Why Does a Crown of Thorns Plant Lose Leaves

We have a crown of thorns that my wife grew from cuttings. The cuttings rooted, grew, flourished all winter in an East exposure window, full sun, flowered wonderfully starting in mid Feb. Recently – last 2 weeks, leaves began to get light green, then yellow and then fall off. Care has remained same. Do Crown of Thorns go through a cycle of dormancy where this leaf loss is normal? If not, what might be the need.

Hi Jeff,

It is really quite common for a Crown of Thorns to lose leaves. These plants do like a dormancy or rest during the winter months. It’s a good idea to allow the soil to become dry and to water sparingly during the winter. The plant will drop a few leaves during this time. This 2 or 3 month rest allows the plant to grow and bloom again for another season.
Your plant is probably demanding the rest it requires. Cut back on your water and do not fertilize for at least a month. Expect some leaf drop. New buds should start to appear in about a month. Resume your normal watering and feeding schedule. You can read all my care tips in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.