How to Propagate a Crown of Thorns Plant


Spray bottle
Rooting medium
Growing medium

Things You'll Need

  • Crown of thorns is the common name for Euphorbia milli. The name is descriptive of the sharpness on this hardy shrub's branches. However, thorns are hardly the feature of this plant that catches our attention first. The broad elliptical foliage resembles the leaves of the laurel plant, and the delicate flowers look a bit like impatiens.
  • Crown of thorns can be grown indoors or out. In northern hardiness zones, it is generally grown as a houseplant or as an outdoor container plant that can be moved indoors to to a sheltered location in winter.
  • It is easily propagated through tip cuttings taken in the spring or early summer when growth is most robust.

Propogation method

  • Use a clean, sharp knife to take 3 or 4 inch tip cuttings from the parent plant. Choose longer branches for your cuttings so that your work will also serve to prune and shape the parent plan.

  • Spray the cut end of the parent plant with cool water to stem the flow of latex from the cut.

  • Spread the cuttings on paper towels and allow them to dry for about a day.

  • Prepare pots for the new cuttings using a dampened mixture consisting of equal parts peat moss and sand or peat moss and perlite.

  • Using your finger or a pencil, make holes about an inch and a half deep to accept the cuttings. This is to avoid removing rooting hormone from the cut ends when the plants are inserted in the pot.

  • Dip the ends of the cuttings in rooting hormone, available at any garden supply store.

  • Plant the cuttings in the prepared pots, tamping the mixture gently around the stems to remove any air pockets.

  • Place the pots where they will get plenty of indirect light.

  • Water every few days but only enough to keep the potting mixture slightly damp. The plants should take root in about 6 to 8 weeks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Handle carefully to avoid thorns.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling cuttings from this plant as the latex can be an irritant.

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