University of Florida

Crown of Thorns

In many areas of the country, crown of thorns is grown as a unique houseplant. For Florida gardeners it makes a great container plant, and in South Florida, it can also be planted outdoors as a small shrub.

Crown of thorns is perhaps best known for its interesting stems, which are grayish brown and covered with inch-long spines. Gardeners also appreciate that it blooms year-round with delicate flowers in pink, red, yellow, or white.

Plant it in full sun for best results, watering as needed. Once established, it has good drought and salt tolerance. Just be sure to protect it from frost and freeze. You can propagate crown of thorns from tip cuttings, but take care when handling the plant. Both the spines and the milky sap can cause skin irritation.

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