The Euphorbia milii gets its common name Christ or plant crown crown of thorns plant because there is the legend that this was the plant that was used for making his crown of thorns. This plant, from Madagascar, is a shrub that reaches, and even exceeds, heights of 1 meter and stands out for the red or pink bracts of its flowers, which are very showy.
It is a very hardy succulent plant that can flourish throughout the year in the right climate and conditions. If you want to learn more about how to care for the crown of Christ’s plant, keep reading us in this Green Ecology article where you will find a guide to caring for the crown of Christ’s plant.
Climate for the crown of thorns plant
Due to its original tropical habitat, this plant cannot withstand low temperatures or exceptionally hot and dry summers. The thorns of Christ plant should ideally be kept at temperatures between 20ºC and 35ºC .
Cold winters can do a lot of damage or even kill it, never exposing it to temperatures below 5 ºC, not even occasionally.
Location and light for the crown of Christ
Is the crown of Christ plant sun or shade? The answer is definitely the first option. The Euphorbia milii better develops and produces more flowers when it is exposed to full sun, even in warm climates. So, if you want to enjoy the flower of the crown of Christ , find it a location that is as sunny as possible .
It may happen that, if your crown of Christ was indoors and you move it to a place in full sun, it suffers from burns on some leaves due to lack of habit. However, in a few days or weeks the plant will have adapted without any problem and will recover quickly.
Substrate for the crown of Christ
The crown of Christ is not demanding with its substrate other than in one characteristic: the drainage. The plant does not need a soil that is very rich in nutrients, but it does need a substrate that does not retain water or moisture for too long .
If you plant in a garden, find an area where the water does not stagnate when you water. If you grow it in a pot, prepare a mixture with peat moss and river sand or coconut fiber, which lighten and improve the drainage capacity. A little bit of vermiculite and perlite will also help.
Watering the crown of Christ plant
The thorn of Christ is a very rustic species as far as drought resistance is concerned. It can withstand long seasons without watering and, in fact, is grateful to have them. Water your Euhprobia milii only when the substrate has completely dried , even just beyond the top layer. Then apply abundant watering to the plant , but always without flooding it, a detail that is why it is so important that your crown of Christ have the best drainage soil possible.
If you grow your thorn plant in a pot , make sure the pot has drainage holes. If you put a plate under it, always empty it about 20 minutes after watering so that it does not reabsorb the water and suffers from puddling.
In winter, space your waterings even more, especially if the temperature is low, since the humidity in the ground can do a lot of damage in conjunction with the cold.
Fertilizer for the crown of thorns plant
This plant does not need fertilizer although, like all plants, a small dose can help with flowering. You can use specific fertilizer for succulents well diluted in water. It is very important that it does not contain boron, as it does not suit you.
Do not apply too much and, if you are not clear about the amounts, in this case it is better to be lacking than excess: if you fertilize it too much it will not flower.
Pruning the crown of Christ
The plant does not require pruning either, although if you want to control its growth and shape, the best time to do it is in summer .
How to prune the crown of Christ has no secret: sterilize the tools and cut off the parts that have grown too much. After the summer, in autumn, you can remove the withered leaves and branches so that in the next season the euphorbia stimulates its growth.
Wear thick gloves and watch out for their spines and latex, which is irritating. In fact, wearing safety glasses can also save you annoyance with small splashes.
How to reproduce the crown of Christ or thorns plant
The crown of Christ seeds are perfectly valid for the reproduction of the plant, but it is more common to multiply it by cuttings, since it is also very simple and much faster.
- To multiply by cuttings, cut a stem or a section of the central stem in the growing season.
- Store it on absorbent paper for 3 days to let the cut dry.
- After this time, moisten the area of the cut and plant the cuttings of the crown of Christ plant in seedlings or small pots.
- Place them in a warm and well-lit area but without direct sunlight. You can use homemade or specific rooting before planting them, which will help an even faster and more optimal adaptation.
- Keep the substrate slightly moist for the first few weeks, until the cutting takes root, and after a month, move it to its final location, either a large pot or the ground.
Why is my Christ crown plant not blooming
If your crown of Christ plant does not give flowers, it can be mainly due to two main reasons: it is not receiving enough light or it is too cold. Move your euphorbia to a warmer and brighter location, avoiding excessive proximity to air conditioners, heaters, or other artificial heat sources.
However, it can also happen that you have exceeded your subscriber or that you have not used a specific one for plants of its type and, therefore, it costs a lot to flower and does not get to do it or does it in little quantity and late.