I enjoyed two new-to-me euphorbias in my containers last summer. Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ is a keeper and I’ll definitely have it again this year. The blue-gray, eucalyptus-like foliage is pretty, but the airy sprays of white flowers are fantastic and just stay and stay all summer long.
The other euphorbia that I grew in a pot was less successful. Where it’s hardy (zone 7+), Euphorbia ‘Rudolph’ makes an attractive plant for the perennial border. It has lemon-lime flowers in the spring, dusky, blue-green foliage and reddish stems. The plant was named for its winter color: in cold temperatures the leaves at the end of each stem turn bright red.
This red coloration was still apparent when I bought the plant in a pot last spring. I put Rudolph into a mixed container with about five other plants, including a rambunctious coleus. It looked great to start, but we then had one of the wettest summers on record. Being a native Australian, Rudolph didn’t like soggy weather and never amounted to much. Since its flowers are produced in early spring and its foliage color appears in late fall and winter, I question its value as a plant for summer containers.
That said, I’m not giving up quite yet. Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ has a habit that’s similar to Rudolph, but its foliage is variegated with blue-green, cream, yellow and hints of pink. Wow. So I plan to try this one on its own in a terra-cotta pot on the west side of my house. It’s the most Australia-like conditions that my northern Vermont garden can produce.