Types of Euphorbia Succulents (Spurge Plants)

Euphorbia succulents (known as Spurge plants) are a diverse group of plants native to various parts of the world. There are numerous types of Euphorbia succulents, each with its own unique size, shape, and color.

Spurge plants are low-maintenance and make an excellent addition to any garden. In this post, we will cover different types of Euphorbia succulents for you to consider. 


Before moving on, if you are looking for other types of succulents, read further:

Also, even though Euphorbia plants look like cactus plants, they are not true cactus plants but are often mistakenly identified as cacti. For ideas on what cactus to grow, check out our related post:


What are Euphorbia Plants?

Euphorbia is a large and diverse genus of beautiful flowering plants known as “spurge” plants. Succulent characteristics characterize the plants in this genus.

They can be found in the deserts of Mexico, South Africa, and Madagascar. Spurge plants’ leaves, like those of other succulents, retain water.

Many people grow these cultivars in their living rooms or indoor gardens as ornamental varieties.

What Are Euphorbia Plants

Euphorbia varieties are valued primarily for their stunning appearance, unique floral pattern, flowers, and crown of thorns.

The flowers lack petals, sepals, and other common parts, distinguishing them from other flowers.

Because these succulent shrubs can withstand drought and are easy to care for, they are becoming more popular with gardeners.

There are numerous Euphorbia plants, each with its own color and appearance.

Fortunately, most of these species can be found at your local garden centers and grown in your indoor garden.

With over 2,000 species, the Euphorbia family is a large and diverse plant family. While many of these species are not commonly grown in home gardens, there are a few popular varieties to consider.

The Spurge plant is distinguished by its brightly colored flowers, which can be yellow, red, or purple. It is also well-known for its ability to spread quickly and cover large areas.

Here is a list of some of the most popular Euphorbia species.

Euphorbia Abyssinica

Euphorbia Abyssinica

Desert candle spurge is another name for Euphorbia abyssinica.

It is found throughout the North African desert areas, including Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea.

This large tree-like succulent has woody stems. The leaves are fleshy and small. Surprisingly, scientists discovered that the root of this plant has anti-malarial chemo-suppressive properties [1].

This cultivar thrives in the rock garden. You must ensure that this Spurge receives plenty of sunlight.

We recommend that you provide them with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Make a growing medium that drains well.

In the growing and blooming seasons, water them sparingly and feed them organic fertilizer, which is good for them.

Euphorbia Ammak

Euphorbia Ammak

Euphorbia ammak, also known as Candelabra Spurge, is a beautiful variety with a short trunk that stands upright. It appears to be a branched candelabra.

The surface of this plant is a creamy-yellow color. It can reach a height of 20 feet and a width of 8 feet.

As a result, if you intend to grow it indoors, make sure you have enough space for this Euphoria.

This plant thrives in direct sunlight but keeps it out of direct sunlight during the summer.

Brown scars on the stems indicate that your plant has been exposed to too much direct sunlight.

This desert cactus does not require much water, but excessive moisture can cause root rot.

Water them sparingly and poke holes in the bottoms of the containers.

Euphorbia Amygdaloides Var. Robbiae

Euphorbia Amygdaloides Var. Robbiae

Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae is a species of Wood Spurge that resembles a beautiful ground cover and forms shiny, deep green colonies of stunning rosettes.

The lime green flowers bloom in late spring and last throughout the summer.

These ground-forming Euphorbias can grow up to 2 feet tall and 2.5 feet wide and are ideal for growing in rock gardens.

Keep in mind that the milky sap is an irritant to the skin. This wood Spurge plant thrives in the shade of large trees.

It is ideal for rocky areas, as previously stated. Even if your soil is poor and dry, you can easily grow this plant.

Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae thrives in partial shade. When grown in an indoor garden, this wood Spurge requires only light watering.

Euphorbia Aphylla

Euphorbia Aphylla

Euphorbia aphylla is an ornamental, evergreen, densely branched succulent shrub that can reach a height of 1.5 feet.

It has tiny blue-green, yellow-green, and light grayish-green leaves and thick stems. The cylindrical trunks are brown and made of wood.

From spring to summer, the beautiful yellow blooms appear at the ends of the fleshy stems.

This leafless Spurge prefers full sun but will grow in partial shade. They can survive in extreme cold or drought conditions.

These varieties can withstand temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

During the fall, you don’t need to water them as frequently and keep an eye out for any signs of rotting.

Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow

Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow

Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow is one of the most beautiful Euphorbia varieties. This species’ variegated foliage pattern adds to the beauty of any garden.

The leaves on this ornamental plant are green-gray with yellow borders. This Euphorbia blooms in the spring with yellow-green flowers.

It will add a splash of color to a brightly colored patio. This variegated species thrives best in full sun.

If you live in a Mediterranean climate, we recommend placing it near a south-western window to receive full sun.

Make sure the afternoon sun doesn’t burn those lovely leaves. They don’t mind your potting mix as long as it’s well-draining, slightly acidic, or alkaline.

Euphorbia Characias Var. Wulfenii

Euphorbia Characias Var. Wulfenii

Albanian Spurge and Mediterranean Spurge are other names for Euphorbia characias var. wulfenii.

The flowers on these perennial Euphorbias are the most beautiful in the Euphorbia family. It can reach a height of 3 feet and has dense, woolly stems.

The leaves are a beautiful bluish-green, and the flower heads are stunning yellow-green. There are no petals on the blooms.

These varieties thrive in full or partial sun. Plant it in light clay soil, which can remain soggy or wet for an extended period.

This plant is quite hardy and can withstand highly saline soil. Watch it sparingly and keep an eye out for the rotting sign.

These plants aren’t afraid of deer, and they attract pollinators like hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, which help them get their food.

Euphorbia Corollata

Euphorbia Corollata

Euphorbia corollata is another flowering spurge with small white flowers blooming from early spring to late summer.

Pollinators will be drawn to your garden by the nectar and pollen of the blooms. This Euphorbia species is widespread in North America.

The blue-green leaves are about 3 inches long and a half-inch wide. The entire plant can grow to be up to 3 feet tall.

This tough evergreen plant thrives in any garden. You can leave it in the shade or direct sunlight for 6 hours. They’ll be fine in either situation.

Wet conditions can make soil vulnerable to fungal diseases, so it must be well-drained.

Feed this cultivar with a slow-release organic fertilizer in the spring to increase blooms.

Euphorbia Cotinifolia

Euphorbia Cotinifolia

Euphorbia cotinifolia has striking red-colored broad leaves that set it apart and make it easy to identify. It is native to the deserts of South America and Mexico.

When grown as a shrub, these plants can grow up to 15 feet tall. During the summer, you will see beautiful, tiny white flowers.

Be cautious of the sap that appears after breaking the stems. The sap is extremely toxic and can cause skin irritation.

This broadleaf shrub grows best in full sun, but it can also be grown in partial shade. To grow them in a container, prepare a well-drained potting mix.

However, due to their size, we recommend planting them outside. Check to see if your garden soil is clayey.

During the early to late spring, water them sparingly and feed them organic fertilizer.

Euphorbia Geroldii

Euphorbia Geroldii

Euphorbia geroldii is also known as a thornless crown of thorns or Gerold’s Spurge.

It is native to tropical and subtropical dry forests, but its native habitat is threatened due to forest destruction.

Thornless crown of thorns plants can grow up to 2 feet tall when mature. This plant’s dark green leaves and red blooms are its most impressive features.

If grown indoors, these plants prefer direct sunlight. Keep them near a south-facing window to ensure that they receive direct sunlight for an extended period.

Constantly, thoroughly water these varieties, and before doing so, allow the top few inches of soil to dry.

During the spring, feed them organic fertilizer to encourage growth.

Euphorbia Horrida

Euphorbia Horrida

Euphorbia horrida is commonly referred to as the African milk barrel due to its erect cylindrical trunks with longer spines and green blooms.

Because of its structure, this Euphorbia plant resembles a true cactus.

The offsets will emerge from the base of the plants and form clusters. Mature plants can grow to be up to 5 feet tall.

This plant, like other cacti, requires full sun to thrive. Although it can tolerate dry shade, we recommend keeping it near a south-facing window.

Water it sparingly and always check the soil moisture level before watering. When properly fertilized, this plant grows well.

Fertilize it with a balanced organic fertilizer during the growing and flowering seasons.

Euphorbia Hypericifolia Inneuphdia (Diamond Frost)

Euphorbia Hypericifolia

Euphorbia hypericifolia ‘Inneuphdia’ is also known as Diamond Frost Euphorbia. This evergreen perennial variety can add a dramatic effect to your indoor garden.

Many people enjoy growing Diamond Frost on their balconies because of the foliage and flowers.

Compared to other Euphorbias, the blooming season lasts from spring to autumn. These evergreen plants bloom with tiny white flowers during this time of year.

The Diamond frost should be planted in full or dappled sun, and the growing medium should be well-drained.

Combine organic materials such as coco peat, vermicompost, and organic fertilizers.

Avoid planting them in heavy clay soils that can become waterlogged and cause root rot or other fungal diseases.


For more information on Diamond Frost Euphorbia plants, check out our related post on:


Euphorbia Ingens

Euphorbia Ingens

Euphorbia ingens species can reach heights of up to 25 feet and have stems that are 3 inches (7.5 cm) thick.

They are commonly called Naboom or Candelabra trees. As with other Euphorbia plants, the milky sap of this plant can be fatal due to severe skin irritation.

From autumn to fall, these plants produce yellow and green flowers. There are also red round capsule fruits to be found.

Because these plants grow quite large, it is good to grow them outside. Even if you want to grow them indoors, you must keep them in shape.

These plants require a lot of direct sunlight and well-drained garden soil. In the spring and summer, give them plenty of water and fertilizer. They prefer warm, dry weather.


For more information on Euphorbia ingens, or the Candelabra trees, check out our related post on:


Euphorbia Lactea

Euphorbia Lactea

Euphorbia lactea is also known as “Crested Euphorbia.” This succulent has fan-shaped branches that give it a distinct appearance.

The color of the stems and branches ranges from blue-gray to green or silver.

The edges of the branches have a pink hue. These succulents can grow up to 2 feet tall and rarely produce flowers. This variety requires full sun to thrive.

We recommend growing this plant outside, but if you must grow it indoors, place it near a south-facing window where it will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Make well-drained soil by combining sand with other organic materials. Water it sparingly and fertilize it with an organic fertilizer in the spring.


Looking for more information on how to care for an Euphorbia lactea? Read further on:


Euphorbia Leuconeura

Euphorbia Leuconeura

Euphorbia leuconeura, also known as Madagascar Jewel, is another flowering Euphorbia plant. These plants can be found in abundance in Madagascar’s forests.

This variety can grow up to 6 feet tall and has branches that look like small trees. They spread the seed by shooting it into the air.

Unfortunately, the habitat of this lovely plant is now threatened.

You should try growing this Euphorbia plant outside because it can grow quite large. It won’t bother you if you have a rock garden.

These plants are prone to being overwatered. Try to keep this evergreen plant in direct sunlight.

From spring to summer, feed them with regular succulent fertilizer. It will stimulate growth as well as flower production.

Euphorbia Marginata

Euphorbia Marginata

Euphorbia marginata is also known as Smoke on the Prairie, White-margined Spurge, and Snow on the Mountain.

These annuals have small green-gray leaves along their branches.

These leaves are the main draw of these Euphorbias. The green leaves have a lovely white margin that adds to the overall beauty of this plant.

These annuals, which can grow up to 3 feet tall and spread 2 feet wide, are ideal for growing indoors.

As a result, you can easily maintain its shape. It can be grown in a rock garden if you have one. It can withstand direct sunlight and even partial shade.

When the top few inches of the garden soil appear to be dry, water it thoroughly. Feed them organic fertilizer beginning in early spring to promote bloom production.

Euphorbia Milii

Euphorbia Milii

Euphorbia milii is also known as the Crown of Thorns or Christ Thorn. This wood spurge is considered an ornamental plant that anyone can grow in their home.

This spiny succulent shrub has erect, fleshy, and dense green leaves. Remember that the thorns on this Euphorbia are sharp and long.

As a result, use caution when handling it. During the early spring, this evergreen succulent shrub produces stunning red blooms.

These shrubs thrive in direct sunlight, medium soil moisture, and warm temperatures.

If you live in a colder climate where the temperature stays below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, we recommend bringing these plants inside.

You should use sand, coarse materials, and organic materials to make a well-drained potting medium.


For more information on Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns), check out our related post on:


Euphorbia Myrsinites

Euphorbia Myrsinites

Euphorbia myrsinites, also known as broadleaf Glaucous Spurge, Blue Spurge, or Myrtle Spurge, are Euphorbia species.

These plants can be found throughout Asia Minor and Southeastern Europe.

This evergreen perennial has 1-foot stems with fleshy, spirally arranged blue-green leaves. During the summer, this succulent produces bright yellow flower heads.

This variety, like succulents, prefers to grow in warm, sunny conditions. You won’t have to water it as frequently because it is drought tolerant.

Prepare a well-drained growing medium to eliminate the possibility of waterlogging. From late fall to early spring, feed them organic fertilizer.

Euphorbia Obesa

Euphorbia Obesa

Because of its unique cactus-like structure, Euphorbia obesa appears to be a real cactus.

This flowering plant is indigenous to the subtropical and Mediterranean climate zones. It is commonly referred to as the “baseball plant.”

These thornless Euphorbia varieties grow to a maximum height of about half a foot tall. The stems of the younger plants are cylindrical.

We strongly advise you to create a well-drained growing medium by combining sand and other inorganic materials when it comes to planting care.

Furthermore, keep these Euphorbia varieties in direct sunlight for at least 6 hours per day. If they do not receive enough light, the sphere may lose shape.


Looking for more information on how to care for Euphorbia obesa (baseball plants)? Read further about plant care in our related post:


Euphorbia Rigida

Euphorbia Rigida

Euphorbia rigida is one of the most beautiful Euphorbia varieties due to its leaf pattern, and bright yellow flowers bloom in the spring.

The foliage of this perennial evergreen Euphorbia will add beauty to your garden.

This flowering Euphorbia is also known as Gopher Spurge. It can spread to about 3 feet in width, making it an excellent ground cover.

These Euphorbia varieties can be grown both indoors and outdoors, but it is best to grow them outdoors in direct sunlight because their beautiful yellow booms will add to the beauty of your garden.

Make sure you have well-drained potting soil. During the winter, don’t overwater them.

Euphorbia Trigona

Euphorbia Trigona

“African Milk Tree” is another name for Euphorbia trigona. This perennial plant is common throughout Central Africa.

The upright stems with several branches will be visible. The teardrop leaves are visible during the growing season.

Even though these plants don’t have leaves for most of the year, they are still beautiful.

These Euphorbia varieties, like most succulents, require at least 6 hours of sunlight, a well-drained growing medium, and adequate water.

Keep in mind that they cannot withstand flooding. As a result, you should constantly water them when the top 2 inches of soil appear dry.


For more information on Euphorbia trigona, or the African Milk Tree, check out our related post on:


Euphorbia Tirucalli

Euphorbia Tirucalli

Euphorbia tirucalli is also known as Indian Tree Spurge Aveloz and Pencil Cactus. Surprisingly, each of these Euphorbia varieties has a distinct shape.

The branches will be a pencil-like green and smooth. The entire plant could grow to be about 23 feet tall.

As a result, you’ll need to maintain the shape when planted indoors. The yellow-green flowers are visible during the flowering season.

It is just as simple to grow these Euphorbia varieties as it is to grow other succulents.

Keep them in direct sunlight, but they can tolerate dry shade for a short time.

There should be a good-draining potting mix. If there is too much water in the soil, fungi can grow.


For more information on Euphorbia tirucalli, or the Pencil Cactus, check out our related post on:


Other Euphorbia Plants

There are so many more types of Euphorbia plants out there. Unfortunately, we can’t list them out. Below are some other spurge plants to consider.

Euphorbia Lambii: Also known as the Tree Euphorbia or Truffula Tree, it is mainly planted outdoors as a landscaping plant. If you look at it, you would think it was a tree, but no, it’s just a funny-looking top-heavy Euphorbia plant. It will no doubt add curb appeal to your front yard.

Euphorbia Flanaganii: With the nickname of Medusa’s Head plant, it is an extremely unique succulent plant that has long, serpentine stems that look like the fabled creature Medusa’s serpentine hair. Snake-like snake-like stems or branches characterize this plant, which is unusual among the common succulents. Every single one has a Fibonacci spiral at its center, and there are no two alike.

Euphorbia Leucodendron: Most commonly known as the Cat Tails Euphorbia Plant. Under perfect conditions, Euphorbia leucodendron, a succulent shrub with spineless limbs, can develop into a small tree. It makes a great landscaping plant.  It is indigenous to the subtropical region of Madagascar, where it can reach a height of up to 10 to 12 feet. It resembles Euphorbia tirucalli in many aspects, but it is not the same plant because its stems are much thinner and have fewer branches.

How to Care for Euphorbia Plants

Euphorbia is a large and diverse plant family, the majority of which are native to Africa and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Some are delicate and small, while others are large and robust. Depending on the species, euphorbias can be easy or difficult to care for.

Euphorbia plants, on the other hand, require little care and are extremely hardy.

Let’s take a look at their basic requirements for indoor growing.

Light

Light For Euphorbia Plants

Euphorbia, like the other succulents, prefers full sun to thrive. Partial shade appears to be acceptable to them, but we recommend that you provide at least six hours of direct sunlight regularly.

If you live in a hotter climate, keeping them in the shade during the day is preferable.

However, you can grow them indoors year-round in cooler climates without any problems.

The light should not be too bright or intense; otherwise, your plant will burn out quickly. It also needs enough light to promote growth.

You may need two lights if they are grown inside. A single fluorescent bulb works well and provides adequate lighting.

We have found that an LED lamp with a high-output white spectrum produces better results than most incandescent bulbs.

Temperature and Humidity

Euphorbia succulents are native to warm, dry climates. As a result, they will thrive in warm environments. You may need to keep a close eye on them during the winter.

Temperatures in the tropical and subtropical zones range between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Humidity does not appear to be an issue because they enjoy both high and low humidity conditions.

However, if your home has air conditioning or central heating systems, ensure that these do not affect their growth.

You can also use humidifiers to help maintain moisture levels inside your house.

Soil

Soil For Euphorbia Plants

Because Euphorbia varieties are succulents, the potting mix must be well-drained and the container must have several holes beneath it.

Growing Euphorbias is best done in sandy soil with a slightly acidic pH. As a substrate material, you can also use peat moss or perlite.

When temperatures begin to rise in the spring, this is the best time of year to plant these plants.

If you live in a cold climate, wait until summer before replanting. Use a large pot to allow for growth once the plant starts to bloom.

Watering

Watering Euphorbia

When it comes to watering Euphorbia plants, you should proceed with caution. Allow the top few inches of surface soil to dry before watering. 

They cannot, however, be submerged in water. Overwatering your Euphorbia plants can also kill them by drowning their roots.

Excessive moisture can cause root rot and fungus infections. 

If the soil is already dry, don’t water your plants, even in arid areas. Remove any dead leaves from your plants before watering them.

Fertilizer

Fertilizer needs vary by species, but all require nutrients to grow to their full potential.

We recommend applying organic fertilizer in the early to late spring to promote growth.

The leaves of these plants turn yellow when they are deficient in certain minerals. If this occurs, it indicates that they require more nitrogen and phosphorus than other elements such as potassium and magnesium.

These fertilizers will aid in the development of your plant’s coloration. You may need to apply another dose every two weeks until the foliage turns green again.

Propagation

Propagating Euphorbia Plants

These plants can be grown by sowing seeds, which are notoriously tricky to germinate. You can also propagate by stem cutting if you don’t have this.

Plant the stem in a cactus mix after cutting it with a sharp and sterile knife. Keep in mind that the sap can irritate the body.

Allowing the cut portion to dry will increase the success rate of rooting.

If you have a mature or mother plant, you can cut the stem or leaf and propagate your plants with the cuttings.

Using a sterile knife, cut the stem just below the soil.

The space between the stem and the soil should be left for the next plant.

Before they can be planted in new soil, the baby plants will need time to develop and sprout roots.

Common Problems of Euphorbia Succulent Shrub

Although these plants are hardy, they can face problems and suffer from various diseases.

In this section, we will mention some of the common issues with euphorbia plants.

Soggy or wet soil

Soggy or wet soil conditions can kill these plants by causing root rot. Therefore, ensure that the container has drainage holes and that the potting medium is well-drained.

Stem Rot

Stem rotting is another common disease of Euphorbia varieties. You will see dark, rotted, and soft areas on the stems. Remove the infected plants if you notice these symptoms.

Overhead watering can increase the chance of fungal diseases or powdery mildew issues.

Pests

Spider mites and mealybugs can destroy the beautiful leaves of Euphorbias. Apply insecticides if these insects are noticed. It would be best to remove them as soon as possible because they become unmanageable when they start laying their eggs.

FAQ

Are Euphorbia plants considered cactus?

No, Euphorbia plants are not cactus plants. Euphorbias feature thorns, generally in pairs, on modified stems that are mistakenly misidentified as cacti. Plus, Euphorbias do not have areoles. However, cacti and Euphorbias both blossom with flowers, but their flowers are generally very distinct.

Are Spurge and Euphorbia the same?

Yes, Spurge and Euphorbia are the same plants. Spurge is the common name, whereas Euphorbia is the botanical name. Euphorbia is a vast and diversified genus of flowering plants of the spurge family, generally known as Spurge (Euphorbiaceae).

Is Euphorbia poisonous to touch?

Yes, Euphorbia plants are poisonous when touched. Common euphorbia plants are toxic and are considered a skin irritant that can lead to blistering. The milky sap secreted by a Euphorbia plant is the plant’s most dangerous component. If you get sap on your skin, thoroughly wash it off with soap and water. When sap hardens on the skin, it can’t be washed away with water, so soap or milk must be used to get it off. Only the milky sap of Euphorbia varieties is poisonous.

How long does it take for Euphorbia seeds to grow?

In cold weather, Euphorbia seeds take 2 to 6 months to germinate, whereas, in warm temperatures, it takes 1 to 2 weeks.
Euphorbias may be cultivated from seed, but they are notorious for being difficult to germinate. In the spring, sow seeds in a mixture of coarse sand and commercial seed growing mix. 

Conclusion

Plants of the genus Euphorbia (or spurge) are hardy and popular ornamental plants grown in any garden. They can live in both cold and wet climates.

With their stunning foliage and bright blooms, these evergreen plants add to the overall beauty of the landscape. They thrive in both temperate and tropical climates.

Because they have fewer requirements, they can be easily grown indoors. They prefer soil that is moist but well-drained. You can water them whenever you want.

You can either plant them in the ground or use a cactus mix. You can propagate them with seeds or stem cuttings.

Avoid watering these plants in the fall because they go dormant during this time.

Finally, use organic fertilizers like bone meal, vermicompost, blood meal, and cow dung to increase flower production in the spring.

References

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