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Euphorbia dying

(10 Posts)
Bellaciao Mon 12-Oct-15 16:15:07

This is a long shot. Never posted anything about gardening before but hopefully someone might know? Can't be bothered to join a gardening forum!
Bought a Euphorbia (Craigieburn) earlier this year and put it in a pot in a shady corner (ie not actual shade like a tree but very little sun excepot midday high summer) along with other plants - to try to brighten up a walled corner. It's dying I think! Moved it to semi-sun area facing East where my geraniums and other plants are thriving, to no avail.
I thought it was evergreen? All the outermost leaves of the (once lovely) purple whorls are now going brown and dropping off. There look like to be some new shoots (whorls) close to the soil but seem a bit scrutty.
T'internet info says it's easy to grow....
It's been dry, wet and anything in between
Hmm - any ideas?
Ta muchly

pizzaeatingmonkey Mon 12-Oct-15 17:18:02

My euphorbia has lovely new branches every year, after it's finished flowering and has set seed, I prune the old branches back to the ground just as the new ones are popping up, they then become the flowering stalks in the spring.

aircooled Mon 12-Oct-15 20:58:00

I've just googled this - it's gorgeous, I can understand why you're upset it appears to be dying! I have the boring, non-purple E. amygdaloides which looks tatty now/during the winter but when cut back in Spring produces fresh new growth. You could try cutting off the `flowered' stems which should produce new shoots from the base.

It would be so much happier in the ground, could you split the plant and put half in a border to see how it gets on?

shovetheholly Tue 13-Oct-15 08:03:32

I have a lot of this in my garden! It looks great next to really zingy green foliage (I have a very bright lime oregano plant right next to it).

It does tend to go a bit scratty this time of year, and springs back in the spring. (I give it a chop after it's flowered in early summer, and it sulks with me for a few weeks then starts growing again).

However, it does sound like it's really struggling. Has it dried out in the pot over the summer? (It will tolerate dry shade, but it still needs some moisture).

My experience with these is that they don't like being moved very much, in spite of what the books say, and that they don't like deep, damp shade. I would get it into a partial shade position, with loads and loads of compost and a bit of drainage, and just leave it be - and hope!! You could trim back some of the dying foliage to get it to concentrate on new growth too.

Bellaciao Tue 13-Oct-15 14:49:34

Thanks so much. I had it in a shady corner as I said so probs too shady - the other things in the corner are a massive tub of ferns (Dryopteris), Fatsia, Hostas, Astilbe, Ivy, small Acer ( this doesn't look too good either) and a Viburnum. They all got the same amount of water which is daily in summer - I just go around liberally with the hose - and not when it's rained.
The Euphorbia didn't flower - I think I must have bought it post flowering - maybe late May/June? I really wanted it for this corner - it looked lovely when I first potted it up with all the other plants! However I will now chop off the scrutty (scratty?) looking stems put it in the garden and see what happens!

Cheers!

shovetheholly Tue 13-Oct-15 14:52:24

Yes - it sounds like you bought it just after it had flowered! Mine are normally out May time. Which gives me a sudden brainwave - apologies because this is a very, very basic question and you sound really clued up - but it's not the old flowers that are going brown is it? Because they do look awful after flowering and need a clear out.

Be careful as you chop it - the sap is quite irritating on the skin. It's definitely a job for gloves!

Bellaciao Tue 13-Oct-15 19:23:00

It's OK thanks, I am familiar with Euphorbia and can identify lots of wild flower spp in various habitats (including the wild Euphorbia amygdaloides!) - just not so good on gardening varieties. I know what Euphorbia flowers look like.

This was, when I bought it, a beautiful deep purple foliage plant with the whorls of leaves as expected from Euphorbia. No sign of flowers alive or dead. It is only fairly recently that the lower leaves (ie the lower stem parts) have been going brown and dropping off so the stems are looking really bare leaving just the top purple whorl. Most definitely foliage! I moved it a couple of weeks ago as I said above, when it started looking like this (or rather when I noticed!) but it's still happening. I haven't been watering it recently as we've been having intermittent rain although lots of dry days ( SW England).

Perhpas I am just not used to it - just that I thought it was evergreen so thought it would look good all the year round!

Thanks for your reply. Think I'll post other gardening Qs as they occur to me as it sounds like there are some knowledgeable peeps around! smile

shovetheholly Wed 14-Oct-15 10:02:26

I wonder if it simply needs a prune. Many Euphorbia flower on the last year's growth, so I cut out all the flowering heads in summer (after which the plant looks a bit of a state) to allow new growth to begin for the next spring's flowers.

They are semi-evergreen, a bit like certain geraniums - they'll keep leaves over the winter, but they don't necessarily look their absolute best. They do get a burst of activity and new growth once the weather starts getting warmer in the spring. Mine actually look quite dull in colour until the light returns, when they flush red again.

Bellaciao Wed 14-Oct-15 16:19:36

Great thanks! I'll give it a chop and see what happens before putting it in the garden then.

K1mberly Sat 24-Oct-15 23:25:55

It says here

www.rightplants4me.co.uk/content/plant?PlantID=2583&LatinName=Euphorbia%20amygdaloides%20'Craigieburn'

That each shoot dies after two years . So if it's a small plant and only had a few shots, that might be the reason. You will get more in the sping

They can stand dry conditions, so perhaps it was unhappy in the shade

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