How to Grow and Care for Crown of Thorns Euphorbia milii
I have more than one buddy who is offbeat, charming, and cheerful – but prickly and off-putting every now and then.
One of my favorite houseplant friends, the crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii) has that same personality.
It’s a bit odd looking, with the inch-long, sharp spines covering the otherwise bare stems, and just a few leaves on the tips of the branches.
Along with its offbeat appearance, E. milii has beautiful blooms and is one of the few houseplants that can flower most of the year without much maintenance.
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The showy, day-brightening “flowers” are composed of small florets held in colorful bracts that look like rounded flower petals of pink, red, white, yellow, or variegated combinations.
A few varieties sport more greenery, but most types of E. milii look like cacti or barbed wire with sparse green leaves at the stem tips.
Scratchy spines notwithstanding, this plant is not a cactus, but a hardy succulent – easy to propagate and undemanding in its growing requirements.
Sounds fun, right? But there are a few sticking points with this blooming indoor plant.
Literally! The spines can give you a sharp jab, so you’ll want to wear thick garden gloves when you repot, move, or prune these plants.
Unlike many pet- and kid-friendly succulents, crown of thorns is also toxic. The stems contain a milky latex that can cause vomiting – or worse – if ingested. The sap may cause contact dermatitis too.
But if you can cope with those less-delightful traits, E. milii could be the houseplant for you.
Let’s get to know this prickly-but-adorable plant a bit better.Read more on gardenerspath.com