Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tiptoe Through The Tulips: Euphorbia Milii splendens (Crown of Thorns)

Euphorbias encompass an enormous amount of variety among the different species. Some look very much like a cactus, with large diameter stems and branches, and then some look like really spiky rose bushes with dainty flowers. This week I'm profiling the latter type (the other type is also in the yard and will get it's own day in the spotlight).


In researching this plant, I have found that mine is way too tall and gangly. This is supposed to be more like a bush than the four-foot-long spiky stem ending with six leaves and a smalle cluster of pink flowers like I have now. These tolerate significant pruning, and should be pruned to promote a fuller plant. I also found out how to propagate this plant, and it's one of the more tricky cutting propagaters to deal with (cut it, soak in water to prevent the sap from all leaking out, let it dry and callous over the cut, and then plant it with sparse amounts of water until the roots come out). However, if I cut it back, using the cuttings to make new plants and to promote the existing healthy (but lanky) plant to grow fuller, maybe I'll be in a position to replace the plant with rooted cuttings if I ended up pruning too far. Hopefully I don't go the other direction and kill the plant by too much pruning while also failing to get the cutting to root. I just keep hoping that my brown thumb is getting a little greener through all this research and learning.

2 comments:

Matthew M. F. Miller said...

It's beautiful, even if technically it's too tall and gangly. I love flowers …

Heather said...

Thanks, Matt. Glad I could help with some beauty from my yard.