Euphorbia antisyphilitica Candelilla
1-3 ft. high x 2-4 ft. wide
This spineless, shrubby plant is comprised of multiple vertical growing, thin cylindrical stems. In habitat, during mid-spring into summer, they produce waxy-looking pink to cream colored blooms along the top third of each stem. They are tough, native Chihuahuan plants that inhabit mixed desert scrub grasslands, and they tolerate heat, drought and some neglect. With some supplemental irrigation they can bloom sporadically during warmest months of the year, but they do require well-drained soils like most native succulents.
Euphorbia ingens Lucky Cactus, Candelabra Tree
This Euphorbia is one of the most popular varieties due to its relatively easy care, its physical structure, and adaptability to indoor culture. They grow fairly rapidly to form a tight, vertical but candelabra-shaped tree. They have small, paired thorns alone the 4-winged, bright green arms. Near the top of each column, they will bloom along the rib edges with waxy yellow flowers surrounded by greenish colored bracts. Plant them in large containers for patio or interior plants for bright light situations or protected, frost-free patio areas with filtered sunlight. Use well-drained soil or potting mix and water only during warm, growth months.
Euphorbia millii ‘Jerry’s Choice’ Jerry's Choice Crown of Thorns
Crown of thorns are small to medium sized shrubby succulent plants native to Madagascar, that have been cultivated for centuries. They have succulent jointed, cylindrical thorny stems with most growing wide spoon-shaped, matted green leaves that are often tinged with red to pink along their edges. Their tiny yellow flowers are surrounded by bright and colorful bracts that are the real show. They are popular for container culture and as low water use accent plants in protected, frost-free filtered or shaded areas. Provide well-drained soil, and let soil dry between waterings.
Euphorbia resinifera Moroccan Mound
These rugged succulents grow to form rounded mounds comprised of numerous short, square stems. They are glaucous, gray green in color with short, silver to gray paired thorns running along their ribs. They are slow to moderate growers that require well-drained soils and limited water, especially during cool months. Their low sprawling habit makes them handsome companion for other succulents, complimentary desert shrubs, or native flowering perennials.
Euphorbia rigida Gopher Plant
These shrubby, but succulent plants are comprised of multiple low to sprawling stems with whorled gray pointed foliage. They typically grow up to 2 ft. tall and spread in a rounded fashion to about 3 ft. wide. During spring, each branch will form a sizeable umbel of pea-sized, yellow flowers surrounded by bright chartreuse colored bracts. Often, from the weight of these blooms the stems flex or bend downward, but they still maintain a shrubby appearance. They are adaptable, extremely heat tolerant and lower water use. Well-drained soil is a must to help them thrive. Blooming can sap their strength and some branch die-back can occur, which is normal. Refresh the entire plant by pruning all stems back to the ground, and new stems with fresh foliage will sprout and grow back quickly.
Euphorbia royleana Royal Euphorbia, Royleana Euphorbia
These are arborescent, and dramatic looking plants that form arching but vertical branches. The columnar stems are about 2 in. in diameter usually with 4-5 ribs and along these ribs are short, paired spines. These are popular Euphorbias due to their speed of growth, structural habit, and adaptability. Like other Euphorbias, they prefer well-drained soils and tolerate some additional irrigation during warm seasons. When they have appropriate amounts of water they can form bright green, 3 in. long spoon-shaped leaves at the top third of each arm, which gives them a luscious, umbrella-like appearance.
Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’ Firesticks, Sticks on Fire'
This selection of Pencil Tree has the outstanding feature of providing luminous yellow to orange top stems during periods of cold weather or physical stresses. The brightest, deepest colors occur on plants grown in full sun, but plants in more shade usually do not disappoint. These Euphorbias should be planted in well-drained soil and kept drier during fall and winter months. Easy-to-grow with little maintenance required. Sap of Euphorbias can be caustic to skin and eyes. Use gloves and wear long sleeves when pruning them.
Euphorbia trigona ‘rubra’ Ruby Red Trigona, Royal Red Euphorbia
The blended green and red luminescence of these striking Euphorbias is what makes them a uniquely popular plant. They have vertical, heavily branched stems of green with mottled silver flesh. Each stem has 3-4 angled ribs with small, paired thorns along the margins. From the margins appear lovely teardrop-shaped leaves of dark maroon to purple usually filling out the top 2/3 of each stem. These are prized for containers culture for indoor or outdoor areas with part or filtered sun in frost-free, protected spots.