Leggy Euphorbia "bonfire"

Litchfield, NH(Zone 5b)

Dear Euphorbia Enthusiasts:

I have a grouping of 3 "Bonfire" Euphorbia, which get sun all afternoon, and moderate water. They are underplanted with creeping jenny as a living mulch. I planted them in this location this spring, after overwintering them in pots. They have recently become very 'leggy' with just a bit of top growth, and some very naked knees. I know I'd need to be careful for the sap, but is there any reason I shouldn't cut these right back and let them fill back in? I am in zn 5, and it's mid-august, so I'm a bit concerned the new growth might not harden off before winter.

Any input from the Daves' Garden Gurus would be great!

Thank you!


Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Hi Jen,
I don't know the answer. I see several have looked at this thread but haven't answered. I would suggest talking to the people you bought your plants from - or from a garden center like Bluestone Perennials and see what they say.

Litchfield, NH(Zone 5b)


Thanks for answering...I actually got it in trade. I might be able to back track and figure out who from, but I do a lot of trades, so I'm not certain I'd be able to find it in my tracker.

I actually trust real gardeners advice ALOT more than anyone selling anything- call me cynical ;-) but my experience with real people with no 'stake' in a situation is much better.

I'll see what else I can find out. Thanks!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I have 'Bonfire' euphorbia and it does look sparse at this time of year. Often I just cut it back to the ground so it doesn't annoy me looking so scraggly.

Litchfield, NH(Zone 5b)


Great, thanks! You are in a zone close enough to me that I would think if you can do it (without killing it :) then I probably can too.



(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You're welcome. By August mine seem to be screaming for a long winter nap and they always do bounce back, so happily, in spring.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Can you cut them back right now? Or is it too close to winter?

Are they easy to root as cuttings? I need a lot of deer-proof plants and this is one they do not relish. Sometimes a small nip at the top..."ewe...that was enough of that one." I cannot affrord to buy a lot of plants and I have several places that these would be nice.

Holly Springs, NC(Zone 7b)

I would cut them all the way back (ground-level), not just trim. They likely won't grow anything except little leaflets which will chill off but aren't big enough to kill the plant. I'm not in your zone, but that's what I do with perennials that are tender in my zone.

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