I have a Somona Euphorbia X lomi or “Forever Flower.” I have never cut it back in winter before and it is looking very leggy. It blooms wonderfully and I don’t want to hurt it.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Cindy in Ilinois: Somona Euphorbia X lomi ‘Sonoma’ is a native of Madagascar that is grown as a houseplant in your zone. It is hardy to zone 10 but will not tolerate the winter temperatures in your area. Of course, it would be happy to live outside during the warmer months, just make sure it does not receive too much water if you have heavy downpours of rain for extended periods of time. As far as pruning this succulent, it is not a fast grower so it should not require pruning every year. It sounds like your plant is happy but maybe just a bit leggy. To rejuvenate your plant you will want to wait until the spring to do any major pruning. When spring arrives use a clean, sharp pair of pruners and cut the stems back to a desired height. As a general rule you do not want to remove more than one-third of the height of the plant. As Euphorbias do, your plant will produce a milky sap when pruned; this is perfectly normal and should not be wiped off. If the base of the plant is over-crowded you might consider removing some of the stems to improve air circulation. Continue watering and fertilizing as normal. Give your plant as much direct light as possible and make sue it is planted in a good quality container mix made specifically for cacti/succulents. It is always a good idea to check periodically and make sure the drainage hole is not clogged when dealing with succulents. For now cut back on your watering as well as your fertilizing and wait for spring.