size every year. I had it growing where I lived before and it was so reliably well-behaved, I dug it up and brought it with me when I moved here 6 years ago. Almost lost it to choking weeds a few years back so I dug it up and planted in closer to the house where I could keep an eye on it. Bluestone Perennials sells lots of pretty new cultivars but few are hardy in my zone so I've just kept the same one.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 11:34AM
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Gardenweed...Al is probably referring to Euphorbia dulcis 'Chameleon'. It is extremely prolific and almost impossible to get rid of once established. I know there are other Euphorbias of it's type that are big time seed setters also. Polychroma will set seed, but in no way compares to E. dulcis. I have been trying to eradicate it for 12 years after it came to me mixed in with a a gift plant from a well meaning friend. Back then I didn't know that I should kill it immediatly.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 1:29PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

There are a lot of Euphorbias that are good garden varieties. The one in my garden has been here for twenty years and grows from stolons running just under the soil. I don't know the variety. Al

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 9:57AM
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