Euphorbia canariensis

Canary Island spurge
Creates dense colonies of many columnar cactus-like heads over time. Well suited to Californias Mediterranean climate. Avoid poisonous sap on skin, esp in eyes.
height 4–8ft
width 4–8ft
tolerates Coast, Drought, Deer , Gophers, Heat, Pots, Rooftops, Neglect, Salt, Wind
This euphorbia is from a dry climate and likes to go totally bone dry between waterings, making it very low-maintenance. If you see your euphorbia begin to shrivel or lose firmness, your plant is likely totally dry and should be watered.

This plant comes from an area with winter rainfall and is actively growing during that time, when it is forgiving of overwatering errors. During summer dormancy it should be kept extra dry and will be intolerant of overwatering.

Remember that if kept in a small pot your plant will want more frequent watering.
exposure Part Sun – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix
fertilizing All Purpose
origin Canary Islands
13, 16, 17, 21–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Columnar euphorbias can get surprisingly large, so be sure to note the size, and place your plant accordingly.
They respond well to pruning. They will look scarred for a while, but then will push new growth wherever they are pruned, often giving you several new growth points. Take care when pruning, as euphorbias have toxic sap that can cause a skin rash or damage to the eyes (make sure to rinse repeatedly with water if sap gets anywhere near your eyes).
They like a warm sunny exposure but do surprisingly well in shady areas, where their form will stretch out.
As columnar euphorbias grow they will transition from colorful and smooth new growth to dull, brown and rough older growth. This is called corking, and it is totally natural. Think of this like an oak tree where the new shoots are shiny and green, but then eventually you get a trunk covered in rough dull bark.
Soft dark brown spots on Euphorbia are usually a sign of rot. Carve these spots out with a sterile knife immediately (carve all the way back to healthy-looking tissue). Rot usually results from overwatering, but it can also be caused by drastic under-watering. Occasionally this will start at the base of the plant, which means the roots have rotted. If you’d like to save the plant you’ll need to remove the top above the rotten base, let the top sit for two weeks in a shady spot, and then replant in very sharp-draining soil. Place the cutting in a warm spot to re-root, preferably not in harsh sun.