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Succulent of the month: Euphorbia trigona

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Euphorbia trigona 'Rubra'
Euphorbia trigona 'Rubra'

Outdoors it grows into a 2m-high sculptural specimen. As an indoor plant its exotic appearance belies its easygoing nature that tolerates neglect.

How to grow As a garden plant, Euphorbia trigona grows in full sun to semi-shade, in soil that drains well. It tolerates poor soil and periods of drought. Let the soil dry out before watering. Because of their shallow roots, outdoor plants easily become top heavy and can be staked or the top cut off; new leaves will grow along the cut. Indoor plants are lower growing, reaching only 1m when mature. They need bright indirect light and can take morning sun. Be careful of over-watering as this causes the plant to fall over. Yellowing foliage is also a sign of over-watering. Let the potting soil dry out before watering again. Repot every two to three years.

Garden uses As an accent or feature plant, combine it with other succulents, such as aloes and bromeliads, that tolerate more sun. The upward growth and red leaves contrast with grey-leaved succulents or as a complement to those with reddish leaves. It is also a popular outdoor container plant but needs a container that drains well.

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