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Euphorbia hypericifolia - Frothy and Delicate Plants

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Breathless™ Blush Euphorbia

Breathless™ Blush Euphorbia

Photo: © Marie Iannotti

Overview:

There's not much resemblance to most of the Euphorbias we're familiar with. You might mistake Euphorbia hypericifolia for Baby's Breath, but these wispy, mounding plants are not babies. Their delicate looks belie their hardy temperaments. Euphorbia hypericifolia is drought tolerant, needs no deadheading, is deer resistant and blooms pretty much continually. Note: Euphorbia is poisonous if ingested. It also produces a milky sap that is a skin and eye irritant.

Latin Name:

Euphorbia hypericifolia Recently reclassified as Chamaesyce hypericifolia. Honestly, it's becoming impossible to keep up with the Latin names of cultivated plants. Since these have become popular under their common names, followed by Euphorbia, I don't foresee that changing soon.

Common Name:

Generally goes by its cultivar name, followed by Euphorbia.

Hardiness Zones:

USDA Hardiness Zones10 - 11. Mostly grown as an annual or an indoor plant.

Exposure

Full sun to Partial Shade.

Mature Size:

Height: 8 - 12" (20 - 30 cm)
Width: 20 - 24" (51 - 61 cm)

Bloom Period

Continuous

Description:

Euphorbia hypericifoliaplants look like frothy clusters of airy flowers, held above narrow, delicate leaves. The plants have a mounding habit, but will spread 2-3'.

Suggested Varieties:

  • Breathless™ Blush Euphorbia - Red tinged leaves with white flowers.
  • Diamond Frost® Euphorbia - Slender green leaves and delicate white flowers.

There are several other varieties with green leaves and white flowers, but at this point, there's not much difference.

Design Suggestions:

I don't think there's a container that doesn't look better with one of these Euphorbia in it. It's a wonderful filler plant, spilling over edges and between larger leaves. It also looks great tucked into rock wall pockets and intermingled with large leaved plants, like coral bells and coleus, along the edges of walkways.

Euphorbia hypericifolia also makes a nice houseplant, if you can provide good light. They are starting to use it at Christmastime, paired with another Euphorbia, Poinsettia.

Growing Tips:

Planting: These are cultivars, so seed is not available. Small plants are widely available in nurseries. They are sensitive to cold, so wait until all danger of frost has past, before planting outside.

Maintenance:

Water well, until the plant is acclimated. After that, allow the plant to dry between waterings. Too much water can cause rotting.

No fertilizer is needed, although a little boost in mid-Summer can help keep them going, especially plants in containers.

No deadheading is required. You can pinch young plants to encourage branching and you can trim back plants at any time, to shape or keep their size in check.

Pests & Problems:

Can be affected by whitefly and spider mites, especially in tight growing conditions.

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