Cuttings of Crown of Thorns plant

(Question)

Howdy, I recently cut some branches of my crown of thorns plant and I’d like the cuttings to grow roots…previously I’ve done this just by sticking the cutting in a cup with water, but this time I don’t know if that’ll work. Is there a better way, like some brand of liquid that might help the roots form?

(Answer)

Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) is an interesting plant. It is native to Madagascar and is classified as a succulent. It has fleshy leaves, thorny stems and modest flowers.  It’s heat tolerant and doesn’t mind drying out, so it makes a good flowering container plant.

The usual method for propagating Crown of Thorns is from tip cuttings.  You can propagate Crown of Thorns fairly easily using this technique, but take care when handling the plant. Both the spines and the milky sap can cause skin irritation. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.

It’s best to do this task in the spring or early summer taking 3-4ins cuttings from the top of a branch.  Use a very sharp clean knife or single edge razor to make the cut. Dip the Crown of Thorns stem tip cuttings in cold water and spray the trimmed areas on the mother plant with cold water to stop the oozing milky sap. It’s a good idea to take several cutting to ensure you are successful in getting at least one plant to take. Set the cuttings aside in a cool dry place for a few days allowing the cut to dry out and form a callus. Once this happens dip the end of the cutting into a rooting hormone (ask your local garden centre or nursery to advise you, as it will depend on the product they carry). Insert each cutting into a clean pot of sterile potting soil. Keep in a warm place with bright light. Do not water for the first 2 weeks and after that water sparingly until you see signs of new growth. This could take up to a month.