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Euphorbia mellifera (Honey Spurge)

Originally from Madeira, this beautiful plant will grow in sun or shade but in very cold gardens could do with the protection of a south or west wall to give protection against frost and cold winds. If grown in sun it will be more compact – a shady position giving an elegant open centred plant. If it gets too leggy, cut back as hard as you like in the late spring/early summer for much denser growth, though this may reduce flowering for the following year. Flower buds can be removed to produce larger leaves and more growth. The white sap of Euphorbias can be irritating to the skin so be careful. Can grow to 6ft x 6ft in 5 years.

Severe frost (-4°c or below) will give the leaves a pendulous look. It can look terminal but it’s not. They recover wonderfully well as soon as the temperature rises.

Propagated by us from seed.

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.

Hardiness traffic light amber

Hardiness level Amber

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Hardy in the Home Counties if sensibly sited (avoiding severe frost pockets, for example). Many Amber Labelled Plants are from cuttings from well-established plants that have survived many harsh winters in the South-East.

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.