Crown of thorns plant or also known as Euphorbia milii is originally from Madagascar. This plant belongs to a large genus of spiny shrubs and cactus-like succulents in the Euphorbiaceae family. Many hybrids and cultivars develop euphorbia plant varieties based on the colors of the flowers and size.
This Euphorbia miliican be grown in indoor or outdoor. As the thorns are attached to the name of this plant, you can see the thorns cover the branches. The thorns are quite soft to touch so it will not be difficult to grow and care. Here are the ways to grow and have the crown of thorn plants care.
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Euphorbia Plant Varieties
As the popularity of crown of thorn plants skyrockets, many hybrids and cultivars have already developed the varieties of euphorbia plants. Here are some euphorbia plant varieties.
American beauty is one of the varieties of euphorbia, which produces scarlet red flowers.
Hot pink crown of thorns
This variety produces hot pink flowers and love the bright sunny location.
Short and sweet crown of thorns
This type falls into the dwarf category, where the flowers are gorgeous bright red bracts.
Golden crown of thorns
Also known as Euphorbia splendens ‘Dinni’, this plant can grow in a bright and warm location. This plant is also able to tolerate the long dryness.
Red crown of thorns
Having sturdy and strong stems, this plant is popular because of the red traditional blossom color of the flowers. It also holds the enormous and large colorful flowers. The colors of the flowers range from pink, yellow, red, to yellow.
One of the ways to grow Euphorbia milii is by paying attention to the soil. Since this plant belongs to the succulent plant, the soil should be dry. The humus, permeable, and sandy substrate soil seems ideal to this plant. You can mix the soil with the sand, humus soil, peat substrate, loamy soil, gravel, lava granules, or expanded clay. Make sure the soil dry after watering the plant.
Somehow having the fertilizer to the crown of thorns plant is completely unnecessary. You can put the fertilizer in the water every 14 days. Do not spray the fertilizer to the soil. It may cause the roots to rot out. You also should avoid giving the plant the over-fertilization.
Over-fertilization may lead the plant to be weak, few flowers, and the shape of the plant will be long and thin. This plant is also sensitive to boron. If you use hydroponics for the Euphorbia milii, it is recommended to give the fertilizer every three months.
Crown of thorns plant can tolerate a range of conditions. When it comes to light, this plant loves to have full, direct sun and average temperatures. Some hybrids may grow and cause the flower to reduce if it is exposed to the full and direct sun. This plant needs the part shade of the light.
During the winter, 2 degrees Celsius is the lowest temperature crown of thorns plant can survive. Make sure you move the plants to indoor in winter and move it outdoor in the spring and summer.
The need for watering Euphorbia milii can be low to medium. As long as the container or the pot is open and well-drained, you can water the plant regularly. Pouring the water is also important if you want to have the roots of the plant moistened. Spray the water in the top of the substrate layer. Wait for the soil dry before watering it again.
Choosing a suitable container for the types of the crown of thorns is very important. You can keep the plant in the small container to make the plant more steady. The crown of thorns flower will bloom even in the limited root space. In addition, you need to have bigger containers if you grow some hybrid euphorbia.
Crown of Thorns Plant Care
After growing this succulent plant, you can have this plant cared. Here are some ways to have the crown of thorns plant care.
Maintenance and pruning
To maintain the crown of thorns plant of the size and shape, you need to prune. Prune the plant lightly. Cut off the old branches with the withered leaves in the winter. By pruning, it can enhance the new growth of the plant when the spring comes. Remove also the dead leaves and flowers from the top of the soil. This way will enable the soil exposure to air and avoid from the fungal disease.
Disease and pests
Disease and pests rarely happen to Euphorbia milii. However, you need to keep the disease and pests away from the plant. If you keep the plant indoor, the possibility of the plant suffers from the pests like scale insects, mealybugs, or spider mites may happen.
To avoid the pests, clean the foliage with a cotton ball that is dipped in soapy water. You can also try to wash the plant under the running water. Avoid to soak the soil, or the soil will cause the roots to rot out.
Ways to propagate
If you plan to propagate this succulent plant, here are the ways how to propagate crown of thorns.
- Cut the tip of the younger branches during the growing season. Use a clean, sharp blade to cut at the point between the branch and the trunk.
- Soak the cutting quickly into warm water to avoid the sap from wasting out.
- Put the cuttings on the paper towel for few days to drain and have callus ended.
- Prepare the pot and plant the cuttings in the mixture of sand and peat.
- Take the plant and place it in the bright and warm spot without direct sunlight.
- Make sure the soil substrate is moistened the entire time.
- After a few weeks, the first roots will form from the cuttings.
- Put the young plant to the small pot prepared.
- Put the plant in the brighter and full sun place.
In conclusion, the ways to grow and care crown of thorns plant are not that complicated. You just need to pay attention to soil, light, watering, fertilizer, and container to grow the plant. In addition, you can have propagation and maintenance to make the plant grow well.