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Description

Silver spurge is herbaceous shrub that produces many upward growing stems to 2 ft. high and 3-4 ft. across. It has distinctive silvery gray leaves attached to succulent stems; chartreuse flowers cluster at the top of stems in early spring for a bright display of color. The succulent stem die after flowering is complete and should be cut away to allow new stems to emerge. The sap of this plant is highly caustic and care should be taken to avoid contact to skin and eyes.

The silver spurge is well suited to southwestern style gardens where it can be mixed with cacti and succulents on dry slopes and banks. It is highly adapted to heat, sun and low amounts of summer moisture. It easily reseeds in most gardens and will produce additional plants; some can be removed while others retained to add to the garden planting.

Water Needs

Silver spurge grows with ease in sunny garden locations on well drained soils and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Succulent, Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Spreading, Compact
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Blue green
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Rocky soil, Calcareous soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Near pools and water features, Grouped, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Borders, Banks, Small spaces

Maintenance

Cut back flower stems all the way to the ground after they finish flowering (4). If seeds are left to mature after flowering, they will likely grow new plants scattered around the garden (S). When pruning any Euphorbia, always wear eye protection and gloves, and avoid contact with the highly irritating white sap. If it gets on you, wash it off immediately (S).

References

Associations

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