Donkey Spurge is not the nicest of titles, but the plant is quite pretty in its own quirky way. It’s a wonderful gray-green, with a lovely blue tint that combines with everything. The surprise in spring is the lime-green shirts that celebrate new expansion as well as any spring tulip.
Join me as we discover this wonderful plant that’s been saddled with such a poor name and try to give a little more credit where credit is due.
Caution: When the plant has been broken, its milky white sap may cause a rash somewhat like poison ivy. Keep children and pets away and use gloves when coping with it try not to break the stems.
Dig Your Garden Landscape Design
Botanical name: Euphorbia myrsinites
Common name: Donkey Spurge
USDA zones: 5 to 9 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Low; requires good drainage
Sun necessity: Full sun to light shade
Mature size: 14 inches high and 12 inches wide
Development rate: Moderate
When to plant: Spurge is tough, so it may be transplanted at any given time of year. I love to transplant it in early fall, so it can get established in time to put on new new expansion by spring.
Advantages and tolerances: Drought tolerant; spring color; blue foliage
Cautions: The sap may cause skin irritation and be toxic if ingested. Donkey Spurge is considered invasive throughout many nations in the American West.
Spurge also makes a great indoor plant over winter, as long as it is kept out of reach of children and pets. Try it in a hanging basket.
Verdance Landscape Design
The best way to use it. Spurge’s blue color (far left) is just beautiful in almost any garden and is a fantastic counterpoint to the masses of all green plants in a traditional cottage garden.
I used spurge in this enjoyable and unique hamster wheel, but unlike thicker succulents, spurge lasts just a few weeks within an arrangement.
Spilling over the edges, spurge creates a great waterfall or tracking plant for any bud or structure.
Please do not plant spurge in the West, where it is invasive, but do consider it for different gardens to get a shot of quirky motion, a bit of blue along with an excellent show every spring. It’s a wonderful plant worth researching, although it may be known as Donkey Spurge.