It has a lot of spin. Though not a cactus, the Euphorbia milii is a succulent. The plant, which is native to Madagascar and can reach a height of six feet under the appropriate circumstances, makes a wonderful houseplant. However, when planting the crown of thorns, make cautious to keep it away from busy areas. The crown of thorns, like many euphorbias, produces a sap that resembles milk and can hurt the skin. Depending on pruning, mature plants can expand to a width of several feet. And those thorns, they’re all over the woody stalks, approximately a half-inch long.
This intriguing succulent has several different names. Euphorbia splendens was its previous name, but splendor seems more fitting for this plant. However, the name “milii” refers to Baron Milius, who brought the plant to France in 1821. The Christ Plant is another name for it occasionally. Through Florida, the crown of thorns was brought to the United States.
One of the succulents that is most frequently mistaken for a cactus is the crown of thorns. However, the fact that the spines don’t emerge from a single areole helps distinguish spiny euphorbias from real cacti. Although we had one that grew to more than two feet before Tim chopped it down and started new plants from the cuttings, as a houseplant, it is unlikely to exceed six feet.
Only in zones 10 and higher is this euphorbia hardy as a perennial, making it a great shrub option. It may bloom practically continuously with only a little warmth and sunlight, minimal watering, and maintenance. We’ve had blossoms all year by putting our crown of thorns in a sunny, south-facing window then sending it outside in the summer once the weather warms.
The poinsettia’s relative, the crown of thorns, had darker red blossoms in its early life than what is now accessible. Smaller thorns are present in new cultivars of Euphorbia milii, but what kind of a challenge is that? The majority of crown of thorn plants that can be grown in pots are smaller than those used in tropical landscaping, and the houseplants’ blossoms only have a half-inch-diameter bloom. However, it doesn’t seem to matter since the flowers are grouped together for starters. And I adore how the teeny, delicate blossoms look on such a prickly plant.
How should a plant with thorns be cared for?
Crown of thorns are low-maintenance plants that can tolerate neglect. Wearing gloves is required when caring for crown of thorns plants, though, as the plant’s latex secretion can irritate the eyes and skin. See the following actions to maintain the health of your crown of thorns:
- 1. Keep your surroundings comfortable. Although they may endure higher or lower extremes, crown of thorns plants thrive best indoors at a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 2. Provide plenty sunlight. Crown of thorns needs three to four hours every day of direct sunlight. Keep your plants in a window that gets plenty of sunshine so they can grow.
- 3.Avoid watering too much. Make sure there isn’t any water accumulating near the roots of your crown of thorns and only water it once the top inch of soil has dried. In the winter, you can skip watering until the top three inches of soil have dried.
- 4.Fertilize. Throughout the fall, spring, and summer, use a liquid fertilizer every few weeks. You can dilute the fertilizer and use it less frequently in the winter when the plant is more dormant.
- 5. Keep an eye out for pests or fungi. Mealybugs, spider mites, and leaf-spotting diseases can all harm crown of thorns plants. By reducing watering, you may prevent plant illnesses, and by removing any old or broken branches that might serve as hiding places for bugs, you can stop the spread of pests. Always cut the stem at the point of origin to promote strong, fresh growth. Utilize our comprehensive guide to learn how to prune your plants.
Crown of thorns is what sort of plant?
Crown of thorns, also known as Christ thorn, is a thorny plant that is native to Madagascar and belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family of spurges. Popular both as a houseplant and a garden shrub in warm climates, crown of thorns. Although it occurs throughout the year, Northern Hemisphere winter is when it occurs most frequently. The common name alludes to the thorny crown that Jesus was made to wear while being crucified, and the flowers’ scarlet bracts stand in for his blood.
Hardy perennial crown of thorns with sturdy gray thorns and oval leaves that wither over time. Although potted plants are much smaller, the sprawling, branching, vine-like branches can grow to lengths of more than two meters (seven feet). Small, unnoticeable blooms are produced in pairs and are encircled by two eye-catching, light red bracts (leaflike structures attached just below flowers). There are numerous kinds with bright yellow or dark crimson bracts. The white milky sap can irritate the skin and eyes and is toxic.
How frequently should a thorn crown be watered?
Water the crown of thorns plant in the spring until late fall when the soil is dry to a depth of about an inch (2.5 cm), or roughly the length of your finger to the first knuckle. Fill the pot to the brim with water to water the plant. To prevent the roots from remaining submerged in water, empty the saucer underneath the pot once all of the extra water has been drained through. Before watering in the winter, let the soil dry to a depth of 2 or 3 inches (5-7.5 cm).
Use a liquid houseplant fertilizer to feed the plant. In the spring, summer, and fall, fertilizer should be applied to the plant’s water every two weeks. Use the fertilizer monthly in the winter, diluted to half strength.
Every two years, in late winter or early spring, repot the plant. Crown of thorns requires potting soil with quick drainage. The best mixture is one made for succulents and cacti. Use a pot that is roomy enough to easily fit the roots. Without endangering the roots, take out as much of the old potting soil as you can. Root rot and other issues might result from potting soil losing its capacity to manage water effectively as it ages.
When handling crown of thorns, wear gloves. If eaten, the plant is poisonous, and the sap irritates the skin. Crown of thorns should not be given to pets because it is harmful to them.
Spreads like a crown of thorns?
The prickly, bushy succulent grows shoots with a two-foot spread and a height of three to four feet. Its stems and branches are covered in half-inch thorns. Grown on short, young stems, the thick, leathery foliage is tough. If moisture stress or significant temperature changes occur, its leaves may get defoliated. The plant blooms sporadically all through the year, however the spring is when there are most blossoms. Pretty bright red or pink bracts encircle the tiny flowers. There are various hybrids with white or yellow blooms available. The plant releases a hazardous latex sap that can irritate the skin. Use it in pots that are low to the ground, succulent gardens, rock gardens, and sunny borders. It can also be utilized in narrow places or along foundations. In sunny areas, this tropical-looking plant thrives as a houseplant. It comes from Madagascar.
Do plants with crowns of thorns require direct sunlight?
One of the first indoor plants is the continuously blooming Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii). With a few exceptions, it requires little maintenance and has a wide range of varieties so that your home always looks cheerfully multicolored.
How is a Crown of Thorns plant cared for? Give your crown of thorns plant warm, direct sunlight, temperatures between 65 and 90 °F (18 and 32 °C), low humidity, and sandy soil that drains quickly. Water when the top inch of soil is dry, prune to keep the form, and fertilize sparingly every two to three weeks with a low-nitrogen fertilizer.
Although it is obvious from the spine-studded stems that it prefers cactus-like circumstances, some unique ways assist make the most of this venerable plant. Although caution must be used when handling, you can enjoy one of the best set-and-forget houseplants ever by following safety precautions and using these growing suggestions.
How quickly do crown of thorns grow?
Because Crown of Thorns grows slowly, cuttings are typically sent either bare root or callused. Many businesses export rooted cuttings with dry roots, however this is usually not a problem because new roots immediately grow. Rooting takes between 14 and 21 days, and while bottom heat is ideal, it is not absolutely necessary.
Should I spritz my thorny crown?
Madagascar is the original home of the Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) species. Baron Milius, a former governor of Runion, is honored with the species’ name because he brought it to France in 1821. The species may have arrived in the Middle East during prehistoric times.
According to a myth, pieces of this plant were used to create the thorny crown that Jesus wore during his crucifixion. This is how the plant got its common name.
The crown of thorns plant is a true gem since it can withstand high temperatures and dryness. In warm climates, you can grow crown of thorns in your garden. One of the rare succulents with actual, thick, fleshy, tear-shaped leaves is Crown of Thorns. The leaves are supported by inch-long, prickly spines on stalks.
Caring for Outdoor Crown of Thorns…
For the greatest blooms, place your Crown of Thorns euphorbia plants in full sun. The plants can withstand salt spray as well.
A crown of thorns plant needs irrigation after transplanting until its root system becomes established, just like any shrub.
You’ll appreciate growing crown of thorns outside as a tiny shrub if you’re fortunate enough to reside in one of the country’s warmer regions.
In U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and higher, plant Crown of Thorns in your garden.
If properly planted, the plant produces a profusion of exquisite blooms all year long. In warm climates, Crown of Thorns makes a fantastic outdoor shrub because of its exceptional tolerance for high temperatures.
Even in temperatures higher than 90 °F, it thrives (32 C.). This flowering succulent doesn’t require much upkeep, so you can add it to your yard.
An outdoor crown of thorns is simple to maintain. Just be sure to keep it away from freezing and frost. Low temperatures for this plant species are not favorable. Depending on where you reside, the plant may become stressed by the cooler temperatures. The plant can resist wintertime lows of 50°F and summertime highs of 100°F.
How to Grow Crown of Thorns Indoors
Lots of sunlight is required for this succulent plant. Place the crown of thorns in a bright, sunny window on the west or south side of your house if you wish to keep it as a houseplant.
The first step in caring for a crown of thorns indoor plant is to situate it in the ideal spot. Three to four hours of direct sunlight every day will be beneficial to the plant.
The plant is simple to grow because it thrives in dry indoor conditions and at average room temperatures. It also overlooks the odd missed feeding and watering without grumbling. Comfortable room temperatures range from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius).
Water the indoor Crown of Thorns plant in the spring through late fall when the soil feels dry to a depth of about an inch, or around the length of your finger to the first knuckle. Fill the pot to the brim with water to water the plant. To prevent the roots from remaining submerged in water, empty the saucer underneath the pot once all of the extra water has been drained through. Before watering in the winter, let the soil dry to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.
Watering Crown Of Thorns…
Despite being a kind of succulent, Crown of Thorns can only keep a small amount of water in its stems. Since the plant has developed to additionally absorb water via its leaves, spraying the plant every day might be beneficial.
In reality, because this plant thrives by the sea, spraying with a dilute saline solution is very effective.
To prevent root rot, the root ball shouldn’t be kept wet for a long time. Weekly watering is recommended, but don’t forget to let the soil totally dry before watering again.
A bright rock garden is a great place to plant when it’s outside. The crown of thorns has an extremely appealing appearance when combined with cactus and other xeriscape-style plants.
As with all cacti and succulents, make sure the soil has sufficient drainage. A suitable well-drained soil choice is a soil mixture with roughly one-third perlite or pumice.
Crown Of Thorn Blooms…
The majority of the spring and late into the summer are when blooms appear. However, the plant can produce flowers all year round under the right circumstances.
Pink, salmon, red, orange, yellow, and bicolor flowers can be found. The attractive part of these hybrids’ terminal inflorescence is a modified pair of bracts known as cyathophylls.
The hybrids’ bracts are typically one inch wide and form terminal clusters with eight cyathophylls on average per cluster. It is not uncommon for flower buds to be set in the axils of individual leaves.
Heads measuring four inches or more are not unusual. The hybrids are day-length insensitive and generate flower buds as long as the plant is growing, in contrast to E. millii, which tends to flower best during the short days of the year.
If the plant is kept in an environment with direct, bright light and colder summers, it will flourish nicely. Set the plant in locations with decent afternoon shade in regions with hot, humid summers to prevent withering. Avoid overusing the shade because it will diminish the amount of flowers that grow.
You could use a prepared cactus soil mixture in outdoor containers. Give the pot lots of drainage holes, and put it somewhere where it will receive a lot of sunlight. To guarantee adequate drainage, start the planting procedure with a layer of gravel on the ground.
You must take the required actions to ascertain the cause if there is a sudden decrease in leaves. This is typically caused by either excessive watering or poor drainage. The leaves might recover their health if the issue is fixed.
Always keep an eye on the condition of your Crown of Thorns plant’s leaves. The presence of sporadic shedding from mature stems is not a concern. However, if all of the leaves abruptly fall off, it means your plant is under stress, which could be harmful.
Very Little Fertilizer For Crowns Of Thorns…
Although the plant only requires a small amount of nutrition, slow-release fertilizer works. Although the crown of thorns plants are healthy even without fertilizers, the development of blooms is aided by an occasional, diluted application of basic fertilizer.
However, as boron is a sensitive micronutrient for plants, pick a fertilizer type without it.
This fascinating succulent grows slowly and doesn’t require a lot of fertilizer. In the spring and during the summer, you should apply a diluted solution of a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) to the landscape once a month. Give four tablespoons of fertilizer per 10 square feet if using granular fertilizer.
What To Do With Crown Of Thorn During Winter Month…
It seems like a smart idea to leave the Crown of Thorns houseplant outside throughout the summer. On the other side, a Crown of Thorns plant can be killed quickly by cold and damp weather, and potted plants can quickly develop root rot.
For this reason, bring indoors container and potted plants before it starts to rain or get cold.
When you bring the crown of thorns plants back outside in the spring, do so gradually. Place your plants outside in partial shadow for one to two weeks to acclimate them before transferring them into the sunlight.
Before acclimatization, be sure that there are no areas of frost hazard.
Crown Of Thorn Diseases And Pests…
In general, illnesses and pests rarely afflict crown of thorns. However, indoor plants can occasionally experience issues with spider mites on the plants, various scale insects, and serving as a host to mealybugs.
Use a cotton ball or cotton swab bathed in soapy water for a brief period of time to wipe the foliage to remove bugs. Additionally, you can wash your plant under running water, but avoid soaking the soil. If not, it might cause a root rot.
We suggest employing a pump-up sprayer. After soaking a tea bag for the night, add a teaspoon of Epson salt, a drop of Dawn dish soap, and then remove the teabag. Regularly using this to provide moisture and battle illnesses works wonderfully.
Maintenance And Pruning…
Remove aging branches in the fall when the majority of their leaves have wilted. When springtime finally comes, this will encourage additional new growth. To keep your plants’ growth and shape, lightly prune them. The crown of thorns is evergreen, however it grows more quickly in the spring and summer due to natural growth patterns.
Get rid of any dead flowers, leaves, and leaves that have fallen to the ground. Both fungal disease and soil aeration will benefit from this. Additionally, remove backdrop leaves, stems, and other ugly stuff.
When trimming, stay away from the plant’s sap. This poisonous, milky, white sap irritates the skin and harms the eyes. In fact, if the liquid gets in your eyes, you could become temporarily blind.
After each usage, properly clean your pruners. The tool should be cleaned with water and a cloth that has been disinfected with rubbing alcohol.
Propagating Crown Of Thorns…
It’s simple to grow extra crown of thorns from tip cuttings if you enjoy having them in your garden. During the growth season, just take cuttings from your younger branches. Cut the branch where it meets the trunk using a clean, sharp blade (such as a razor blade).
To stop the sap from leaking out, quickly submerge the cutting’s tip in warm water.
For a few days, place your cuttings on a piece of paper or newspaper to allow the ends to curl and dry out. Make a pot of soggy sand. Insert a rooting hormone product into the cuttings’ calloused ends. Your cuttings’ calloused ends should be inserted into the soggy ground.
Wait with the pot of the Crown of Thorn in a warm (75F) area with strong indirect light. Wait a couple of weeks before watering your plants. Your cutting will begin to grow roots in a few of weeks. By gently tugging on the cutting, you may determine. If it presents resistance, you can tell that roots have already established. New growth indicators will start to show up after around a month. Start mild watering at this point.