Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns)

Scientific Name

Euphorbia milii Des Moul.

Common Names

Crown of Thorns, Christ Plant, Christ Thorns, Siamese Lucky Plant


Euphorbia bojeri, Euphorbia splendens, Euphorbia splendens var. bojeri

Scientific Classification

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


Color: Red
Bloom Time: Throughout the year


Euphorbia milii is a succulent climbing shrub that grows up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall. It has grayish-brown, 5-7 sided stems, branched and up to 3 feet (90 cm) in height, with many prominent, gray, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long spines. Leaves are found mainly on new growth and are obovate (wider near the tip), up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long, and 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) wide. Flowers are red, up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) wide, subtended by a pair of conspicuous petal-like bracts. It flowers over a too-long season, throughout the year in tropical and sub-tropical locations, from late winter well into fall if grown indoors.

Euphorbia milii - Crown of Thorns
Photo via


USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect. Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerate wet soil.

Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry several inches below the surface. Water deeply, but don't let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly. See more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.


Native to Madagascar.


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