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Euphorbia (yew-forb-ee-uh), one of the largest genera of flowering plants with over 2,000 species, is a member of one of the largest plant families in the world, Euphorbiaceae. Several species are hardy to zone 4, though most Euphorbias are tropical or subtropical in origin.

Euphorbia should be planted in well-drained, even poor soil, in a full sun to slightly shaded location. In cooler zones, Spurge grows well in full sun. In warmer regions, it is best sited in part shade, avoiding afternoon sun. It prefers average, well-drained soil. After flowering in spring, Spurge should be cut back. This will keep the plant more compact and prevent it from splitting in the center.

They are drought tolerant once established and work well in rock gardens, along walls, on hillsides and dry containers. Easy to grow plants, winter wetness is usually the only potential problem as it is resistant to deer and rabbits, and most other pests and diseases.

Highly heat, drought and salt tolerant, it is deer and rabbit resistant Use as border plants, in containers, for cut flowers, and in mass plantings. Use caution and wear gloves when handling this plant; some varieties are POISONOUS if eaten, and the sap can be a skin and eye irritant.

PLANTING: Space plants 15 to 18 inches apart to allow for ultimate growth. Any moderately fertile soil, even one on the sandy side, will do, as long as drainage is good. Choose a location in full sun or part shade in hot climates.

MAINTENANCE: Virtually care free and drought tolerant; once established it will require only light watering during extended dry spells. No division is necessary. We recommend a light winter mulch in zones 4 and 5. If growth becomes loose by mid summer, cut the whole plant back hard and it will regrow in a tight mound.