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About
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Basic Care
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Advanced Care
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Pests & Diseases
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More Info
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FAQ

How to Care for Portland Spurge

Portland spurge is a captivating plant with unique qualities. Its small size and attractive foliage make it a perfect addition to any garden. One interesting fact about this plant is its invasiveness; it can quickly spread and dominate its surroundings if not controlled properly. Additionally, portland spurge produces a toxic sap that protects it from predators. Despite its toxicity, this plant is widely used in traditional medicines for its healing properties. Its vibrant colors and unusual growth patterns make it a favorite among plant lovers.
Water
Water
Every week
Sunlight
Sunlight
Full sun
Portland spurge
Portland spurge
Portland spurge
Portland spurge
care_basic_guide

Basic Care Guide

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Cultivation:WaterDetail

How to Water Portland spurge?

Portland spurge needs regular watering about once a week, especially during growing seasons. The plants don’t need great amounts of water during temperate environmental conditions, but during hot summer days they need as much water as any other plant. Portland spurge needs to be watered when the planting medium is dry for 5 cm at the surface. Those grown in indoor environments also need a sufficient amount of moisture during the resting season. To avoid excess moisture in the medium, it is best if small amounts of water are added from below.
Cultivation:WaterDetail
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Cultivation:FertilizerDetail

How to Fertilize Portland spurge?

Portland spurge doesn’t require large amounts of fertilizer for normal growth and development. In fact, very little fertilizer is required. As mentioned earlier, some species can thrive even in very poor soils, as long as those soils are well drained. Fertilizer should only be applied when the plants start showing nutrient deficiency symptoms on lower leaves. When the lower leaves turn yellow, it is time to add half-strength liquid fertilizer to the soil. That will keep the plant well fed for several months.
Cultivation:FertilizerDetail
Cultivation:SunlightDetail

What Are the Sunlight Requirements for Portland spurge?

Spurges naturally grow in places that have plenty of sunlight, but some species can tolerate partial shade (e. g., Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae). Full sun provides the best environment for spurges. If they are grown indoors, spurges need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day for proper development.
Cultivation:SunlightDetail
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Cultivation:PruningDetail

How to Prune Portland spurge?

In early spring, if there are any damaged stems, they need to be removed to keep the plants healthy and to optimize their nutrient management. It is advised to cut back a certain number of stems after blooming in order to stimulate consistent flowering and growth of new foliage. When cutting a stem, cut at the stem’s base. It is very important to use gloves while handling and pruning portland spurge, because their tissues contain milky-white latex sap which is poisonous and can irritate the skin.
Cultivation:PruningDetail
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Advanced Care Guide

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Cultivation:WaterAndHardinessDetail

What is the Ideal Temperature Range for Portland spurge?

Genus Euphorbia is very large and diverse, so its different species can be found in various habitats, but the majority are well-adapted to a temperature range of -29 to 4 ℃. Many spurges, in spite of having succulent leaves, cannot handle long periods without moisture and need to be watered weekly during hot summer days. Some cactus-like species are well adapted to high temperatures and prolonged dry periods, but most species used for landscaping and decorative gardening require more moisture for proper development.
Cultivation:WaterAndHardinessDetail
Cultivation:SoilDetail

What Soil is Best for Portland spurge?

Spurges aren’t picky when it comes to soil type. They can grow in a variety of soils. Some species of Euphorbia can even thrive in nutrient-poor soils, requiring only that the soil be well drained. If the soil is full of moisture and is prone to water retention, it will most likely cause root rot.
Cultivation:SoilDetail
Cultivation:PropagationDetail

How to Propagate Portland spurge?

Portland spurge can be successfully grown from seeds, but the seeds are rarely commercially available because they are difficult to germinate and stay viable only for a short period of time. Portland spurge is most commonly propagated via cuttings.
It is important to wear gloves while working with portland spurge cuttings and to clean the pruning shears thoroughly after pruning, so that any unwanted contact with the sap is avoided. Before planting, it is necessary to leave the cuttings to dry for 2-3 days. This will prevent rot from developing and enable proper formation of the callus tissue. It is advised to plant the cuttings in a soilless medium, such as peat moss, because it provides an optimal environmental for proper root development.
Cuttings should be misted regularly, and the pots in which they are planted need to be wrapped in either foil or a plastic bag to preserve moisture. The bag or foil needs to be removed for two hours each day to provide sufficient air and to prevent excess moisture in the medium. If this step is skipped, molds and rots can easily develop and damage the health of the young, sensitive cuttings. When the cuttings develop a root system, they are ready to be transplanted into soil.
Cultivation:PropagationDetail
Cultivation:PlantingDetail

How to Plant Portland spurge?

Dig a hole twice as wide as the plant’s root ball before planting. Then, turn the container with portland spurge upside down and let the plant slowly fall into your hands. Place the plant upright in the hole and slowly fill in around the roots with loose and fertile potting mixture, adjusting the planting depth until it is just right. Water it once. Do not overwater, as standing water is not good for the plant.
Cultivation:PlantingDetail
Cultivation:HarvestDetail

How to Harvest Portland spurge?

Some species of Euphorbia can be cut for fresh flowers or foliage, such as snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata), Euphorbia fulgens and Euphorbiaformosana. When harvesting cuttings, remember to wear gloves, as the sap can be irritating to the skin. It can be cut from the base of the stem. Soak the end of the cutting in hot water for 10 seconds to stop the milky sap from oozing. The vase life of for the cutting will be about 5-7 days, and some flower food can extend its life.
When the fruits of Euphorbia plants are ripe, they burst and scatter the seeds over a large surface area. In order to harvest all the seeds, the individual fruits or the entire plant must be wrapped in in nylon, gauze, or similar material before the ripe fruit bursts and releases the seeds.
Cultivation:HarvestDetail
care_pet_and_diseases

Common Pests & Diseases

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Common issues for Portland spurge based on 10 million real cases
Scars
Scars Scars
Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Solutions: Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Flower withering
Flower withering Flower withering
Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Solutions: If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible. For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface. In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well. If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
Caterpillars
Caterpillars Caterpillars
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Fruit withering
Fruit withering Fruit withering
Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Solutions: There are a number of appropriate solutions to control fruit withering: Remove any fruit as soon as it shows any signs of infection. Do not compost. Use a fungicide prior to leaf bud and then as per manufacturers instructions throughout the season.
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Scars
plant poor
Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Scars form when the plant repairs wounds. They can be the result of people or pets passing by and scraping the plant. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the plant will heal but a scar may remain.
Pests and pathogens can also cause scarring. Insects may attack the plant for a meal, resulting in extensive scarring when a few invaders turn into an infestation. Diseases such as fungus and bacteria can weaken the plant, causing brown spots, mushy areas, or blisters that lead to scars.
Scars occur on stems when a leaf or bud has been lost and the plant has healed. The harder tissue is like a scab that protects a wound.
On other occasions, scars can signal problems from environmental conditions, such as overexposure to sunlight or heat. It might surprise you to know that plants can suffer from sunburn, even desert dwellers like cactus!
Solutions
Solutions
Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover.
  1. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes.
  2. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray.
  3. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs.
  4. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventing some sources of scarring is easier than others, but all start with careful attention to your plants once you decide to bring them home.
  1. Review specific guidelines for your plant, including soil drainage, watering, and fertilizer requirements.
  2. Inspect plants before planting and use sterile pots and fresh potting soil or media to limit transfer of fungi or bacteria.
  3. Once established, check your plants regularly for signs of scarring or the presence of pests, as it is better to catch problems as early as possible.
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Flower withering
plant poor
Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Overview
Overview
Flower withering occurs when flowers become weak, droopy, wilted, or faded until they can’t be revived. During withering, they begin to wrinkle and shrink until the flower becomes completely dry or dead.
Any flowers, regardless of the plant type or the climate they are grown in, are susceptible to withering. It is a worldwide problem across houseplants, herbs, flowering ornamentals, trees, shrubs, garden vegetables, and food crops.
Unlike wilting—which withering is often confused with—withering can be caused by different things and is often due to more than a lack of water. Withering can be fatal in severe cases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Flower withering progresses from very mild cases to severe occurrences that kill the flower. The severity of the symptoms is related to the cause and how long the condition is allowed to progress before action is taken.
  • Wilted, droopy flowers
  • Petals and leaves begin to wrinkle
  • Brown papery streaks or spots appear on the petals and leaf tips
  • Flowerhead shrink in size
  • Petal color fades
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Complete death of the flower
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The main causes of flower withering include natural age progress, lack of water, nutritional deficiencies, and bacterial or fungal diseases. It’s critical to determine the underlying cause when flower withering is noticed. This will guide the best course of action, if treatment is possible.
Check the soil for moisture and then closely examine the entire plant for signs of nutrient deficiencies. If neither of those appears to be the cause then cut open the stem below a flower. If a cross-section reveals brown or rust-colored stains it is safe to assume that this is a bacterial or fungal infection.
If the flower is nearing the end of its normal lifespan, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence, or cell aging and death. Cell division stops and the plant begins breaking down resources within the flower to use in other parts of the plant.
In all other cases, flower withering happens when the plant seals off the stem as a defense mechanism, stopping transport within the vascular system. This prevents further water loss through the flowers but also stops bacteria and fungi from moving to healthy parts of the plant. Once water and nutrient transport stops, the flower begins to wither and ultimately die.
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Caterpillars
plant poor
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
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Fruit withering
plant poor
Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Overview
Overview
Fruit withering is common on many tree fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and plums, as well as fruiting shrubs. It is caused by a fungal pathogen and will result in wrinkled and desiccated fruit.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Here are the most common symptoms in the order that they are likely to occur.
  1. Both leaves and blossom on the tips of branches will go brown and wither.
  2. Gray powdery patches will appear on infected leaves and flowers, and this will be most apparent after rain.
  3. Any fruit that does appear will turn wrinkled and fail to develop.
  4. Branch tips begin to die, progressing back to larger branches, causing general deterioration of the tree or plant.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The withering is caused by one of two fungal pathogens, one called Monilina laxa and the other called M. fructigen. The spores overwinter on infected plant material and are then spread the following spring by wind, rain, or animal vectors. The problem will start to become noticeable in mid-spring, but will increase in severity as summer progresses and the fungus grows. If not addressed, the disease will intensify and spread to other plants in the vicinity.
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More About Portland Spurge

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Plant Type
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Herb
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Common Problems

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Where should portland spurge be planted the garden?

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The best place for portland spurge in the garden is a sunny spot with loose, well-drained soil.

Are the roots of spurges invasive?

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Most spurges don’t have a tendency towards invasiveness. Species that are commonly used in landscaping and decorative gardening are not invasive. There are some exceptions, though. Leafy spurge (E. esula) is considered to be a very invasive species in Northern America. Its roots and rhizomes are very strong and persistent. Leafy spurge presents a great problem, because it competes with other plants wherever it grows, causing reduced diversity of plant species in the area.

Why won’t my portland spurge blossom?

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If portland spurge has trouble blossoming, it can be due to a lack of sunlight, water, or nutrients. Optimal environmental conditions must be provided, since they are crucial to flowering. If the plants are grown indoors, they should be placed in a spot that gets a lot of sun, as they require at least 6 hours of full light exposure every day.

When does portland spurge need to be pruned?

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Portland spurge should be pruned after blossoming. This ensures that the growth of new flowers and leaves is constant and well distributed. A little pruning can be also done in early spring in order to remove any wilted or dry leaves.

How to save a dying portland spurge?

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Portland spurge grows into a very healthy plant with very little care, which makes them an excellent choice for novice gardeners. There are a limited number of problems that portland spurge encounters, so if anything goes wrong, it will be easy to narrow down the cause. If a portland spurge seems like it is dying, it is probably due to root rot which is progressing into the upper parts of the plant. This problem can be solved only if the rot is in early stages.
It is recommended to remove any infected parts of the plant. Depending on the severity of infection, that may include removing only a part of the root, the whole root, or even some upper parts of the plant. The unaffected parts can be left to dry for a few days and form callus tissue, and then they can be planted in the medium to develop roots and grow into new plants.

Do the flowers of portland spurge have an aroma? Is the aroma poisonous?

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Portland spurge flowers do not have a strong scent. The flower’s aroma is very bitter, because like the other parts of the plant, the flowers contain poisonous latex sap. The sap can cause irritation if it comes in contact with the skin or eyes, and it is very harmful if it is ingested.
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Portland spurge
Portland spurge
Portland spurge
Portland spurge

How to Care for Portland Spurge

Portland spurge is a captivating plant with unique qualities. Its small size and attractive foliage make it a perfect addition to any garden. One interesting fact about this plant is its invasiveness; it can quickly spread and dominate its surroundings if not controlled properly. Additionally, portland spurge produces a toxic sap that protects it from predators. Despite its toxicity, this plant is widely used in traditional medicines for its healing properties. Its vibrant colors and unusual growth patterns make it a favorite among plant lovers.
Water
Every week
Water
Sunlight
Full sun
Sunlight
care_basic_guide

Basic Care Guide

feedback
Cultivation:WaterDetail

How to Water Portland spurge?

Cultivation:WaterDetail
Portland spurge needs regular watering about once a week, especially during growing seasons. The plants don’t need great amounts of water during temperate environmental conditions, but during hot summer days they need as much water as any other plant. Portland spurge needs to be watered when the planting medium is dry for 5 cm at the surface. Those grown in indoor environments also need a sufficient amount of moisture during the resting season. To avoid excess moisture in the medium, it is best if small amounts of water are added from below.
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Never miss a care task again!

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Cultivation:FertilizerDetail

How to Fertilize Portland spurge?

Cultivation:FertilizerDetail
Portland spurge doesn’t require large amounts of fertilizer for normal growth and development. In fact, very little fertilizer is required. As mentioned earlier, some species can thrive even in very poor soils, as long as those soils are well drained. Fertilizer should only be applied when the plants start showing nutrient deficiency symptoms on lower leaves. When the lower leaves turn yellow, it is time to add half-strength liquid fertilizer to the soil. That will keep the plant well fed for several months.
Cultivation:SunlightDetail

What Are the Sunlight Requirements for Portland spurge?

Cultivation:SunlightDetail
Spurges naturally grow in places that have plenty of sunlight, but some species can tolerate partial shade (e. g., Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae). Full sun provides the best environment for spurges. If they are grown indoors, spurges need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day for proper development.
lightmeter

Know the light your plants really get.

Find the best spots for them to optimize their health, simply using your phone.
Cultivation:PruningDetail

How to Prune Portland spurge?

Cultivation:PruningDetail
In early spring, if there are any damaged stems, they need to be removed to keep the plants healthy and to optimize their nutrient management. It is advised to cut back a certain number of stems after blooming in order to stimulate consistent flowering and growth of new foliage. When cutting a stem, cut at the stem’s base. It is very important to use gloves while handling and pruning portland spurge, because their tissues contain milky-white latex sap which is poisonous and can irritate the skin.
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care_advanced_guide

Advanced Care Guide

feedback
Cultivation:WaterAndHardinessDetail

What is the Ideal Temperature Range for Portland spurge?

Cultivation:WaterAndHardinessDetail
Genus Euphorbia is very large and diverse, so its different species can be found in various habitats, but the majority are well-adapted to a temperature range of -29 to 4 ℃. Many spurges, in spite of having succulent leaves, cannot handle long periods without moisture and need to be watered weekly during hot summer days. Some cactus-like species are well adapted to high temperatures and prolonged dry periods, but most species used for landscaping and decorative gardening require more moisture for proper development.
Cultivation:SoilDetail

What Soil is Best for Portland spurge?

Cultivation:SoilDetail
Spurges aren’t picky when it comes to soil type. They can grow in a variety of soils. Some species of Euphorbia can even thrive in nutrient-poor soils, requiring only that the soil be well drained. If the soil is full of moisture and is prone to water retention, it will most likely cause root rot.
Cultivation:PropagationDetail

How to Propagate Portland spurge?

Cultivation:PropagationDetail
Portland spurge can be successfully grown from seeds, but the seeds are rarely commercially available because they are difficult to germinate and stay viable only for a short period of time. Portland spurge is most commonly propagated via cuttings.
It is important to wear gloves while working with portland spurge cuttings and to clean the pruning shears thoroughly after pruning, so that any unwanted contact with the sap is avoided. Before planting, it is necessary to leave the cuttings to dry for 2-3 days. This will prevent rot from developing and enable proper formation of the callus tissue. It is advised to plant the cuttings in a soilless medium, such as peat moss, because it provides an optimal environmental for proper root development.
Cuttings should be misted regularly, and the pots in which they are planted need to be wrapped in either foil or a plastic bag to preserve moisture. The bag or foil needs to be removed for two hours each day to provide sufficient air and to prevent excess moisture in the medium. If this step is skipped, molds and rots can easily develop and damage the health of the young, sensitive cuttings. When the cuttings develop a root system, they are ready to be transplanted into soil.
Cultivation:PlantingDetail

How to Plant Portland spurge?

Cultivation:PlantingDetail
Dig a hole twice as wide as the plant’s root ball before planting. Then, turn the container with portland spurge upside down and let the plant slowly fall into your hands. Place the plant upright in the hole and slowly fill in around the roots with loose and fertile potting mixture, adjusting the planting depth until it is just right. Water it once. Do not overwater, as standing water is not good for the plant.
Cultivation:HarvestDetail

How to Harvest Portland spurge?

Cultivation:HarvestDetail
Some species of Euphorbia can be cut for fresh flowers or foliage, such as snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata), Euphorbia fulgens and Euphorbiaformosana. When harvesting cuttings, remember to wear gloves, as the sap can be irritating to the skin. It can be cut from the base of the stem. Soak the end of the cutting in hot water for 10 seconds to stop the milky sap from oozing. The vase life of for the cutting will be about 5-7 days, and some flower food can extend its life.
When the fruits of Euphorbia plants are ripe, they burst and scatter the seeds over a large surface area. In order to harvest all the seeds, the individual fruits or the entire plant must be wrapped in in nylon, gauze, or similar material before the ripe fruit bursts and releases the seeds.
care_pet_and_diseases

Common Pests & Diseases

feedback
Common issues for Portland spurge based on 10 million real cases
Scars
Scars Scars Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Solutions: Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Learn More About the Scars more
Flower withering
Flower withering Flower withering Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Solutions: If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible. For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface. In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well. If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars Caterpillars Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
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Fruit withering
Fruit withering Fruit withering Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Solutions: There are a number of appropriate solutions to control fruit withering: Remove any fruit as soon as it shows any signs of infection. Do not compost. Use a fungicide prior to leaf bud and then as per manufacturers instructions throughout the season.
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Scars
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Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Scars form when the plant repairs wounds. They can be the result of people or pets passing by and scraping the plant. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the plant will heal but a scar may remain.
Pests and pathogens can also cause scarring. Insects may attack the plant for a meal, resulting in extensive scarring when a few invaders turn into an infestation. Diseases such as fungus and bacteria can weaken the plant, causing brown spots, mushy areas, or blisters that lead to scars.
Scars occur on stems when a leaf or bud has been lost and the plant has healed. The harder tissue is like a scab that protects a wound.
On other occasions, scars can signal problems from environmental conditions, such as overexposure to sunlight or heat. It might surprise you to know that plants can suffer from sunburn, even desert dwellers like cactus!
Solutions
Solutions
Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover.
  1. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes.
  2. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray.
  3. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs.
  4. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventing some sources of scarring is easier than others, but all start with careful attention to your plants once you decide to bring them home.
  1. Review specific guidelines for your plant, including soil drainage, watering, and fertilizer requirements.
  2. Inspect plants before planting and use sterile pots and fresh potting soil or media to limit transfer of fungi or bacteria.
  3. Once established, check your plants regularly for signs of scarring or the presence of pests, as it is better to catch problems as early as possible.
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Flower withering
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Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Overview
Overview
Flower withering occurs when flowers become weak, droopy, wilted, or faded until they can’t be revived. During withering, they begin to wrinkle and shrink until the flower becomes completely dry or dead.
Any flowers, regardless of the plant type or the climate they are grown in, are susceptible to withering. It is a worldwide problem across houseplants, herbs, flowering ornamentals, trees, shrubs, garden vegetables, and food crops.
Unlike wilting—which withering is often confused with—withering can be caused by different things and is often due to more than a lack of water. Withering can be fatal in severe cases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Flower withering progresses from very mild cases to severe occurrences that kill the flower. The severity of the symptoms is related to the cause and how long the condition is allowed to progress before action is taken.
  • Wilted, droopy flowers
  • Petals and leaves begin to wrinkle
  • Brown papery streaks or spots appear on the petals and leaf tips
  • Flowerhead shrink in size
  • Petal color fades
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Complete death of the flower
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The main causes of flower withering include natural age progress, lack of water, nutritional deficiencies, and bacterial or fungal diseases. It’s critical to determine the underlying cause when flower withering is noticed. This will guide the best course of action, if treatment is possible.
Check the soil for moisture and then closely examine the entire plant for signs of nutrient deficiencies. If neither of those appears to be the cause then cut open the stem below a flower. If a cross-section reveals brown or rust-colored stains it is safe to assume that this is a bacterial or fungal infection.
If the flower is nearing the end of its normal lifespan, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence, or cell aging and death. Cell division stops and the plant begins breaking down resources within the flower to use in other parts of the plant.
In all other cases, flower withering happens when the plant seals off the stem as a defense mechanism, stopping transport within the vascular system. This prevents further water loss through the flowers but also stops bacteria and fungi from moving to healthy parts of the plant. Once water and nutrient transport stops, the flower begins to wither and ultimately die.
Solutions
Solutions
If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface.
In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well.
If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
Prevention
Prevention
This is definitely one of those instances where prevention is more effective than cure. Here are some preventative measures for avoiding premature flower withering.
  • Water plants according to their needs -- either keep the soil slightly moist or allow the top inch or two to dry out before watering again.
  • Fertilize lightly on a consistent basis, depending upon the plant’s growth. Quick-growing plants and those that flower or develop fruit will need more frequent fertilizing than slow-growing plants.
  • Purchase plants that are certified disease- or pathogen-free.
  • Look for disease-resistant cultivars.
  • Isolate plants showing disease symptoms to prevent the spread to neighboring plants.
  • Practice good plant hygiene by removing any fallen plant material as soon as possible.
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Caterpillars
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Prevention
Prevention
Prevention may require less effort than attempts to eradicate infestations that have already begun. Here are our top steps for prevention:
  1. Monitor plants. Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  2. Use insect netting. Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  3. Apply diatomaceous earth. Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  4. Encourage plant diversity. This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
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Fruit withering
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Fruit withering
Fungal infection or normal ripening can cause the fruit to dry out.
Overview
Overview
Fruit withering is common on many tree fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and plums, as well as fruiting shrubs. It is caused by a fungal pathogen and will result in wrinkled and desiccated fruit.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Here are the most common symptoms in the order that they are likely to occur.
  1. Both leaves and blossom on the tips of branches will go brown and wither.
  2. Gray powdery patches will appear on infected leaves and flowers, and this will be most apparent after rain.
  3. Any fruit that does appear will turn wrinkled and fail to develop.
  4. Branch tips begin to die, progressing back to larger branches, causing general deterioration of the tree or plant.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The withering is caused by one of two fungal pathogens, one called Monilina laxa and the other called M. fructigen. The spores overwinter on infected plant material and are then spread the following spring by wind, rain, or animal vectors. The problem will start to become noticeable in mid-spring, but will increase in severity as summer progresses and the fungus grows. If not addressed, the disease will intensify and spread to other plants in the vicinity.
Solutions
Solutions
There are a number of appropriate solutions to control fruit withering:
  1. Remove any fruit as soon as it shows any signs of infection. Do not compost.
  2. Use a fungicide prior to leaf bud and then as per manufacturers instructions throughout the season.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventative measures include:
  1. Ensuring adequate spacing between plants or trees.
  2. Staking plants that are prone to tumbling to prevent moisture or humidity build up.
  3. Prune correctly so that there is adequate air movement and remove any dead or diseased branches that may carry spores.
  4. Practice good plant hygiene by removing fallen material and destroying it as soon as possible.
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More About Portland Spurge

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Plant Type
Plant Type
Herb
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Common Problems

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Where should portland spurge be planted the garden?

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The best place for portland spurge in the garden is a sunny spot with loose, well-drained soil.

Are the roots of spurges invasive?

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Most spurges don’t have a tendency towards invasiveness. Species that are commonly used in landscaping and decorative gardening are not invasive. There are some exceptions, though. Leafy spurge (E. esula) is considered to be a very invasive species in Northern America. Its roots and rhizomes are very strong and persistent. Leafy spurge presents a great problem, because it competes with other plants wherever it grows, causing reduced diversity of plant species in the area.

Why won’t my portland spurge blossom?

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If portland spurge has trouble blossoming, it can be due to a lack of sunlight, water, or nutrients. Optimal environmental conditions must be provided, since they are crucial to flowering. If the plants are grown indoors, they should be placed in a spot that gets a lot of sun, as they require at least 6 hours of full light exposure every day.

When does portland spurge need to be pruned?

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Portland spurge should be pruned after blossoming. This ensures that the growth of new flowers and leaves is constant and well distributed. A little pruning can be also done in early spring in order to remove any wilted or dry leaves.

How to save a dying portland spurge?

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Portland spurge grows into a very healthy plant with very little care, which makes them an excellent choice for novice gardeners. There are a limited number of problems that portland spurge encounters, so if anything goes wrong, it will be easy to narrow down the cause. If a portland spurge seems like it is dying, it is probably due to root rot which is progressing into the upper parts of the plant. This problem can be solved only if the rot is in early stages.
It is recommended to remove any infected parts of the plant. Depending on the severity of infection, that may include removing only a part of the root, the whole root, or even some upper parts of the plant. The unaffected parts can be left to dry for a few days and form callus tissue, and then they can be planted in the medium to develop roots and grow into new plants.

Do the flowers of portland spurge have an aroma? Is the aroma poisonous?

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Portland spurge flowers do not have a strong scent. The flower’s aroma is very bitter, because like the other parts of the plant, the flowers contain poisonous latex sap. The sap can cause irritation if it comes in contact with the skin or eyes, and it is very harmful if it is ingested.
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