Euphorbia (Spurge) - Expert tips

How to Care for Euphorbia (Spurge) - Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

Some really popular Euphorbia houseplants include Euphorbia Trigona rubra, Euphorbia Miillii, and Euphorbia Lactea. They kind of look like cacti because they have similar thick parts that hold water. It's easy to get them mixed up! These pretty plants come from the deserts in Southern Africa and Madagascar. This is also where they have evolved new physical features that make them look like cacti.

The botanical name Euphorbia is named after Euphorbos, a famous Greek physician. Euphorbos wrote that one of the cactus-like Euphorbia (now called Euphorbia Obtusifolia) was used as a powerful laxative. In 1753, the botanist Carl Linnaeus first described the entire genus and gave it the name Euphorbia.

Good news for all plant parents out there! Euphorbias are great houseplants. They're not too picky, so they're perfect for both beginners and experienced plant parents. The only thing you need to remember is to put them in a bright spot. So why not give Euphorbia a try?

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Euphorbia Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Make sure to wear gloves when taking care of your Euphorbia plant. These plants have a milky liquid inside that can be harmful to people and pets.
  2. Be sure to give your Euphorbia lots of sunlight. Look for a bright area near a window facing south or west, so it can enjoy the sun for 4-6 hours daily.
  3. If your Euphorbia rubra plant doesn't get enough light for a long time, its colour may fade, and it could grow tall and thin. To keep its bright red colour, make sure it gets lots of bright sunlight.
  4. Make sure not to overwater your plant. Just wait until the whole soil ball feels dry before giving it more water. During winter, they need water less frequently.
  5. Avoid placing the plant near drafty windows or heating vents. They don’t like sudden temperature changes, and it could make them feel stressed.
  6. Use succulent soil mix or combine regular potting soil with perlite or coarse sand. This ensures it will be well-draining and suitable for your Euphorbia.
  7. Choose a pot with drainage holes. A wide, not-so-deep pot is perfect for Euphorbia plants because their roots don't go very deep.
  8. Monitor regularly. Look for anything unusual, like signs of stress or pests, and take quick action if you spot something suspicious.
  9. Be gentle when feeding your Euphorbia, as it's a bit sensitive to too much fertiliser. Just use a half-strength liquid houseplant food once a month during growing season.
  10. Watch for clues that your Euphorbia rubra could be getting too much fertiliser! If you see leaves turning yellow, dropping off, not growing much, or having burned tips and edges, it's time to take a break from feeding your plant.

Euphorbia plant care tips

Light and placement for Euphorbia

The Euphorbia Rubra, like his companions, will love a sunny spot. It also tolerates indirect bright light well. These plants are quite hardy, originating from challenging environments. If your Euphorbia rubra isn't receiving enough bright sunlight, it will communicate its needs through its appearance. Keep an eye on any changes in colour or how it grows to see if it needs more light.

If your Euphorbia Trigona 'Rubra' begins to lose its beautiful red colour, it's telling you it needs more light. They become greener when in shady areas. For the placement, as long as you find a bright spot with indirect sunlight, everything is good.

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Same as all succulents, Euphorbia is not a big drinker, and thus be careful with watering it. This kind of cacti-like plant is super forgiving and won’t be mad at you for irregular watering. The best time to water your Euphorbia Trigona 'Rubra' is when the entire soil has dried. This can vary depending on the environment and pot size, so it's important to check the soil regularly.

Expert tip! If you notice that your beloved Euphorbia drops her leaves during winter, don’t worry! Your Euphorbia goes dormant to focus on her alone time and will shine again in spring.

During the winter months, when days are shorter and darker, your Euphorbia might take a little rest and become dormant. During this period, remember to water it less frequently, allowing the soil to dry out a bit more between waterings. Read more about how to water houseplants.


Your Euphorbia houseplant doesn't need a lot of food. Just give it half a dose of our organic PLNTS Nutrition once a month in spring and summer to help it grow happily.

Temperature & humidity

Keep the temperature around 18-24°C and humidity around 40-50%, and your Euphorbia will be one happy plant in your home. But be aware, if the temperature drops below 15°C during the day, it's a good idea to move your Euphorbia Trigona 'Rubra' away from windows or other drafty areas to protect it from direct exposure to cold breezes.

Repotting & soil

It's time to repot your Euphorbia every 2-3 years or when you spot clues like roots peeking out from drainage holes or when growth has slowed too much. When ready to repot, choose a well-draining succulent soil mix for best results. This light and airy soil will help prevent overwatering.

Expert tip! Euphorbias can grow pretty big and become top-heavy, which means they need a pot that provides stability. A heavy pot made of clay or ceramic is a great choice because it won't easily tip over as a lightweight plastic pot would.

Euphorbia propagation

If you'd like to propagate your Euphorbia and grow more little baby plants, you can do so with some simple steps.

  1. First thing first, we advise you to wear gloves, as the milky sap is quite irritating, and we don’t want our beloved PLNTSparent to be hurt during the process!
  2. Using clean cutting shears or a sharp knife, cut off a healthy stem end from the mother plant, about 12-17 centimetres long.
  3. Allow the cutting to callus or dry for a few days before planting.
  4. To give your new plant the best chance, plant the cutting about 5 to 8 cm deep in a mix of perlite, which helps prevent over-watering. A layer of lava rock can be added for extra support.

Place the pot in a spot with moderate light and keep it warm. Now, just be patient and wait for your new Euphorbia to grow! For the best results, we also advise you to propagate this deciduous succulent in spring or summer when it is hot outside.

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Most common pests on Euphorbia

Most of the Euphorbia face pest problems while growing. The most common are spider mites, mealybugs and plant scale for the leafy varieties. To spot the pests quickly and prevent them from hurting your green friend, you can use a magnifying glass.

If you spot little webs on your plant, the problem is surely spider mites. You are asking yourself, what are these little fluffy white cotton balls on the leaves or stem of your Euphorbia? We can assure you that your plant is suffering from Mealy Bugs! The last possibility is plant scale. These pesky bugs can be brown, green, beige, reddish, light brown or dark brown. They are pretty easy to spot if you have good eyes.

Check our PLNTSdoctor page to recognise and eliminate your plant pests!

Is Euphorbia poisonous for your pets or children?

As we already said before, the milky sap of Euphorbia is poisonous. It’s really irritating for the eyes, mouth or skin. It’s necessary to wash off immediately if it’s in contact with the skin. According to that, it’s not suitable for children or for pets. If you have a dog or a cat, make sure he cannot be in contact with the plant!

Buy your Euphorbia online at

At, we have the most stunning and striking beauty, the Euphorbia Trigona Rubra! We only have her in one size, but you can buy everything to make some cuttings and this way, you'll still see her grow from baby to adult. Isn’t this super cool?! Whether you want your plants to be big right from the start or to grow from tiny baby PLNTS to full-grown PLNTS - buy your Euphorbia online at

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Hi, I'm Emma, your guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your guide!