Apartment plants

Euphorbia - Euphorbia fulgens


This elegant shrub is native to Mexico; the euphorbia fulgens produces long branches that are scarcely branched, thin and arched, which bear long thin leaves, which resemble the foliage of willow or peach, which is slightly thicker and darker. These are evergreen shrubs, which maintain their elegant foliage throughout the year; during the winter months, many small bright red flowers bloom on the stems, gathered in bunches; there are varieties with orange, red or white flowers. This species of euphorbia is particularly used for its flowers, which are used to prepare bouquets, given the winter bloom and since it is possible to preserve them for a long time once they are cut from the plant.

Grow eurphorbia fulgens

As with other species, this euphorbia is also native to Mexico; in fact it has many cultivation characteristics that bring it closer to poinsettia, better known as a Christmas star. In Italy in fact the euphorbia fulgens is a shrub to be cultivated in a warm greenhouse, only in the hottest regions of the peninsula can it be placed in the garden, remembering however to watch over during the winter: if the temperatures were to fall much below of 9-4 ° c it is advisable to cover the shrub with non-woven fabric. So those who want to grow this plant in Italy tend to keep it in a pot, so they can be moved to a sheltered place during the coldest months. It is also advisable to avoid bringing it indoors during the winter, because the excessively hot and dry climate can ruin the plant, which is in full bloom in winter.

Planting of euphorbia fulgens

Let's place it in a large container, with at least 35-45 cm of diameter; it is a semi-succulent plant, which easily bears short periods of drought. We use a good rich soil, mixed with a little sand or pumice stone with a fairly fine grain size, so as to improve the drainage of the substrate. Watering will be regular throughout the year, between one watering and the other we always remember to keep the soil dry. If our plant is placed in a temperate greenhouse, remember to periodically vaporize the foliage, to increase the environmental humidity.
The flowers bloom during the months with a few hours of insolation, as happens with poinsettia; we can prune the long arched stems to enjoy the flowers at home, usually the trimmed stems resist in vase even for a few weeks.

Euphorbia - Euphorbia fulgens: The latex of the euphorbias

All plants belonging to the euphorbiaceae genus produce a dense white latex, which is emitted as soon as a leaf comes off or the stems of succulent species are scratched; this latex appears candid, almost inviting, with a fairly fluid consistency, it tends to coagulate if the plant is immersed in water. The euphorbiacee latex contains highly irritating substances for the mucous membranes; in particularly sensitive individuals these substances can also be irritating to the skin.
Generally the euphorbiacees are not plants that are frequently handled, and in our gardens they do not become trees or large shrubs on which it is possible for example to climb; for this reason it hardly happens that children or highly sensitive people come into contact with the latex of such plants.
More often it happens that the lover of succulents should repot or prune his euphorbia; in these cases we remind you to always wear waterproof gloves, so as to avoid contact with latex; avoid leaving the stems we have pruned in the garden or greenhouse, but put them immediately in a plastic bag.
We also remember to carefully handle the euphorbiacees, especially if they are shrubs of a certain size, since the latex gives serious problems only if it hits the eyes or if it is ingested. In the unlikely event that this latex splashes in one eye, we quickly wash the part under running water, and possibly visit the doctor, who will promptly evaluate the degree of irritation of the affected part.