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Euphorbia milii var. roseana (Crown of Thorns)

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Scientific Name

Euphorbia milii var. roseana Marn.-Lap. ex Demoly

Common Names

Crown of Thorns

Scientific Classification

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Euphorbioideae
Tribe: Euphorbieae
Subtribe: Euphorbiinae
Genus: Euphorbia

Description

Euphorbia milii var. roseana is a spiny, deciduous, succulent shrub up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall, with upright branches. The leaves are found mainly on new growth and are obovate, up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) long and 1 inch (2.5 cm) broad. This variety is distinguished by its diminutive creamy-yellow or pink-flushed cyathophylls.

Photo via davesgarden.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Crown of Thorns does well in even the poorest soil, provided it is well-drained and does not remain moist. It prefers a location in full sun but will tolerate some shade for a portion of the day. A tough plant, Crown of Thorns is a good choice for a seaside location with salt spray or soil with a high salt content. If you grow your Crown of Thorns as a houseplant, place it in a south- or west-facing, uncovered window, ensuring it receives maximum sunlight. Although the plant is drought tolerant, you can induce your plant to retain its leaves and bloom frequently by watering it regularly and giving it an occasional dose of fertilizer. Check fertilizer labels and choose a basic, balanced formula without added micro-nutrients, since the plant is sensitive to boron.

This plant benefits from some light pruning as it matures. At the end of each growing season, remove some older, leafless branches to stimulate new growth in spring. Clear away dead leaves and any dropped, matted flowers to allow the soil to dry well and reduce the likelihood of fungal disease… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for a Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)

Origin

Euphorbia milii var. roseana is native to Madagascar.

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