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Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns)

Crown of Thorns, Christ Plant, Christ Thorn

AGM Award
Euphorbia milii,Crown of Thorns, Christ Plant, Christ Thorn, Red flowers, Drought tolerant perennial, Deer resistant perennial, rabbit resistant perennial
Euphorbia milii,Crown of Thorns, Christ Plant, Christ Thorn, Red flowers, Drought tolerant perennial, Deer resistant perennial, rabbit resistant perennial
Euphorbia milii,Crown of Thorns, Christ Plant, Christ Thorn, Red flowers, Drought tolerant perennial, Deer resistant perennial, rabbit resistant perennial
Euphorbia milii,Crown of Thorns, Christ Plant, Christ Thorn, Red flowers, Drought tolerant perennial, Deer resistant perennial, rabbit resistant perennial

Noted for its incredibly showy bracts, Euphorbia milii, commonly called Crown of Thorns, is a sprawling evergreen shrub with succulent branches lined with long, sharp, black thorns and sparsely leafed. The foliage of leathery, obovate, bright green leaves is produced only on new stem growth. The eye-catching blooms consist of tiny, inconspicuous, yellow flowers held in clusters subtended by very showy and long-lasting red bracts, resembling petals. This plant flowers over an extremely long season, throughout the year in tropical and sub-tropical locations, from late winter well into fall if grown indoors. According to a religious legend, the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ at the crucifixion was made from the stems of this plant, therefore its common name.

  • Typically grows up to 3-6 ft. tall (90-180 cm) and spreads up to 18-36 in. wide (45-90 cm)
  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding qualities
  • Remaining attractive during all its growing season, this remarkable plant is resilient to most pests and diseases, is salt tolerant, deer or rabbit resistant and is easy to care for.
  • Performs best in full sun in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. Appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. While tolerant of dry soils, regular moisture will promote better blooms and less leaf drop. Wet soils, particularly in winter, can be fatal. This plant is drought tolerant and does well in poor, rocky soil. Provide good air circulation
  • Perfect addition to beds, borders, rock gardens or Mediterranean Gardens. Because of its low stature, it is great as a low hedge or as an edging plant. Great in decorative pots.
  • Propagate by seed or from tip cuttings.
  • Native to Madagascar.
  • All parts of the plant are poisonous by ingestion. Wear gloves when working with this plant. Avoid contact with skin, mouth or eyes.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses.

Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 12
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 13, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents, Shrubs
Plant Family Euphorbiaceae
Genus Euphorbia
Common names Crown of Thorns
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' - 6'
(90cm - 180cm)
Spread 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Salt, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Edging, Hedges And Screens, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden
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Euphorbia (Spurge)
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Euphorbia resinifera (Resin Spurge)
Euphorbia mammillaris (Corncob Cactus)
Euphorbia ceratocarpa (Sicily Spurge)
Euphorbia xanti (Baja Spurge)
Euphorbia corollata (Flowering Spurge)
Euphorbia rigida (Upright Myrtle Spurge)

Recommended Companion Plants

Senecio mandraliscae (Blue Chalksticks)
Agave americana (Century Plant)
Anigozanthos flavidus (Kangaroo Paw)
Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ (Blue Fescue)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

An Eye-Catching Succulent Garden
Native Plant Alternatives to Euphorbia cyparissias (Cypress Spurge)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 12
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 13, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents, Shrubs
Plant Family Euphorbiaceae
Genus Euphorbia
Common names Crown of Thorns
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' - 6'
(90cm - 180cm)
Spread 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Salt, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Edging, Hedges And Screens, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Euphorbia (Spurge)
Guides with
Euphorbia (Spurge)
Not sure which Euphorbia (Spurge) to pick?
Compare Now

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