Euphorbia robbiae

Very, very useful. It has a lovely dense texture, thrives in shade, spreads a bit – but not too much – and is wonderfully reliable. The flowers – like all Euphorbias – are weird. Yellowy/green Shrek’s ears.

It’s low growing to about 2ft tall and 2ft wide but spreads by suckers. At a moderate and useful, rather than an alarming rate.

Another thing it has in common with its brethren is a dislike of bogs. Give it any reasonably well drained soil to keep it happy. Despite its love of shade, it’s perfectly happy in some sun. Maybe dappled shade rather than full sun.

Cut off the old flowers for cosmetic reasons or if you’re as indifferent about the flowers as I am – then just cut them off anyway. You have to judge for yourself as to whether they’re a credit or a liability.

Produced by cuttings.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

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