The Q&A Archives: Pruning And Propagating Crown Of Thorns

Question: I need information regarding pruning and propagating Crown of Thorns houseplants.

Answer: Crown of Thorns, also known as Euphorbia splendens, is popular year round because of its long lasting blooms. Did you know its a member of the same family as Poinsettia? Regarding pruning Crown of Thorns: proceed very carefully, the sap in many Euphorbias is toxic. Use eye protection and gloves. Try to make cuts at leaf joints if possible, not between leaves. You can cut off a portion of the thorny stems to cut back on growth. As the cut site seals up and time goes by you will probably get new growth (basal sprouting) from the cut area. This will result in a more lush, full plant. To propagate, take tip cuttings and allow the cuttings to dry out and the cut end to "heal over" for a week or two. Place the cuttings in a soil mix designated for cacti & succulents. Keep soil barely moist until growth is obvious, water as needed. Best results will be obtained by waiting until Spring when plants are actively growing.

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