A Crown of Thorns plant, Euphorbia milii, or Christ Plant, is a bushy, slow growing, succulent plant native to Madagascar. According to legend, a Crown of Thorns plant got its nickname after it was associated with the Crown of Thorns worn by JesuOutdoors, in areas where the temperature stays above 55°F (12.8°C), this plant is a tall, woody, flowering bush with stems covered in sharp spines. It can sometimes reach a height of 5-6ft (1.5m-1.8m). A Crown of Thorns plant is one of the most popular types of indoor euphorbias, second only to the poinsettia.
Crown of Thorns Plant Description
As a houseplant, a Crown of Thorns plant can reach a height of 3ft (.9m) and a width of 2ft.(.6m). Like the outdoor variety, these plants have clusters of bright green, tear shaped leaves. The fleshy, dark brown stems are covered in sharp 1/2” thorns and a sticky substance that gets on your hands when you touch the plant. Like a poinsettia, the most beautiful part of a Crown of Thorns plant is the bright, colorful bracts that surround very small flowers. The bracts can be red, yellow, or pink and appear at the ends of 2” stalks. The more intense the light, the longer and more often a Crown of Thorns plant blooms.
Quick Care Tips for a Crown of Thorns Plant
Taking care of this plant is quite simple if you remember a few things:
Provide as much light as possible, but no direct sun.
Water less during the winter when the plant is not actively growing.
A Crown of Thorns plant likes warm in temperatures above 55°F (12.8°C)
Repot every few years in the spring.
Propagate using Stem CuttingsLearn how to propagate plants using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, cane cuttings, and branch cuttings. in the spring and summer
Quick Care Tips for A Crown ofThorns Plant
The unique and unusual looking Crown of Thorns plant is quite a conversation piece. It is an undemanding plant that thrives in very bright areas of your home and loves to spend the summer outside in a shady spot. However, it is a poisonous plant, and the milky, white sap is toxic to cats, dogs, and humans. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.
The stems of a Crown of Thorns plant get mushy and the leaves turn yellow and fall off when the soil of the plant is too wet. Move your plant to a warm, bright location with good air circulation. Allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before you water again.
If you want to propagate a Crown of Thorns plant use stem tip cuttings that are about 3”-4” in length. This is a succulent houseplant so be sure to allow the ends of the stem tip cuttings to dry out for a few days and form a callus on the ends before planting them.
A Crown of Thorn plant needs as much bright, indirect light as possible in order to flower. Using a plant food low in nitrogen and high in phosphorous encourages a Crown of Thorns plant to produce more flowers than leaves.
The best way to prune a Crown of Thorns plant is to cut back a lateral branch to the height you want the plant to be. Wherever you prune, spray the cut with cold water to stop the latex sap from flowing. You can use 3 or 4 inches of the stem tip cuttings to start a new plant.