Euphorbia rigida (Gopher Spurge) is an evergreen perennial, ornamental shrub that grows up to 50 cm (20 in) tall and broad, with attractive steel blue-green, up 1.5 inches, lance-shaped leaves arranged in tight spirals around the thick upright stems. In late winter and spring at branch tips appear the domed clusters of small, green flowers with showy chartreuse-yellow bracts that age to a reddish tan color, as the flowering stems die back. The leaves can take on these red hues in late fall as well. All parts of this plant are toxic if eaten. When cut or broken, the wounds leak a milky sap which can cause skin irritation. Keep it away from children.
Scientific Name: Euphorbia rigida M.Bieb.
Synonyms: Euphorbia biglandulosa, Euphorbia phlomos, Euphorbia pungens, Euphorbia suffruticosa, Galarhoeus rigidus, Tithymalus biglandulosus, Tithymalus rigidus.
Common Names: Upright Myrtle Spurge, Gopher Spurge, Silver Spurge
How to grow and maintain Euphorbia rigida (Gopher Spurge):
It prefers full to partial sunlight. Provides good sunlight at least 3-5 hours of the day, and turn it regularly so that your plant doesn’t begin to grow lopsided.
It grows well in well-draining, gritty soil or cactus potting mix. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerate wet soil.
You can allow the soil to dry out between each watering. Before watering the plant check underneath the pot through the drainage holes to see if the roots are dry. If so then add some water. Do not water too often to prevent overwatering, that can potentially kill it off.
It prefers an optimal temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit – 85 degrees Fahrenheit / 16 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius.
Fertilize every two weeks with a diluted balanced liquid fertilizer during its growing season in the spring and summer. Avoid fertilizing your plant during the fall and winter months.
It can be easily propagated by cuttings. Take cutting in spring, which needs to be dried out for a couple of weeks in shade before potting. This can be tricky, because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. Also can be propagated from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate.
Pests and Diseases:
Euphorbia may be susceptible to mealy bugs, scale insects, occasionally spider mites.