How to Care for a Crown of Thorns Plant


Originating from Madagascar, the crown of thorns plant is a low-maintenance plant that can be container-grown or planted outdoors in warmer climates. This plant grows sharp spikes over its stems, and blooms during the warm growing season in small but vibrant flowers that are white, yellow, pink or red. The crown of thorns plant can bloom year round in tropical climates or when it's grown indoors.

Step 1

Water your crown of thorns plant moderately once or twice each week during the growing season. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Step 2

Place your crown of thorns plant in full, bright sunlight. Maintain warm air temperatures around the plant of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

Treat your crown of thorns plant for mealybug or aphid infestations by spraying and wiping down the leaves with a mixture of 2 tablespoons liquid dish soap and 1 quart of water.

Step 4

Trim back your crown of thorns plant in the winter, if you're controlling its size and keeping it in a shrub form. Do your pruning only during the winter, when the poisonous sap will flow the least.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be careful and wear gloves when you're handling the crown of thorns plant, because it has sharp spikes. The plant also has a milky sap that is extremely toxic and can irritate your skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose or watering can
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Pruning shears
  • Gloves


  • The Crown of Thorns is a Beautiful Yet Exotic Looking Plant
  • Crown-of-Thorns (Euphorbia milli)

Who Can Help

  • The Garden Helper: How to Grow a Crown of Thorns
Keywords: crown of thorns care, crown of thorn plant, grow Euphorbia

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.