Cushion spurge (Euphorbia polychroma)

Looking for a petite bushy stunner for your landscape design? Consider adding Euphorbia polychroma, which is also known as cushion spurge. Reaching 18 to 24 inches tall, this mounding perennial is cold hardy in USDA planting zones 4 through 8. The brilliant chartreuse (yellow-green) blooms standout in the spring landscape. Considered drought tolerant, cushion spurge is a good choice for rock gardens or a border along a walkway. In the fall, foliage of cushion spurge turns red.


Plant in early fall in a well-drained location. Cushion spurge prefers full sun but can handle some shade. Depending on the variety, cushion spurge can spread 18 to 36 inches. Read the label for the spread and use that number to determine how far apart to set multiple cushion spurge plants. Plant closer for a solid mini-hedge. Dig the hole for cushion spurge about twice as wide as the container to loosen the soil. Dig the hole as deep as the container is tall. The top of the root ball should be level with the surrounding ground.


Water every seven to 10 days if there is no rainfall. Apply 1 to 2 inches of mulch to help retain moisture and block weed growth. Cut back about one-third of a cushion spurge plant after it blooms, which prevents self-seeding and encourages new growth for a fully plant. Cushion spurge grows best if roots are not disturbed. However, if the plant has become too large for the location, dig it up in the spring when new growth first appears, divide the root ball, and replant.

Image courtesy of  Ty von Sevelingen, Wikimedia Commons

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