Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) in the Euphorbias Database

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Plant Height: 24-36 inches
Plant Spread: 20-24 inches
Flowers: Showy
Other: In the genus Euphorbia, the flowers are reduced in size and aggregated into a cluster of flowers called a cyathium (plural cyathia). This feature is present in every species of the genus Euphorbia but nowhere else in the plant kingdom.
Flower Color: Orange
Flower Time: Year Round
Other: varies
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Dynamic Accumulator: B (Boron)
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Other: all parts of Euphorbias can be toxic
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip
Pollinators: Bees
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

White-flowered form

The ATP Top 50 Xeriscapic PlantsThe ATP Top 50 Xeriscapic Plants
July 19, 2014

Does xeriscapic mean boring and dry looking? Absolutely not! You'll never believe what beautiful blooms are available for the non-irrigated landscape. Come in and see.

(Full article7 comments)
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Posted by Dutchlady1 (Sunny Naples, Florida - Zone 10a) on Sep 29, 2011 2:04 PM

I am using these as underplanting for my plumeria since they keep their foliage and blooms throughout the winter in my area, whereas the plumeria are bare.

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Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Oct 21, 2011 11:57 AM

Native to Madagascar, Euphorbia milii is a woody, succulent shrub with dense, spiny stems that scramble and climb and can reach to 6'. Blooms appear all year round but especially during the winter months. The flowers are tiny and inconspicuous but the bracts appear in colors from red, pink, yellow and white. The plant exudes a latex sap that can cause severe dermatitis in some individuals.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Oct 26, 2011 12:59 PM

As with other Euphorbias, E. milii requires a slightly richer soil than do many succulents. They make good houseplants and are not bothered by low humidity. They also grow well under artificial lights.

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Posted by chuck7701 (McKinney, TX (DFW) - Zone 8a) on Mar 22, 2015 11:07 AM

Propagating this plant is very easy from cuttings or branches broken off main plant. It is a type of cactus, so very hardy. However, any new cuttings or branches broken off NEED TO DRY FOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS before repotting to harden and seal the pieces. Planting too soon will encourage rot at the cutting site, and you will lose the whole piece.

When cutting, use newspaper or do the cutting on grass as the white sap is very sticky and hard to remove. Do not know about toxicity of sap, but best to be cautious with sap. Goes dormant in the winter and loses all the leaves when I bring it in to overwinter.

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Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Jun 8, 2017 1:52 PM

Most crown of thorns in cultivation, especially those with extra large flowers, are not the species E. milii but hybrids (for example with E. lophogona). These hybrids can be quite diverse in form and flower color, and some people collect them for this reason. Provide good drainage and regular water. These plants, from Madagascar, enjoy more water than most succulents, especially in containers, but can be quite drought tolerant, especially in the ground. Easy to start from rooted cuttings. May attract bees. May branch at the base and/or along stems higher up (depends on the variety). Many/most crown of thorns flower year round in mild climates.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
crown of thorns by pa2nc Sep 9, 2014 5:11 PM 5
Question by cherryb1ossoms Oct 13, 2015 11:17 PM 3
Euphorbia Milii Pruning by Msleelee90 Mar 18, 2019 4:00 PM 5
xHansara by BlueOddish Jan 26, 2019 5:44 PM 17
Euphorbia Milii by coleyamzn Jan 17, 2019 12:13 PM 5
Can someone help me identify this plant? by cohibakid7 Nov 1, 2018 2:03 PM 2
Stuff you regret buying by skopjecollection Oct 22, 2018 8:35 AM 15
Help for my Dracaena Marginata (I think) by NoviceRich Sep 4, 2018 2:30 PM 9
euphorbia ID by plantman50 Jul 24, 2018 12:28 PM 11
Plant name and care info by Sphurti Jul 16, 2018 7:36 PM 8
Blooming in July by Strever Jul 31, 2018 6:32 PM 39
crown of rose by dragonbelle Jun 23, 2018 2:13 PM 6

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