Gardening

Euphorbia purpurea

Euphorbia amygdaloides purpurea also called as the purple wood spurge is the most popular of all wood spurge cultivars. The bronze-green leaves with deep purple-red shoots and lime-green flowers makes it an interesting and wonderful plant for your garden. The lovely purple-mahogany foliage looks great at the entryway and along the borders. It can be grouped and planted with other plants to add a different look. It acts as a perfect companion for colourful flowering plants and low growing grasses. In full sun this plant gives the best show.

This beautiful wood spurge goes through a fascinating colour variation with the changing seasons. In spring the foliage remains green in colour with new emerging leaves looking like wine-red blossoms. During the month of April lime green flowers burst out covering the top of the foliage. In winter the leaves and the stem turn deep purple ruby colour. With the onset of the spring the foliage again turns green in colour. This Euphorbia is an absolutely stunning good garden entertainer.

Plant profile

E.purpurea belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae which is one of the most diverse and largest family of the plant kingdom. The foliage colour is usually purple-black and red. It depends upon the changing season. The flowers are yellow in colour with green bracts. They bloom during early summer, mid and late spring. It grows up to a height of 12-18in. The growth rate is pretty fast. It is a drought tolerant evergreen plant that can grow in any soil type whether be it normal, sandy or clayey. It requires partial shade to full sun exposure.

Garden care

This Euphorbia requires moist and well drained soil. The pH of the soil can be either acidic, basic or neutral. They are shade loving but can also tolerate full sun. This plant is easy to care and does not demand much. It does not need much water but, regular watering ensures proper growth of plant. However, care should be taken that you do not over water the plant as it can lead to it’s death. Place the plant in suitable sized containers of about 2litres and above. In autumn cut down the dry faded flower stems so that the new flowers can appear on it the next year. Since it self seeds freely, for proper border maintenance remove the unwanted seedlings each spring. While handling the spurge do remember to wear gloves because the milky sap of the plant is highly poisonous and can lead to skin irritation and blindness.

Propagation

It can be propagated by means of seeds. You can collect the ripe seeds from the dry seed heads and sow them directly in the outdoors before fall. In case you want to start during the winter sow them indoors before the last frost.

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