Euphorbia, or spurge, is a large family of plants. crown of thorns is one of the better known of these, and a standout specimen. Crown of thorns plant propagation is generally through cuttings, which is a fast method of establishing the plant. Do crown of thorns have seeds? They can produce seed if they bloom, but germination is fickle and it is much easier to establish plants from cuttings. Below is a guide on how to propagate crown of thorns in your home.
Taking Crown of Thorn Cuttings
Crown of thorns is native to Madagascar and was introduced to the United States as a novel houseplant. As long as they get a period of dry and a period of wet, these plants can flower all year around. Their stems and leaves contain a latex sap that some growers might be sensitive to, so it is a good idea to wear gloves when taking crown of thorn cuttings. The best time for cuttings is spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Use a very sharp knife or razor blade that is clean to prevent excess damage and disease passage to the parent plant. Cut straight across the tip of a leaf, taking a cutting 3 to 4 inches (7.5 cm.) long. Spray cold water on the parent's cut end to prevent latex sap from leaking. The next step is important to propagating crown of thorns through cuttings. Lay the cuttings on newspaper in a cool, dry place and allow the cut end to callus. This promotes cells that can turn into roots and helps prevent rot when you insert the cutting into soil. It usually takes a couple of days and the end will appear puckered and grayish white.
How to Propagate Crown of Thorns Cuttings
Propagating crown of thorns with cuttings is much easier than seed. Seed can take months to germinate and may not do so at all if conditions aren't just perfect. Cuttings need a good medium of equal parts peat and sand that has been previously moistened. Set several cuttings in to a 4 to 5 inch (10-12.5 cm.) pot for a quicker, fuller effect. Insert the callused end into the medium and bury so the cutting is just standing up. Keep the medium lightly moist, but avoid too much water and do not use a saucer or allow standing water. Rooting can take 12 to 14 weeks, but plants often flower shortly after that period.
Crown of Thorns Plant Propagation from Seed
Do crown of thorns have seed? Well, of course, they do, but Euphorbia seeds are only viable a short time and must be sown immediately. You can encourage your plant to produce seed by pollinating it by hand. Use a fine paintbrush and transfer pollen from one flower to another. Once you see the developed fruiting capsule, allow it to ripen and then remove it and split it open over a piece of paper to collect seed. Use the same medium in which you would to root cuttings, but in flats. Sow the seed on the surface of the soil and cover lightly with sand. Keep the flat lightly moist with a clear lid or plastic over it and place on a heated pad in bright light. Once you see baby plants, remove the lid and mist the soil to keep just the surface wet. Transplant babies when you see a pair of true leaves.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.
Begonia Watering: How To Water Begonias (And When To Leave Them Alone!)
Improving the way you hydrate your begonias can have a major impact on their life expectancy and flowering quality. We explain how to get better at begonia watering
By Tonya Barnett Published
Support Your Area's Pollinators By Using Keystone Plants
An understanding of keystone plants is not just a great way to make sure your garden is as enticing as possible to pollinators – it’s critical for the future of key species. We show you how to raise your eco-awareness
By Teo Spengler Published
Crown Of Thorns Plant Froze: Can A Crown Of Thorns Survive A Freeze
Native to Madagascar, crown of thorns is a desert plant suitable for growing in the warm climates of USDA plant hardiness zones 9b through 11. Can a crown of thorns plant survive a freeze? Learn more about dealing with crown of thorns cold damage in this article.
By Mary H. Dyer Last updated
Crown Of Thorns Has Spots: Treating A Crown Of Thorns With Leaf Spot
Bacterial leaf spot on crown of thorns causes unsightly lesions. They can become larger and merge, completely destroying leaf tissue and ultimately causing a plant to die. If you’re seeing spots on your crown of thorns, this article can help.
By Mary Ellen Ellis Last updated
Cutting Back Crown Of Thorns: How To Prune A Crown Of Thorns Plant
Most types of crown of thorns have a natural, branching growth habit, so extensive crown of thorns pruning isn?t generally needed. However, some fast-growing or bushier types may benefit from pruning or thinning. Click here to learn the basics of pruning crown of thorns.
By Mary H. Dyer Last updated
Crown Of Thorns Euphorbia: Tips On Growing Crown Of Thorns Outdoors
Heat tolerant and drought resistant, the crown of thorns plant is a real gem. Usually seen as houseplants, you can plant crown of thorns in the garden in warm climates. For tips about growing crown of thorns outdoors, this article will help.
By Teo Spengler Last updated
Euphorbia Crown Of Thorns Growing: Learn About Crown Of Thorns Houseplant Care
In the right setting, Euphorbia crown of thorns bloom almost year round. So if you're looking for a plant that thrives in the conditions inside most homes, try the crown of thorns plant. Read here for more info.
By Jackie Carroll Last updated