Q. My crown of thorns plant (Euphorbia milii) has leaves on the tips but no flowers. Help!

How can I make my plant flower?


Leaves just at the tips of a crown of thorns plant is very typical. It is natural for your crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii) to lose leaves on the older parts of the stem and to have the stalky, prickly look that gives it its name. Each leaf lasts for just a few months before falling off.

The flowers appear only on the ends of actively growing stems and not on the old bare ones. To have good flowering, proper light is the most important factor. Your euphorbia needs all the sun it can get to have the energy to flower. The more bright, direct sunlight it gets, the longer the flowering period will be. Without enough light, you will not get flowers.

Your plant also needs to be healthy to flower. Keep it in a warm, dry location with temperatures always above 60ºF. If temperatures dip into the 50's, leaves will fall off prematurely.

Water it to make all the potting mixture just moist, then allow it to drain completely through the drain hole before removing the run off water. The soil should nearly dry down one inch before you water it again. Do not let the roots completely dry or the leaves will fall off. Feed the plant with an organic houseplant fertilizer twice a month in spring and summer, continuing until flowers are gone.

After the spring to summer flowering season ends, reduce water a bit but don't let the roots dry. If you have the plant in great sunlight, it may continue to flower into the fall and you can continue to treat it as an actively growing plant.

I hope that helps you achieve a beautiful season of flowers!

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service


  • Last Updated Jun 03, 2021
  • Views 3
  • Answered By Leslie Coleman

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