Grow Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) in Florida

Grow Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) in Florida

In this article, I will be sharing my personal experience of growing Crown of Thorns (Also known as Euphorbia Milii) in Florida.

Information that you need to know:

Aspect Details
Best Time to Plant Spring or Early Summer
Necessary Fertilizer Balanced, water-soluble in spring and summer periods
Watering Allow soil to dry between waterings
Sunlight 4-6 hours of direct sunlight
Soil Well-draining, cactus mix, or sandy soil
Pruning Prune to maintain shape; wear gloves when handling (milky sap)
Special Care if Needed Protect from frost during cold spells.(Little chance of this)
Height In Florida, you can expect it to be 3 to 5 feet tall
Lifespan It can live up to 15 Years or even more
Leaf Venation Pinnate

Cultivating Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) in the Sunshine State: A Guide for Florida Gardeners

In Florida, gardening is a year-round pleasure. We are going to explore Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) and how we can successfully grow it in our home garden. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting your green journey, I am focusing on how to grow this plant, especially in Florida.

Why Choose Crown of Thorns for Your Florida Garden?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of growing Euphorbia milii, let's take a moment to appreciate why this plant is an excellent addition to your Florida garden:

  1. Drought Tolerance: Crown of Thorns is exceptionally drought-resistant, making it a perfect choice for Florida's hot and dry summers.
  2. Vibrant Blooms: With its colorful and long-lasting flowers, Euphorbia milii adds a splash of tropical beauty to your garden year-round.
  3. Low Maintenance: This succulent requires minimal care, making it ideal for busy gardeners or those new to gardening. I forgot about this plant for 6 months after just planting it in my backyard. I have a big backyard and never noticed this plant until it bloomed. That's what I meant by low maintenance.

Getting Started: Planting Crown of Thorns

Friendly Tip: Before you start, ensure you're wearing gardening gloves as Crown of Thorns has sharp thorns. Also, do not get your eyes close to it. If you break any of it's branches or leaves, a white sap will emit from it. This sap is harmful if it gets into the eyes.

If you visit any Nursery to buy this plant, make sure that you ask the color of the flower.

  1. Choose the Right Location: Select a sunny spot in your garden with well-draining soil. Crown of Thorns thrives in full sun, which is abundant in Florida.
  2. Pot or Ground Planting: Decide whether you want to plant it in the ground or in a pot. Containers work well for those who wish to move the plant indoors during colder months.
  3. Planting Depth: Plant your Crown of Thorns at the same depth as it was in its original pot. Ensure proper spacing to avoid overcrowding.

Caring for Your Crown of Thorns:

Caring for Euphorbia milii in Florida is a breeze, thanks to the favorable climate.

  1. Watering: Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. In Florida's humid environment, less is often more. If you make the soil wet too much, the roots might get rotten.
  2. Fertilizing: Apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during spring and summer to promote flowering.
  3. Pruning: Prune your Crown of Thorns to maintain its shape and encourage bushier growth. Be cautious of the thorns while doing so.

Winter Care of Crown of Thorns:

While Florida enjoys a relatively mild winter, there are still a few considerations for Crown of Thorns during colder months:

  1. Protection: If frost is in the forecast, cover your outdoor plants with frost cloth or bring potted ones indoors.
  2. Reduce Watering: Cut back on watering in winter as the plant's growth slows down.

Here is a picture of what I grew in my garden last year:

Crown of Thorns in Florida

Crown of Thorns with an excessive amount of shade

Last year, I planted a Crown of Thorn plant just under a Rose Apple plant. As a result, it did not get proper sunlight, and guess what?

Cypress Vine with little sunlight
Cypress Vine with little sunlight

The original color of this flower should be deep red. But you can see it could not bloom with proper red color. The color is a little bit faded here due to the shade. So make sure that you give it proper sunlight if you are growing it in a pot. Otherwise, plant it somewhere where it can get proper sunlight.


Crown of Thorns can be easily propagated.

  1. Cuttings: Take stem cuttings and let them dry for a day or two. Then you can plant them with proper water.
  2. Seeds: You can also grow Crown of Thorns from seeds, though this method takes longer to yield mature plants.


Cultivating Crown of Thorns in Florida is a rewarding and straightforward endeavor. With its vivid blooms and minimal maintenance, it's an excellent addition to any garden. Embrace the tropical charm of Euphorbia milii and watch your Florida garden flourish year-round.

Now that you're equipped with the knowledge to grow and care for Crown of Thorns in the Sunshine State, go ahead and add this beautiful succulent to your garden. Happy gardening!

Some more information about this plant:

In Florida, there are several species of plants that are commonly referred to as "crown of thorns" due to their thorny appearance or crown-like growth patterns.

The most notable crown of thorns plant in Florida is the Euphorbia milii, also known as the Christ plant or Christ thorn. This plant is a popular ornamental shrub that is often grown for its colorful, bract-like flowers and spiky stems. It is native to Madagascar but is widely cultivated in Florida and other warm climates.

Some pictures of Euphorbia milii that I love

Some interesting F.A.Q about Euphorbia milii

Can we propagate Crown of Thorns from seeds?

The answer is a big YES. But the only issue is that these seeds can be seen in a very short time. So once you notice those just plant the seeds as early as possible.
Don't worry about the pollination. Butterflies and birds will do that for you.

What colors of Euphorbia Milii are there?

There are red, yellow types, red mixed with white and white are out there. You can say the colors are in a Red, Yellow, White and you can imagine the mixture of those colors.

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