Did you know you can grow crown of thorns plant outdoors? With proper care and the right growing conditions, this flower will thrive.
The Crown of thorns got its name from the belief that its thorny stems made the crown worn by Jesus during his crucifixion.
Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii) can bloom almost all year round, both indoors and outdoors. Its thick, bright green foliage grows along with the new stem growth. It has small and green flowers surrounded by bright and colorful bracts that come in pink, orange, red, yellow, or white.
This Crown of thorns grows into a woody shrub and, when grown indoors, enjoys the same room temperature as people and can handle the lack of humidity during winter. This plant is slow-growing and will grow into a shrub reaching 3 to 6 feet tall outdoors. As a houseplant, it grows to about 2 ft in height.
Heat tolerant and drought resistant, this plant is popular among many and a real gem to grow. You can grow this plant out in gardens in warm climates. Read on for tips about growing Crown of thorn plants outdoors.
Crown Of Thorns Varieties
Crown of thorns has different varieties that will help you make your choices with ease. You can find them at the local nurseries or buy them and have them mailed to you. Here are the varieties to try.
- Brush Fire. This variety has thick, fleshy leaves with bright red flowers.
- Creme Supreme. It comes with strappy leaves and creamy white flowers.
- Short and Sweet. This variety has pretty red flowers that will reach 12 to 18 inches tall.
- California Hybrids. It has thick stems and large flowers and is sometimes labeled Giant Crown of Thorns. Two suitable cultivars to grow outdoors are “Rosalie and “Saturnus.”
Growing Crown Of Thorns Plant Outdoors
So can crown of thorns be planted outside? Yes, this flower can do well outdoors, same as indoors; however, you need to provide it with proper growing conditions.
Plant crown of thorns in the USDA hardiness zones 9, 10, and 11. These plants do well in cold climates as house plants. When growing it outdoors, allow it plenty of space to grow and thrive. Let’s look at how to grow it outdoors and the conditions it needs.
Choose a sunny location that has enough wind. If growing it in a pot, locate it near the southern or western window where it receives partial to full sunlight and good air circulation from the wind blowing. This plant tolerates shade as well but grows poorly without flowers.
The soil for your garden should be light and drains well. A succulent or cactus soil mix of gritty and light texture is what you should have in mind. Although this plant can grow in poor soil, you can still add a small amount of organic or compost matter at the time of planting.
Just like most flowering plants, the better the sun exposure, the more flowers you get. However, a crown of thorns will bloom as long as you provide it with at least 3 to 4 hours of sunlight each day. Planting it under full is advantageous as the plant gets to absorb all the goodness from the sun.
This plant is succulent and very forgiving about water. Water it only when it feels dry an inch below the soil surface. Water it thoroughly until the excess drains off. Do not let your plants sit in logged water, and it will get root rot. During winter, these plants need less watering but more food.
Starting with spring to the fall, feed your plants with a balanced fertilizer suitable for your flowers. You can dilute your fertilizer to half strength and feed your plants every other time during watering. Remember to maintain a schedule showing when last you fed your plants to avoid overfeeding.
Temperature And Humidity
Ensure that your plant is receiving a comfortable temperature of 65 to 75 degrees F. If the temperatures dip in the night, do not worry; these flowers can handle temperatures under 50 degrees F.
How To Care For A Crown Of Thorns Plant Outdoors
The Crown of thorns plant is a slow grower and doesn’t require pruning for a few years. Pruning is best done in dry and cool weather to avoid stem disease. Do it in early spring, just before new growth starts. Beware of the thorns and milky sap it produces. Always wear heavy-duty gloves when pruning. Remove the leafless, crowded, and tangled stems towards the end of the growing season using a pair of sharp snips each year.
In more compact varieties of the Crown of thorns plants, thin out the overpopulated branches at the base to allow plenty of air circulation.
Pruning brings in the shape that you want your plant to take. If these plants are left unpruned, they keep growing vertically without maintaining a fuller beautiful look. Do this every year if you want to get a bushier plant.
If the plant is diseased, damaged, or has a dead branch and develops brown stems or leaves, prune it back immediately to healthy plant growth. The brown part is plant rot, and it can spread if not pruned off.
If you are growing your Crown of thorns in a container, you will need to repot it after growing in one for a long time. If you want to have a continuous supply of blooms, repot your plant to give it more room to flourish.
Pests And Diseases
Pests are not a common serious concern for this plant. Scales, spider mites, and mealybugs cause a slight problem occasionally. Lack of moisture can kill this plant; overwatering leaves the wet leaves and stems wilted and dying.
Crown of thorns is a beautiful plant that can give you a bloom of beautiful flowers each year. You only need to provide it with enough love and care.
Be careful as you handle the flowers or the plant itself as it’s surrounded by thorns. Always use heavy-duty gloves when handling it to protect your hands from danger.