Crown of Thorns is a deciduous, herbaceous, perennial shrub with bright green leaves and greenish flowers.
Crown of Thorns grows best in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Because it does not like wet, cold soils or temperatures below 35 degrees F. It is an easy to grow indoor plant where it prefers a sunny location in soil-based potting mix. If grown outside in hot summer climates, provide the plant with midday shade and moderate moisture for better flower bloom.
Sticky, showy, paired-bract flowers on gray stems with long spines identify this plant. Cyclical leaf drop is normal, but messy and preceeds the plant’s resting season (usually winter). The flowers will bloom throughout the year. The long spines are dangerous to inattentive gardeners, children and pets. The plant is often used as a specimen plant for interiors with high light or as annual outdoor plant.
Crown of Thorns prefers bright light, dry soil and low relative humidity. You can propagate the plant from cuttings, but let sap dry before placing the cutting in a growing medium.
- Christ Plant
- Christ Thorn
- Crown of Thorns
Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:
No known serious pests or diseases. As with most indoor plants, potential disease pests include leaf spots, stem and root rots and botrytis blight. Potential insect pests include scale, mealybug, thrips. and mites.
The sap is moderately poisonous, and causes irritation on contact with skin or eyes. If ingested, it causes severe stomach pain, irritation of the throat and mouth, and vomiting. The poisonous ingredients have been identified as phorbol esters It is very toxic to domesticated animals such as, horses, sheep, cats and dogs. For humans it is mildly toxic and only acts as an irritant.