Characteristics, uses and care of Euphorbia characias

Today we are going to talk about a plant with spectacular foliage that emits a brilliant glow when in the sun. It’s about the Euphorbia characias. This species is totally recommended to have in the garden and, above all, for those places that have some problems with drought, since it is very resistant. It is known by the common name of greater spurge.

In this article we are going to tell you the characteristics, care and maintenance that the Euphorbiacharacias.

Key features

Euphorbia characias wall art

As we mentioned in the introduction, it is a very good plant for gardens. Being resistant to drought, it is perfect for those climates with less rainfall. This plant belongs to a fairly extensive genus of plants with more than 2000 species that are distributed throughout the world. The Euphorbia characias It is a Mediterranean euphoria that thrives quite well in our warmer, drier climate.

Its cultivation is not complicated at all, but it does require some knowledge, since they are not like all plants in general. Especially during the first years of life is when you have to provide some stricter care. Once it has been better established on the ground, we can move on to what we call care to maintain it.

It is perfect to replace some plants that do not survive the winter well. They are small evergreen shrubs whose growth is quite erect. They do not take up much space since they grow compactly and do not reach much more than one meter in height. During its development, it creates numerous stems from the base with rather thin and long leaves. The leaves are arranged in a spiral along the entire branch, which makes it look quite attractive.

Its flowering begins in early spring until summer. They are quite pretty flowers. They do not have petals and appear like small purple glands that are wrapped in a cylindrical bract with a yellowish-green color. Normally, they are not large flowers, rather they have a more exotic but tiny appearance. They are fine if we want to make a contrast of colors and that there is variety, since it will be a species that will not be so full of color just because of its flowers.

Caring for the Euphorbia characias

Gardens with greater spurge

Now we are going to move on to the care that this plant needs. As we have mentioned before, it is a plant that, at the beginning of planting it, will need more of our attention. Later, when it is fully established on the substrate, We can only give them the necessary care to keep it healthy at all times.

Normally, this plant is used to form clumps in gardens that do not need much watering. Special for gardens in our Mediterranean climate where we enjoy high temperatures in summer, mild in winter and generally little rainfall.

To choose the location of the garden where to place it, you have to go directly to an area in full sun. Although it survives well in semi-shade, the ideal is in full sun. As you would expect from a plant that needs high temperatures and little rainfall, It is not a plant that resists frosts well and less if they are frequent. We must think that if the winter is harsher, we will have to protect it or forget about it because it will not survive the winter.

As for the soil, it is not very demanding on the type of soil in which it develops. You only need a light soil that is not very compact and that allows good drainage. This is a fundamental aspect for the plant. The soil cannot be flooded whether there is rainfall or if we overdo it with irrigation. Remember that it is a plant that needs little water and warmer temperatures. If the soil tends to accumulate water, it could be harmful to plants.

Irrigation is linked to the previously mentioned soil drainage. You have to water moderately, but without watering the soil. It is a perfect plant for the Mediterranean climate garden because it resists heat waves, low rainfall and is not usually affected by pests or typical diseases that we find in the garden.


Varieties of greater spurge

The Euphorbia characias it is a relatively easy plant to maintain. It needs certain care to be able to establish itself, but when they are implanted and manage to form a good root system, they will already be adapted to the environment. It is easier for it to die from excessive watering and care than because you forget to water.

To maintain it, it is enough that it is planted in sunny fields and that it does not remain wet for long. It can perfectly tolerate the lack of water for a few days, although not too many periods of time without water. In summer with the heat and low rainfall, it will probably need to be watered at least once a week to keep it well. The best way to know when to water is to look at the soil. If the soil is dry, it is time to water. The indicator to know that it is necessary to water again is usually that the soil ends up drying. As long as it is wet, it will not need watering.

If the plant is grown in a soil poor in nutrients, it is advisable that you give it a supply of organic matter at the end of winter so that it can face the hottest months with good nutrients. He is also grateful that you give him a dose of fertilizer per month.

Pruning and multiplication of the Euphorbia characias

greater spurge flowers

After the flowering season, these plants begin to decline somewhat in appearance. The stems are quite stretched and lose the leaves that are lower. At the ends of the stems we find only dry and withered flowers that destroy the decoration of this plant. It does not require very little, but it is enough to trim the ends to give them a more rounded look.

Still, there are experts who recommend removing older stems from the base so that they can leave some more space for shoots.

As for reproduction, they can be extended in various ways. The first is by seeds. Sometimes finding the seeds is tricky. Therefore, in order to reproduce this plant, it is easier to cut a piece of the stem and bury one end in the ground so that it can develop roots. The branches cut in the pruning can be used perfectly to get a totally new plant.

All plants in this genus contain a thick, milky sage that is often irritating to the skin and eyes. Therefore, to handle them it is better to wear gloves.

I hope that with these tips you can learn more about the Euphorbiacharacias.

Characteristics, uses and care of Euphorbia characias

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