Euphorbia milii, Growing and Care

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The Euphorbia milii (crown of thorns) plant is often referred to as a Christ plant or the Christ-thorn. As different as they appear to one another, this plant is a cousin of the poinsettia. The plants stem and branches are covered with sharp spines that are between 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. They can grow to a height of six feet and climb up a trellis easily.

The Euphorbia milii plant is a beautiful plant that will brighten up your home or landscape. It is easy to grow and will provide blooms that last a long time.

Growing the flower :

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Origin: Madagascar

Height: 2 ft (60 cm). Prune off growing tips to control plant’s height.

Light: Bright light to full sun.

Water: Allow the top 1 in (2.5 cm) of soil to dry out between waterings. Water less in winter when the plant rests. Also, avoid getting water on the leaves and stems because they can rot if they get too wet.

Humidity: Average to dry room humidity.

Temperature: Grows best with average room temperatures 60-75°F/16-24°C; A cooler winter rest of 55°F/13° will help it to bloom.

Soil: A fast-draining medium such as cactus potting mix works best.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. In winter, feed monthly.

Propagation: New plants can be raised from short tip cuttings taken in spring or early summer. Use a sharp knife or razor blade to cut off growing tips 8-10cm (3-4 inch) long and stop the latex flow immediately by spaying the old plant and dipping the cuttings in water. Allow the cuttings to dry out for a day before setting them in small pots containing a slightly moist equal-parts mixture of peat moss and sand or perlite.

It is important not to let the mixture become more than slightly moist; if the potting mixture is too wet, the cuttings will rot before they can produce roots. Place the pots where they can get bright light but without direct sunlight, at normal room temperature. Keep the potting mixture just barely moist, allowing the top two-thirds to dry out between waterings. When rooting occurs (in five to eight weeks), move the young plants into the standard soil-based potting mixture and treat them as mature specimens after they have made around 5cm (2 inch) of top growth.

Gardening:

When grow Euphorbia milii outdoors, choose a sunny, well-drained planting site. This plant will tolerate a few hours of shade during the hottest part of the day but does require sunshine for at least two-thirds of the day. Soil drainage must be excellent or the plant will develop root rot, fatal for plant. Add soil amendments, such as compost or peat moss, if the soil is sandy or of poor quality.




Dig a hole for each plant as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Space plants 0.5m (2 feet) apart to ensure proper air circulation. Carefully remove the plant from its container and inspect the roots. Prune away any broken, shriveled or mushy roots, then gently loosen the soil around the outside of the root ball with the fingers. Set the plant into the planting hole at the same level as it was in the container. Backfill around the roots with soil, pressing firmly with the hands to remove air pockets. Water around the base of the plant to settle the soil; keep water off the foliage.
Water newly planted Euphorbia milii often enough to keep the soil slightly moist. The plant has established itself when it start new growth. At that point, water Euphorbia milii only when the top 3cm (1 inch) of soil is dry.


PROPER CARE:

Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – direct
Temperature in rest period – min 13°C max 24°C (55-75°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 24°C (61-75°F)
Humidity – low

 

Recommended varieties:
Euphorbia milii var. hislopii has tick stems armed with 2cm (0.8 inch) long spines; its lance-shaped leaves are 2cm (0.8 inch) long and its red or pink bracts are up to 2cm (0.8 inch) across.

Euphorbia milii var. splendens differ from the species in that it can grow 2m tall, its stem are 1-2cm thick and its leaves are more oblong in shape than those of Euphorbia milii.

 

 

 

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