Euphorbia tithymaloides 'Variegata'
Japanese Poinsettia, Redbird Cactus, Slipper Spurge, Variegated Devil's Backbone,
Euphorbia tithymaloides f. variegata, Pedilanthus tithymaloides f. variegatus, Pedilanthus tithymaloides 'Variegatus'
Euphorbia tithymaloides 'Variegata', formerly known as Pedilanthus tithymaloides 'Variegatus', is a succulent shrub with green, white-edged leaves arranged alternately on green branches with a zigzag shape. It grows up to 8 feet (2.4 m ) tall, branching profusely from the base. Leaves are ovate, pointed at the tip, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. They are flushed pink or red when flowering or cool winter temperatures occur.
The branches terminate in dichotomous clusters with a short stalk supporting each flower. The floral leaves are bifid and ovate, while the involucral bracts are bright red, irregularly acuminate in shape, with a long, thin tube. The male pedicel is hairy, while the female is glabrous. Flowers generally appear in mid-spring.
This succulent is a variegated cultivar of Euphorbia tithymaloides.
USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect. Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerate wet soil. Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry several inches below the surface. Water deeply, but don't let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.
Euphorbia can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). It is usually propagated by cuttings. This can be tricky because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. They tend to grow problem-free, but there are a few pests and diseases to be alert for.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.
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