This elegant shrub is native to Mexico; the euphorbia fulgens produces long, poorly branched branches, thin and arched, carrying long thin leaves, reminiscent of the foliage of the willow or peach, slightly more consistent and dark. These are evergreen shrubs, which keep their foliage elegant throughout the year, during the winter months on the stems bloom many small flowers, bright red in color, gathered in clusters, 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 flowering and since you can keep them for a long time once cut by the plant.
Cultivating the Eurphorbia Fulgens
As with other species, this euphorbia is native to Mexico; in fact, it has many cultivation characteristics that bring it closer to the poinsettia, better known as Christmas star. In Italy, in fact, the euphorbia fulgens is a shrub to be grown in a warm greenhouse, only in the hottest regions of the peninsula can be planted in the garden, remembering to be vigilant during the winter: if the temperatures should fall far below 9-4 ° C is advisable to cover the shrub with non-woven fabric.
So who wants to grow this plant in Italy tends to keep it in a pot, so you can move it to a sheltered place during the coldest months. It is also advisable to avoid bringing it home during the winter, because the excessively hot and dry climate can ruin the plant, which in winter is in full bloom.
Planting of euphorbia fulgens
Let’s place it in a large container, with at least 35-45 cm of diameter; it is a semi-supuchulent plant, which bears without problems short periods of drought. Let’s use a good rich soil, mixed with a little sand or pumice stone with a rather fine granulometry, in way to improve the drainage of the substratum. Watering will be regular throughout the year, between one watering and the other always remember to keep the soil dry.
If our plant is placed in a temperate greenhouse, let’s remember to periodically vaporize its foliage, to increase the humidity.
The flowers bloom during the months with a few hours of sunshine, as it happens for the poinsettia; we can prune the long arched stems to enjoy the flowers at home, usually the stems so pruned resist in vase even for a few weeks.
Euphorbia – Euphorbia fulgens: The latex of euphorbias
All the plants belonging to the genus of the euphorbiaceae produce a thick white latex, which is emitted as soon as a leaf is detached or the stems of the succulent species are scratched; this latex appears candid, almost inviting, with a fairly fluid consistency, and tends to coagulate if the plant is immersed in water.
Euphorbiaceae latex contains substances that are highly irritating to the mucous membranes; in particularly sensitive individuals, these substances can also be irritating to the skin.
Generally, euphorbiaceae are not plants that are handled frequently, and in our gardens they do not become trees or large shrubs on which you can, for example, climb; for this reason it is difficult for children or highly sensitive people to come into contact with the latex of these plants.
More often, however, it happens that the lover of succulent plants must repot or prune his euphorbia; in these cases remember to always wear waterproof gloves, so as to avoid contact with latex; let’s avoid leaving in the garden or greenhouse the stems that we have pruned, but put them immediately in a plastic bag.
We also remember to handle carefully the euphorbiaceae, especially if they are shrubs of a certain size, since the latex gives serious problems only if it affects the eyes or if it is ingested. If this latex splashes in one eye, quickly wash the part under running water, and if possible go to the doctor, who will promptly assess the degree of irritation of the affected part.
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