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All About Euphorbia milii ‘Crown of Thorns’

Posted on December 11 2022

The Euphorbia milii is an exercise in contrasts: The extra spiny, slightly “cringe-worthy” stalks are paired with luxuriantly green leaves and pillowy, vibrant blossoms.  As a succulent, the Crown of Thorns plant is relatively easy to care for and thrives in arid environments. The unique shape and pokey features of this plant will add textural interest to any home!

Meet Your Match:

    • Nickname: Christ Thorns, Christ Plant
    • About the Family: The Euphorbia milii is a relative of other Euphorbia varieties, such as the African Milk Tree and Pencil Cactus. 
    • Understanding the Family Tree:  Euphorbiaceae (Family), Euphorbia (Genus), Euphorbia milii (Species).
    • Hometown: Madagascar.

    How to Care for Your Crown of Thorns Plant:

    • Watering: Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering.
    • Humidity: Low.
    • Soil: Well-draining soil.
    • Fertilizer: Use a low nitrogen fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season.
    • Environment: Indoors, keep your Euphorbia in bright direct or indirect light and temperatures between 65-90 degrees.
    • Propagation: Stem propagation.
    • Toxicity: Toxic to pets and people.

    The Best Unboxing Practices:

      Properly caring for your newly unboxed Crown of Thorns for the first week of its new life is crucial to the extended wellness of your plant. Follow these practices to get the best results:
        • Watering: Exotic Forest ships freshly watered plants. Do not water your Euphorbia until it exhibits the proper signs.
        • Repotting: Do not immediately repot your plant, which would likely result in shock and leaf-loss. Allow it to acclimate to its new environment for at least one week. 
        • Lighting: Place your Euphorbia in filtered, low light for a few days to acclimate. Relocate your Crown of Thorns plant to your desired location that fits its care needs afterward. Do not ever place a freshly un-boxed plant in direct sun.

        What You’re Getting:

        • You will receive a carefully selected, quality evaluated 10” diameter plant. All Exotic Forest plants are rooted and thriving. 

          What Makes Us Special:

          • Shipment Methods: Plants are precious, and we want yours to arrive safely! We ship our plants via UPS, with a maximum of 4-day shipping. 
          • Our Packing: Have you received ‘squished’ plants from other companies? Our solution to this common issue is bamboo stakes and biodegradable packing peanuts (starch), which securely holds your plant in place during shipment. 
          • Chemical-free: We are committed to keeping our plants and customers safe. We never treat our plants with chemical pesticides. 
          • Quality Standards: Exotic Forest strives to meet stringent quality standards and evaluates each plant we resource from our nursery. Pest-free, healthy plants are a requirement!
          • Customer Service: Your satisfaction is our priority. If you are experiencing issues with or have questions about how to care for your Euphorbia milii ‘Crown of Thorns’, reach out to us at or via our social media accounts. Are you tired of receiving pre-written responses? We believe that plant parents want to talk to people, not robots. A knowledgeable team member reads and replies to each individual concern: no cookie-cutter answers here!
          • Returns: While we do not accept returns at this time, you can contact us at with photos of your plant and receipt to discuss the specific plant care issues you’re experiencing with your Euphorbia milii ‘Crown of Thorns’ and possible resolutions.
          • Your Personal Plant-Care Resource: Do you love your new addition? We couldn’t be happier! Join our mailing list to receive exclusive offers, updates, and care tips.

          FAQ about How to Care for Your Crown of Thorns Plant:

            • What fertilizer should I use for a Crown of Thorns? You should use a slow-release, low nitrogen fertilizer on your Crown of Thorns every 2-3 weeks during the growing season (Spring-Fall).
            • What watering requirements does a Crown of Thorns have? Water your Crown of Thorns when the first inch of soil has completely dried. Since this plant requires high levels of light and low humidity, expect your soil to dry out fairly frequently. These plants are hardy and can tolerate slight underwatering, but you will start to lose some leaves. (Don’t worry, they’ll grow back once you straighten out your routine.)
            • Why are my Crown of Thorns leaves’ curling? Curly leaves are a sign of dehydration and/or sun exposure. While these plants enjoy the direct sun, never shock an indoor plant by immediately relocating it to direct outdoor sunlight. Acclimate the plant first by placing it in the shade and gradually moving it to a sunnier spot. As noted, curling leaves are also a sign that you need to water your plant. If you’ve waited too long, you will need to rehydrate your soil by bottom watering. Resume a healthy watering routine afterward.

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