Bye, Bye Boring… Hello Blackbird! Euphorbia Euphoria in Pots

June 24th, 2012 § 4

Euphorbia hybrid ‘Blackbird': Here on the Studio Balcony in an Oxblood Pot with Senecio mandraliscae and Sedum ‘Sunset Cloud’

Oh my, would you look at this smoldering, velvety loveliness! What a dark, gorgeous beauty! From the moment I saw this stunning spurge, my heart went a flutter and all I could think was, “Bye, bye boring container… Hello beautiful Blackbird”. I think I have found true Euphorbia euphoria! While out shopping for my client’s containers, I couldn’t help but notice that there are some gorgeous, marginally-hardy spurge hybrids moving into garden centers in my neck of the woods. And among them, so far ‘Blackbird’ is my absolute favorite.  I always fall hard and fast for the dark ones!

If you are lucky enough to live in zone 6 or a warmer locale, this beautiful Euphorbia hybrid will be easy to overwinter in beds and borders. But here in zone 4/5, I will be enjoying ‘Blackbird’ and her sexy friends —colorful Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ and succulent Senecio mandraliscae— sunning on the deck. Given good drainage and full or mostly sunny locations, spurge are easy plants to please. Stunning in springtime with their contrasting lime-green to chartreuse-gold blossoms, the Euphorbia have long been among my perennial garden favorites. But why limit yourself to terra firma and zone appropriate choices? Wild combinations and experimentation on your mind? Well, that’s what containers are for! Summer love with no commitments! And what seasonal fun I am having up on my Secret Garden’s roof!

Euphorbia hybrid ‘Blackbird’ is hardy in zones 6-10, requires excellent drainage, ample sun and a lover of bold color. At maturity, she forms a lovely 18-24″ mound, so give her plenty of room and situate her near some colorful companions. Imagine the shimmering gold, copper and ice-blue possibilities! Kaleidoscopic, eye-popping candy for the container garden!

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§ 4 Responses to “Bye, Bye Boring… Hello Blackbird! Euphorbia Euphoria in Pots”

  • Barbara says:

    This is ingenious! I love the look of euphorbia but am lacking space in the garden (also zone 3a/3b, borderline 4). What special conditions do you think it would need to overwinter in a pot (besides being brought indoors)? Thanks for such lovely posts and photos.

  • Michaela says:

    Hi Barbara, Thank you for the sweet compliments and comment! Most Euphorbia overwinter indoors, in cold climates, very well if their cultural conditions continue to be met. Most Euphorbia are regarded as succulents, and they prefer heat and fast draining soil. A bit of shade is OK in summer, but a south-facing window (without drafts) is best for most Euphorbia. Alternately a glassed in room, greenhouse or similar conditions would work. If none of these are possible, then I might suggest overwintering as you would any other less-than-hardy perennial. Cut the plant back, restrict watering and store in a space where the temps may go below freezing but not sub-zero. An attached, unheated garage, enclosed root cellar or bulkhead all are worth trying. I have overwintered Euphorbia hybrid ‘Ascot Rainbow’ with success. I have yet to try this beauty! If you decide to give it a go, let me know how it all turns out! xo Michaela

  • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Senecio mandraliscae aka Fish Hooks” and “Blue Chalk Sticks”: Oh My Gawd what wonderful names this plant has… and that colour? Wowsa!!

  • Michaela says:

    Hi Deb, I agree! The folk names of plants are often fabulous, and have always fascinated me. Fish Hooks is just great!