Euphorbia milii

Euphorbia milii: general information

Euphorbia milii belongs to the species of Euphorbiaceae which contains specimens of shrubs, plants with thorns very similar to columnar cacti, succulents, plants with thorns similar to globose cacti. All these species can be found in the regions of Africa, Europe and America. Specifically, Euphorbia milii is native to southern Africa, it is a succulent with very fleshy, semi-woody or woody stems, non-succulent leaves (they do not retain excess water and then be released when the plant needs it), and flowers are called cyathia. On the stems there are thorns which, in the specimens that live in nature, are used to cling to shrubs and be able to develop in a healthy and strong way, avoiding, once reached one meter in height, weakening and dying. The foliage has an oval shape and dark green; it occurs only on the shoots and at the apex of the branches. Their luxuriance and state of health depend on the climate in which the Euphorbia is planted: in a dry climate the leaves are very scarce, while in a cooler and more humid climate they develop in abundance.

Euphorbia milii: cultivation

The cultivation of Euphorbia milii is very simple and can take place both in the open ground and in pots to be placed inside your apartment. The plant cannot stand periods of drought and extreme heat. Regular watering should be done when the soil is dry. The planting must not take place in a pot that is too large, the soil must be very drained and at the same time able to retain some humidity. During the winter season, Euphorbia milii must be moved inside the house or in a greenhouse because it cannot bear temperatures below about 12 ° C. As a general rule, it must be positioned in a well-lit environment, taking care not to leave it exposed to direct sunlight during the summer season. In addition, it is good to know that the succulent, in addition to being too hot, it cannot stand intense cold. As for the soil, during planting it is necessary to mix perlite or pumice stone, bark or leaf earth with universal earth and add about a tablespoon of slow release fertilizer poor in nitrogen.

Euphorbia milii

As previously stated, Euphorbia milii does not need specific care to be able to develop in a lush and healthy way. In addition to the annual repottings that must take place during the spring season, the structure of the soil and the frequent irrigations, some precautions must be taken to avoid early death. It is good to remember that, once exceeded one meter in height, it must be placed next to a shrub to which it can cling thanks to the thorns present in the stem. Pruning is not an indispensable practice, in fact, it is practiced to eliminate dry, damaged branches and to lighten the aerial structure. Propagation occurs by seed and is able to survive in places where temperatures are no higher than about 20 ° C and no lower than 12. In addition to frosts, it is necessary to pay close attention to water stagnation and to the aggressions of some very harmful parasites. Among the main aggressors are: aphids and mealy bugs. They are eradicated through the use of anticoccidials, pesticides, and paying attention to the humidity that the plant must maintain.

Euphorbia milii: curiosity

Euphorbia milii is also called Christ’s thorn. Around it there is a very particular and interesting legend to know. This name was given because, it is believed that in the past, this specimen was used for the making of the crown placed on the head of Christ during his crucifixion. Of course, there is no information to support this thesis. Despite this, Euphorbia is native to the regions of Asia and Africa; this species in particular comes from Madagascar, but the first specimens were observed around 1800. Probably, these plants were also widespread in areas of the Middle East, but another specimen of thorny shrub may have been used for the realization of the crown of thorns. Today, in the East it is not possible to observe species of Euphorbia milii or its similar. Precisely for this legend, in the meaning of flowers, Euphorbia milii symbolizes passion, suffering and death.

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