Crown Of Thorns Plant
Crown Of Thorns Plant: In Thailand it is said that the number of flowers on a Euphorbia crown of thorns plant foretells the luck of the plant keeper. Over the past 20 years, hybridizers have improved the plant so that it produces more and larger flowers (and if the saying is true, better luck) than ever before. In the right setting, hybrids of Euphorbia (crown of thorns) bloom almost year round.
Crown of Thorns Plant Care is not difficult, and it rewards you with its never-ending colorful blooms. Find out everything in detail in this Growing Crown of Thornsguide.
Crown Of Thorns Plant Care
From spring through late fall, water the crown of thorns plant when the soil is dry at a depth of about an inch, which is about the length of your finger to the first knuckle. Water the plant by flooding the pot with water. After all of the excess water has drained through, empty the saucer under the pot so that the roots aren’t left sitting in water. In winter, allow the soil to dry to a depth of 2 or 3 inches before watering. Feed the plant with a liquid houseplant fertilizer. Water the plant with the fertilizer every two weeks in spring, summer and fall. In winter, dilute the fertilizer to half strength and use it monthly. Repot the plant every two years in late winter or early spring. Crown of thorns needs a potting soil that drains quickly. A mix designed for cacti and succulents is ideal. Use a pot that is large enough to accommodate the roots comfortably. Remove as much of the old potting soil as possible without damaging the roots. As potting soil ages, it loses its ability to manage water effectively, and this can lead to root rot and other problems. Wear gloves when working with crown of thorns. The plant is poisonous if eaten and the sap causes skin irritations. Crown of thorns is also poisonous to pets and should be kept out of their reach.
If you’re looking for a plant that thrives in the conditions inside most homes, try the crown of thorns plant (Euphorbia milii). Growing the plant is easy because it adapts well to normal room temperatures and in dry indoor environments. It also forgives occasional missed waterings and feedings without complaint. Crown of thorns houseplant care begins with placing the plant in the best possible location. Place the plant in a very sunny window where it will receive three to four hours of direct sunlight each day. Average room temperatures of between 65-75 F. (18-24 C.) degrees Fahrenheit are fine. The plant can withstand temperatures as low as 50 F. (10 C.) in winter and as high as 90 F. (32 C.) in summer.
If you’re growing crown of thorns outdoors, choose a sunny location that is windy. When growing indoors or on a balcony, locate it near the Southern or Western window, where it can receive part sunlight to full sunlight and proper air circulation. In can tolerate shade as well, but grows poorly without flowers.
Tip: It’s a great low care plant for dry, windy, and coastal locations.
Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii) is not picky about soil, as long as it is light and drains well. Succulent or cactus soil mix of gritty and light texture is the best. Although it can grow in poor soil, you can still add a small amount of compost and organic matter at the time of planting.
It is a drought tolerant plant that stores water in its thick stems, which means it doesn’t need regular watering. Infrequent and occasional but deep watering is required, only when the top 2 inches of soil is dry. Keep this plant on a drier side to get more blooms but do remember that too much lack of water for a long time causes the leaves and blooms to fall off from this plant.
Tip: If you’re growing crown of thorns in a cool climate, reduce watering in winters.
The plant does well in lack of nutrients and usually go on without fertilizer when growing on the ground. Though in container culture, it requires fertilizer but in a small amount. Apply quarter (1/4) strength balanced liquid fertilizer every month in the spring and summer. In hot climates, you can fertilize year round. If you’re using granular fertilizer, feed the plant once in 3 months.
Note: Reduce or increase the fertilizer strength according to your plant’s requirement.
Tip: Feed the plant with a fertilizer that is boron-free or has low levels of this micronutrient. Crown of Thorns is extremely sensitive to increased boron levels in the soil.
Temperature and Humidity
This is a desert plant and prefers warm growing conditions. Temperature above 65 F (18 C) is optimal for its growth. In cold climates, when the temperature goes down, the crown of thorns starts to slow down its growth or become dormant.
Crown of Thorns plant doesn’t care about humidity levels and grows well in the dry air.
Tip: Keep it away from cold drafts, frost, and freezing temperatures.
Jesus Crown Of Thorns Plant
The Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) is an evergreen succulent that produces colorful bracts of red, pink or orange colors around the mini flowers like the poinsettia, continuously. It’s named Crown of Thorns due to a legend that the Thorny Crown of Jesus was made from this plant’s stems.
This easy-care succulent houseplant is originated in Madagascar and can be grown indoors year-round in any part of the world. In areas with frost-free winters, growing Crown of Thorns outdoors is possible.
It is an ideal outdoor plant for tropical, seaside locations since the plant thrives in a salty environment. It also handles drought so well, perfect for dry regions with water scarcity.
Crown Of Thorns Plant Leaves Turning Yellow
Despite its somewhat off-putting name, crown of thorns is a very pretty succulent plant that can bloom almost year round, even indoors. Although crown of thorns can grow into a woody shrub, it is also an ideal houseplant for most homes. It likes the same room temperature that people enjoy and it can handle the lack of humidity prevalent in most homes during the winter.
The name Crown of Thorns is derived from the belief by some that the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ at his crucifixion was made from stems of this plant.
Caution: Besides the sharp black thorns on its main branches and stems, the sticky, latex sap from broken leaves and stems can be a skin and eye irritant. If ingested, all parts of the plant are toxic to people and pets.
- Leaves – The thick, bright green leaves grow along the new stem growth.
- Flowers – The true flowers are small and green, surrounded by showy bracts in red, orange, pink, yellow or white.
Crown of Thorns, Christ Plant, Christ Thorn, Corona de Criso
Crown of thorns is only perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 – 11. In colder climates, it is often grown as a houseplant.
As with most flowering plants, the better the sun exposure, the more blooms you will get. However, crown of thorns will reliably bloom as long as it gets at least 3 – 4 hours of bright, direct sunlight per day. Outdoors, aim for a spot full sun. Indoors, place your plant in a west or south facing winter during winter.
Crown of thorns will repeat bloom throughout the year. The actual flowers are the insignificant green centers, but they are surrounded by showy bracts that look like colorful petals.
Mature Plant Size
Outdoors, crown of thorns will grow into a shrub reaching 3 – 6 ft. tall. As a houseplant, expect it to reach only about 2 ft. in height.
Crown Of Thorns Plant Outdoors
Give the plant plenty of room outdoors. You do not want to accidentally back into it. Crown of thorns makes an excellent specimen plant. Give it some renewal pruning at the end of the season, cutting away any older, fading leaves to encourage new growth.
Container grown crown of thorns can spend the summer out of doors wherever you need color or interest. Be sure to bring it inside before nighttime temperatures dip below 50 degrees F.
Of course, you can keep your crown of thorns indoors all year. In a bright window, it will perk up any season.