Euphorbia aeruginosa is a beautiful bushy, spiny succulent native to South Africa. Plants will reach 12 inches (30 cm) tall with a 4-angled blue-green stem and a subterranean caudex. Stems are 0.4 inches in (1 cm) in diameter and are covered with copper-colored spines. They are very easy to grow and make an attractive addition to any succulent collection. Plants are hardy in the landscape in USDA zones 10-11. As with most members of the Euphorbiaceae family, the sap is poisonous.
Blooming: Plants bloom in late spring with small bright yellow cyathia.
Culture: Euphorbia aeruginosa need full sun to light shade with a well-drained soil mix. We use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand with small gravel added to ensure good drainage. The plant is a summer grower. The plant responds well with average water needs, but the soil needs to dry between watering. We fertilize the plants only once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. During the winter months, the plants should be kept dry. Too much water during the winter can cause the subterranean caudex to rot.
Propagation: Euphorbia aeruginosa is easily propagated from cuttings.
Euphorbia aeruginosa was featured as Plant of the Week November 6-12, 2009.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.