Crown Of Thorns Plant
How to Care for the Crown of Thorns Plant
The crown of thorns plant (Euphorbia milii) has a few different names. It is also known as the Siamese lucky plant or the Christ plant. Christians believe the thorn crown that was worn by Jesus Christ before he was hung on the cross, is thought to be made from the crown of thorns plant. But even with such a terrible tale behind it this plant is enjoyed by many people.
It stands around 36 inches when full grown and has dark green stems. It has long spindly arms that reach out in all directions. It resembles a Cactus but the thorns cover the entire plant except for the flowers it produces. On the top of each of the long stems is a cluster of beautiful flowers. Pink, yellow, red and white are the colors of these flowers and they are surrounded by bright green, pointy leaves. These plants can be potted or arranged in a garden.
If you are thinking of purchasing a crown of thorns plant, there are a few tips to remember about planting and caring for the plant.
This plant is a perennial and will have to be replanted every year in cooler climates. It can also thrive inside the home with proper care, so an option for people who live in colder climates can be to just have a few of them as house plants. When planting them outside, you must find an area with a good shade and sun mix. The crown of thorns plant is considered tropical but needs a bit of shade to protect the flowers from withering up too soon.
The soil must have the proper PH balance for these plants. When you purchase your crown of thorns plant from your local garden store, you can also get a PH tester for your garden area. This tester is beneficial for knowing what nutrients your soil may be deficient in. This not only helps your new plants but the old ones can be refreshed from a good balance of PH also. Once you get the results from this test, you can add fertilizer to help rebuild the soil.
Since these plants can reach 4 feet and spread out a foot horizontally, they will need room to grow. Make sure that when you plant your seedlings you give them ample room on both sides.
It is important not to over water these plants. After watering you must let the plant completely dry out before watering it again. It may seem as though the plant is withered or even dying. But you have to resist the temptation to water them. They are a tropical plant and only need to be water scarcely.
Because of the long spindly stems that are loaded with thorns, it is a good idea to wear protective gardening gloves while working with your crown of thorns plant. If you have ever accidently grabbed a cactus plant and felt a great deal of pain, then you know badly this can hurt. The needles can even penetrate a glove, so always be careful when handling these plants.
There is another important thing to consider when planting these thorns outdoors. They are highly toxic to animals. If you have cows or wild deer grazing in your yard you may choose not to plant these thorn plants. Although the affects of the plant are not fatal, they are highly irritating and can cause digestive problems and diarrhea. Blistering of the feet and skin can be seen as well as hair loss and dermatitis. Even humans can be affected if they come in contact with the white thick watery substance that is inside the plant.