Is Euphorbia Milii A Cactus?
Euphorbia Milii is not a cactus, but it does have many of the same qualities as one. They are both succulents and they both require the same care, but they are different things. A cactus is a particular kind of succulent, more specifically, a desert plant which stores water in its tissues.
Euphorbia Milii is also known as the Christ-thorn or crown of thorns because it has sharp spines on its branches which make it look like crowns of thorns.
The decorative plant Euphorbia Milii is native to Madagascar and other tropical places across the world. Euphorbia Milii is the most popular of the Euphorbias and its spiny branches are recognized by its place in history.
Euphorbia Milii have a long, thick stem. They should be planted in a pot that is at least 3 inches deep for proper drainage. When planting your plant, you should use a cactus mix soil that has plenty of peat moss so the plant stays moist. You must also water your plant regularly and make sure not to over water it because this can kill it.
How Can You Make A Euphorbia Milii Bushy?
To make a Euphorbia Milii bushier, you must prune it weekly to stimulate growth. The older the plant gets, the more branches you can create from these cuttings. The plant loses its lower leaves as it ages, and they do not regrow. If your plant becomes excessively tall and lanky, you can cut it by half in the spring.
This will result in its expansion. Where the pruning incisions were made, new stems will develop from below, making this succulent bushy and lush. The following are ways to make Euphorbia Milii bushy;
Proper pruning: To maintain a bushy form, prune the Euphorbia Milii stems back to a lateral bud. You can cut the stems back to a lateral bud whenever you want. The buds are signs of regrowth – new stems that have not yet grown can be found below them.
Prune branches that get too long so they do not obstruct the light or look unsightly. Euphorbia Milii can be encouraged to branch out by pruning each branch back to a lateral bud.
Adequate feeding: Fertilize your Euphorbia Milii. Use a houseplant fertilizer with a low concentration of nitrogen, following the package instructions. Fertilizing regularly with a balanced, low-nitrogen fertilizer will help keep your plant bushy and flowering.
Adequate sunlight: Place your plant in a sunny location to help it grow and remain bushy. When you are pruning your Euphorbia Milii, you should prune the branches while preserving the axillary buds and shoots.
Or prune the branches back to a lateral branch at the point where two branches diverge. Remove any stems that are extremely twisted or interwoven, or that have the potential to become so. Wherever you believe the plant may benefit from branching, prune stems.
What Does A Euphorbia Milii Look Like?
Euphorbia Milii, commonly known as Crown of Thorns, is a Madagascar-native evergreen with wide leaves. It features fleshy, bright-green leaves, robust, black thorns, and small blooms that grow in bunches and are attended by red or yellow bracts that resemble petals.
Foliage is green and spiny, with single or multiple stems growing from the base of the plant. Euphorbia Milii can grow to heights of 30 feet (9 meters), but it’s easier to maintain when pruned hard during its first year in a container.
Euphorbia Milii is highly variable, but most stems are in some way thorny (all parts except for the new growth are covered with short, straight conical white or yellowish spines), succulent, and a deep green color.
The leaves are short and usually found in clusters at the tip of each stem. The Euphorbia Milii is sometimes shallow rooted and can be grown in-ground.
When grown outdoors, Euphorbia Milii can grow well in hot areas, but is also quite comfortable in cooler climates. It benefits from the occasional pruning to keep it compact and bushy.
How Do You Propagate Euphorbia Milii?
Propagation of Euphorbia Milii is easy because of its prolific branching. The best way to start a new plant is by taking cuttings from the parent plant or by separating a rooted branch from the mother plant and planting it in a container.
This will provide you with a ready-to-grow specimen that you can then share with your friends. The cuttings and the separated rooted branches can be planted in pots filled with a well-draining, fast-draining soil mix.
This mix should be part potting soil, part peat moss and part coarse perlite. The following are the procedures to follow when propagating by stem cutting;
- Take a 4-inch cutting from an established Euphorbia Milii. Take a 4 to 6-inch cutting from the parent plant. Select a healthy stem and remove all but the top 2 to 3 leaves. Choose tips that are about ½ inch thick and remove any leaves except for the top two or three. Give your cuttings a good soaking in room temperature water, but do not allow them to sit in water for long periods of time or they will rot, instead of root.
- Lay the stem on a tray filled with wet sphagnum moss. Trim off all side branches and sterilize the stems by dipping them in a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and water. Plant cuttings in a container filled with fast-draining soil mix watered well.
- Cover the soil surface with a thin layer of wood or bark mulch or gravel to provide additional drainage and discourage weeds.
- Place the Euphorbiaceae (crown of thorns) plant in a location with bright dappled sunlight. Keep this plant well-watered and lightly fertilized, but do not overwater due to the risk of root rot.
- Water from the bottom by keeping your Euphorbia Milii container in an area that is protected from heavy rainfall.
- You can also propagate Euphorbia Milii by layering. Layering is a process where you bend part of the stem on the ground, cover it with soil and let it grow into a new plant. This works best in areas with mild winters and mild summers.
Euphorbia Milii can also be propagated by seed. You will not get true to type seedlings because the seeds tend to mutate, but you may get something similar. You can start your seeds indoors in early spring or outdoors in early fall.
Can You Grow Euphorbia Milii Indoors?
Euphorbia Milii is a hardy succulent that will tolerate low light, heat and humidity. It is especially suited for indoor growing because of its small size.
Do not overfeed the plant as this will cause stems to become weak and may make them more susceptible to rot than they were originally. Keep the soil moist, but do not let it sit in water or you can have fungal rot issues.
Try the crown of thorns plant if you’re seeking for a plant that thrives in the circumstances of most households (Euphorbia Milii). The plant is simple to cultivate since it thrives in regular room temperatures and dry indoor conditions. It is also forgiving of occasional missed watering and feedings.
Euphorbia Milii is a versatile houseplant. You can grow it in a pot that can fit on your desk or even on the floor. It can even be placed on an outdoor patio. Another advantage of growing Euphorbia Milii indoors is that you can also grow it in your yard without worrying about the weather.
The plant is green when grown outdoors and turns yellow to orange or red when grown indoors. When growing indoors, light levels are usually not as intense as outdoors and this is why the plant will turn yellow or red.
You can tell if your plant is getting enough light indoors by checking its color during the fall and spring. During the summer months, most windows are closed to keep out unwanted insects, so you may find your crown of thorns turning a reddish orange when grown indoors. If your plant is turning red, you will want to move it closer to a window where it can receive more light.
How Poisonous Is Euphorbia Milii Plant?
The toxicity of Euphorbia Milii is contained in its sap, which contains a milky latex that is toxic to all humans and animals. There aren’t any reports of the Euphorbia Milii causing skin irritations or infections, but there are reports of the plant causing eye irritations.
The sap may become irritating if it comes into contact with your skin. Any portion of the Euphorbia Milii that is consumed is harmful.
Additionally, the sap is moderately poisonous and a recognized skin and eye irritant. It is known that this Euphorbia is harmful to humans, cats, dogs, horses, and sheep. Euphorbia Milii has also been known to cause anaphylactic shock in dogs and goats.
Other animals are not known to be sensitive to the toxicity of Euphorbia Milii. It is not necessary to avoid this plant if you do not have pets that may become sensitive. In most cases of animal encounters, the plant’s toxic sap is used as a defense mechanism by the plant against predators.
The toxicity does not affect humans, but it may cause skin irritations if it comes into contact with your skin. If you experience irritation, stop the exposure to the plant immediately and wash it with soap and water. Additionally, the sap may cause an allergic reaction in humans, especially in those who have a history of contact with the plant.
Euphorbia Milii is toxic to dogs and cats, so if your pets have access to this plant make sure they are kept away from your home or yard to avoid damage to their health or life.
Cats are more sensitive to the toxicity of Euphorbia Milii which is why it is suggested to keep them away from this plant.
The plant can cause damage to a human’s eye if it comes into contact with the eyes as well. The symptoms of eye irritations include watering, redness, and blurred or defective vision.
You will want to immediately flush your eyes multiple times with water and call for an emergency if your eyes are still irritated or if you lose vision completely.