A Guide To Growing Your Own Crown Of Thorns Plant

  • By: Succulents Plants
  • Date: December 23, 2022
  • Time to read: 8 min.
Crown of thorns plant
Photo by courtesy of Oh

Are you interested in growing your Crown of Thorns plant? It may sound intimidating, but it’s surprisingly easy and rewarding. This guide will give you everything you need to know about growing and caring for your Crown of Thorns plant. We’ll cover topics such as soil, light and water requirements, how to plant, how to prune, and joint problems. So let’s get started!

What is a Crown of Thorns Plant?

The crown of thorns plant is a succulent native to Madagascar, also known as Euphorbia milii or Christ’s Thorn. As its name suggests, the plant is said to have been part of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore during his crucifixion. The plant has thick, green foliage and carries small, yellow-green flowers. These flowers are usually found in clusters around the plant’s main stem.

The crown of thorns is relatively easy to take care of. It should be planted in well-draining soil and kept away from direct sunlight and drafts. Watering should be kept to a minimum, but the plant should be misted periodically to maintain its moisture. The plant can reach up to three feet in height and width and has a relatively long lifespan, with some specimens known to reach over thirty years in age.

If you decide to grow your crown of thorns, be aware that the plant contains a milky sap that can cause skin irritation and even blindness if it comes into contact with your eyes. It is best to wear gloves when pruning the plant and to avoid contact with the sap as much as possible. With proper care and attention, the crown of thorns can make a great addition to any home or garden.

Where Does Crown of Thorns Plants Grow?

Crown of Thorns plants can be found growing in tropical climates worldwide. They are native to the dry, hot climates of eastern Africa, Madagascar, and the Arabian Peninsula. They thrive in desert-like conditions and can tolerate temperatures as high as 115°F.

If you live in the U.S., you can find Crown of Thorns plants at many nurseries and plant stores. They are available in various sizes, and you can choose a plant that will fit your specific environmental needs. Check the pot size and soil type to ensure that the Crown of Thorns is well-suited for your climate and home.

These plants can handle full sun in the warmer months but should be protected from the hot midday sun. If the temperatures drop below 50°F, you should move the plant indoors or to a location with partial shade.

Crown of Thorns plants require very little special care but can become overgrown and woody with age. To keep your plant healthy, be sure to prune it yearly. This will help to encourage new growth and keep your plant looking its best.

Climate and Sunlight Requirements

Climate is essential, as the Crown of Thorns plant is native to tropical regions. When it comes to temperature, it prefers to live in temperatures between 40-95 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it can survive in temperatures as low as 34. If you live in a more relaxed environment, you may find that the leaves of your Crown of Thorns become brown and brittle in winter.

Sunlight is also key to keeping your Crown of Thorns healthy. As it’s a tropical plant, it needs quite a bit of sunlight – ideal conditions are when it receives full sun most of the day. However, if this isn’t possible, you can keep it in partial sunlight. Just be mindful that it will likely be a bit slower in growth.

When giving your Crown of Thorns plant the suitable climate and sunlight requirements, you’ll find that it will flourish, and beautiful, bright-colored flowers can reward you! Constantly monitor it frequently, as climate conditions can change quickly.

Soil Requirements

The crown of thorns plant is quite particular with its soil preferences, so proper soil choice is essential for its proper growth and health. The ideal soil for these plants should be well-draining and nutrient-rich. The soil should be sandy and gritty, with a slightly acidic or neutral pH. You can also add some organic matter to the soil to help retain moisture and add nutrients.

When planting your crown of thorns in a pot, you’ll have more flexibility in choosing the type of soil. You can combine potting soil, compost, and sand. Mix the components, as this will help with drainage. It would be best if you also placed the pot on a layer of gravel, rocks, or coarse sand to assist with drainage.

When it comes to outdoor planting, you’ll want to choose an area with nutrient-rich soil and good drainage. Adding compost or manure to the topsoil can help increase the nutrients and keep the soil loose. It’s also essential to ensure the area you choose has plenty of sunlight.

How to Plant a Crown of Thorns Plant

Planting a Crown of Thorns plant is a great way to add a unique and exotic touch to your garden. This plant has bright, vibrant flowers that will add color and texture to your garden. They also make a great talking point for visitors, as the flowers have a unique and captivating shape.

In terms of care, Crown of Thorns plants are relatively low-maintenance but require specific conditions to thrive. Here’s a step-by-step guide to planting and caring for a Crown of Thorns plant:

1. Purchase your plant from a reputable source. Ensure you buy a healthy plant with plenty of buds and bright green leaves.

2. Choose a full-sun location for your plant. The Crown of Thorns does best in direct, hot sunlight. Avoid partly shaded areas or anything that isn’t getting plenty of sunlight.

3. Dig a hole twice as wide as the plant’s container. This will give the plant roots enough space to spread out. Create a mound in the center of the hole to help the plant stay upright.

4. Take the plant out of the pot and place it in the center of the hole, with the base of the stem lined up with the top of the mound. Backfill any empty spots with soil.

5. Water the soil around the plant generously. Ensure the water can drain away freely, so the plant’s roots don’t get waterlogged.

6. Put a layer of mulch around the base of the plant. This will help retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing.


When watering your Crown Of Thorns Plant, it’s essential to get the balance right. Too much water and the plant will become soggy and start to rot, and with not enough water, the plant will become stunted or even die. The best way to ensure you don’t overwater your plant is to ensure the soil you pot it in drains well. If you’re unsure, you can test it by pouring some water into the pot and checking to see if it soaks up straight away or takes some time to be absorbed.

If the soil isn’t draining well, you should add sand or pumice to help it drain faster. You may need to adjust your watering routine based on the soil type and the pot size you use. Generally, the Crown Of Thorns Plant should be watered during the growing season every 7-10 days. During the winter, you can reduce the watering frequency and only water the plant when the top few inches of soil have dried out.

The best way to check if the plant needs water is to feel the soil with your finger. The plant doesn’t need to be watered if it’s still damp. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time for a drink. Water the base of the plant and allow the soil to become moist all around the roots. Remove any excess water from the sink or tray when you’re done.


Using a liquid fertilizer high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is best. You can mix it with water or spray it directly on the soil. You’ll want to fertilize your Crown of Thorns Plant every two weeks during the growing season and once a month during the winter.

Be sure to dilute the fertilizer before applying it to the soil, as too much fertilizer can damage the plant. If your plant is in a pot, you can fertilize it through drainage holes. If you’re growing your Crown of Thorns Plant in a garden, you can use a hose and sprayer to fertilize the entire area around it. Ensure not to overfertilize, as too much fertilizer can kill the plant.


Pruning will help promote growth and encourage new shoots, eventually leading to a fuller, more vibrant plant. It’s important to note that pruning should only be done when necessary, as Crown of Thorns plants are very delicate and can be easily damaged if not handled properly. To begin pruning, you’ll need a pair of sharp pruning shears, scissors, and a few pairs of gloves to protect your hands from the spiny branches.

To start, look for any dead or damaged branches on the plant and remove them. This will help the plant focus energy on growing new shoots. Use the pruning shears to make the cuts as close to the trunk as possible. Next, look for any shoots that are getting too long and cut them back to around five inches. This will help promote new shoots’ growth and keep the foliage healthy. If you want to shape the plant, you can also prune off any extra branches that create an unbalanced look.

In addition to pruning, you’ll also want to remove spent flowers and pods to encourage new blooms. Deadheading is a great way to keep your Crown of Thorns looking full and vibrant. Once the flowers are spent, snip them off at the base of the bloom.

Common Problems

Growing a crown of thorns can be a great way to add a unique and colorful plant to your garden. Unfortunately, they can be prone to common problems such as pests and diseases. Here are some of the most common problems you may run into when growing a crown of thorns plant.


A wide variety of pests can target crown of thorns plants, including aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and whiteflies. Aphids are tiny pests that feed on the plant’s sap, resulting in curled, distorted, or yellow leaves. Mealybugs, which feed on the plant’s sap, can cause stunted growth and yellow spots on the leaves. Spider mites and whiteflies feed on the leaves undersides, resulting in yellow or discolored leaves.


Crown of thorns plants is susceptible to several diseases, including Botrytis, a fungal disease that causes brown leaf lesions. Powdery mildew can also attack your crown of thorns, resulting in white or gray powdery spots on the leaves. Finally, root rot can occur if your plant is overwatered, resulting in wilted and yellowing leaves.


Growing your Crown of Thorns Plant can add a unique and exotic touch to your home or garden. From its distinctive flowers to its easy care, it is an ideal way to have an eye-catching addition to the landscape. With the suitable climate and soil requirements and the proper care, you can be sure that your Crown of Thorns Plant will thrive and put on a beautiful show. Be sure to pay attention to its watering needs, fertilizing needs, and pruning requirements to get the best results. With a little effort, you can enjoy the beauty and unique look of a Crown of Thorns Plant for years to come.


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