Office Plants Tips & Ideas

Plant of the Month – Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)

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The Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) is a species of flowering plant that originated in Madagascar. It is a rare succulent shrub with densely spiny stems and tiny yellow flowers surrounded by red or white bracts. If given enough space, this shrub has the ability to grow and climb up to six feet tall.
Crown of Thorns loves bright sunlight, but should be shaded from extreme summer sun. If the plant is in a soil based mix, that mix should include some sand or perlite to improve drainage. Remember, Crown of Thorns belongs to the same family as cacti. You need excellent drainage to ensure the plant’s roots do not sit in water – root rot is the number one cause of Euphorbia death. While overwatering should be avoided, when Euphorbia is kept evenly moist (slightly moister than other succulents) it is capable of blooming all year round!
While stunning, Crown of Thorns needs to be handled with care. Not only is it sharp, but its sap is poisonous. Gloves should be worn when pruning to prevent skin irritation, and contact with eyes and mouth should be avoided. These affects and poisonous characteristics make Euphorbia a plant that is not ideal for commercial use, rather one that would make a unique addition to a contemporary collection of house plants.

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