Crown of Thorns, Euphorbia Milii

Crown of Thorns, Euphorbia Milii,  is a succulent and kin to the poinsettia. Originally from Madagascar, it became popular during Victorian times as a houseplant.  Nicknames for it include Crown of Thorns, Christ Plant, and Christ Thorn which are all due to its thorns on the branches. Crown of Thorns is an evergreen plant and is also drought resistant. It produces woody, succulent stems up to three feet high. The thorns cover the stems randomly and measure up to an inch long.  The bright green leaf bracts grow randomly and slightly sparse. They appear mostly on newer stems and fall away from the older stems. Blooms appear mostly throughout the spring and late into the summer. However, in ideal conditions, the plant can produce flowers year-round.  The true flowers are small and green, surrounded by showy bracts in red, orange, pink, yellow or white.








Most of you live in colder growing zones and would need to grow it indoors. It is an excellent houseplant.  Cactus potting soil works well. You can bring it outside once the threat of frost is gone. Return it to the house in the fall. The plant does not store water like a cactus but takes in water through the leaves. Misting the plant on a daily basis can help keep it happy in the house.  Crown of Thorns needs direct bright light. Place it in a bright, sunny window on the west or south side of your home.







Despite its thorny look, I haven’t found it hard to work with. I just planted two in my flower bed beside the garage.  No problem planting them or watering them.  You can plant Euphorbia milii outdoors in the warm climates of  USDA hardiness zones 9B through 11. My area is semi-tropical zone 9B.  Really I should probably have put them in pots for ease in moving for protection when temperatures drop.  The State of Florida suggests only planting in zone 10, but I plan to put large empty planters over them next winter if the temperatures get close to freezing.  Water the plant on a weekly basis and remember to allow the soil to dry completely.  They work great in Florida as they are heat tolerant and salt spray tolerant.  For more information on growing Crown of Thorns check out  Crown of Thorns.









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.




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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

13 thoughts to “Crown of Thorns, Euphorbia Milii”

  1. Have seen the thorny branches of this plant, but seldom with the flowers. Also there is a plant, bearing the same name, but with tiny red flowers (found in San Diego Old Town Mission museum). Interesting and beautiful! Appreciate you added the habitat and properties of this plant for All Seasons! Have a beautiful week, Blog Friend!

  2. I have some of these at home but I never knew what they were called. They are easy to transplant and create new plants from too. Thanks for sharing with #OMHGWW and see you next week!

  3. Being drought resistant caught my attention. With its thorniness I can see it planted beneath the front windows to keep burglars at bay. But, then I read about the latex to which I’m allergic. Oh well, the plant is pretty. I had my moment of imagining it in my world. 🙂

    1. I have allergies too. If you wanted to try it, wear gloves to plant it and do not cut it without coverage on your hand. I totally understand if you want to pass it by. My chiropractor asked me a few years ago why I planted flowers when I am allergic to pollen. I really can’t sit outside and enjoy my garden. I answered seeing it gives me great joy. A simple thing really.

  4. Pinned! I have seen this plant before Carol, but did not know its name or the story behind it. Thank you so much for sharing how to look after this beautiful houseplant, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link party. Happy Monday!

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