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Introducing...

Shade-tolerant garden euphorbias

Common name: Spurge, wood spurge

Some euphorbias thrive in dappled shade in the garden. Known for their striking foliage and brightly coloured leaf bract, which surround the tiny flowers, they are generally easy to grow as long as the soil isn't very dry in summer. Grow under trees, with other shade-loving perennials and spring bulbs, to create striking constrasts in shape, colour and texture.

Looks

Some like Europbia amygdaloides makes attractive evergreen groundcover with the dark or purple leaves acting as a foil for the acid yellow flowers. E. griffithii offers orange bracts and bronze infused foliage. They all appreciate soil that doesn't dry out in summer and, although happy enough planted in full sun, they do well in dappled shade. 

Likes

These plants appreciate fertile soil improved with garden compost, ideally in light dappled shade. Some can also do well in sun, provided the soil does not dry out in summer.

Dislikes

These euphorbias dislike very dry soil. Occasionally, in a very sunny position, the flowers and leaves can scorch.

Did you know?

Euphorbias can be picked as cut flowers. E. amygdaloides var. robbiae is especially good in spring and looks great with tulips in a vase. Wear gloves to protect yourself from the milky sap which can be an irritant when you pick. Dip the bottom of the stems in boiling water for 10-15 seconds to enable them to take up water, which stops them wilting in your display. 

Growing guide

Shade-tolerant garden euphorbias we recommend

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Useful advice

Perennial borders: choosing plants

Perennial borders: choosing plants

Plants for under trees

Plants for under trees

Shade gardening

Shade gardening

Shade planting: annuals, bulbs and perennials

Shade planting: annuals, bulbs and perennials

Shade planting: shrubs

Shade planting: shrubs

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