How To Propagate Crown Of Thorns. 2 Best Ways

If you’re interested in learning how to propagate crown of thorns, you can do so by seeds or cuttings. Crown of thorns or Euphorbia milii is an exciting succulent to add to the garden. Therefore, it’s useful to know how to propagate it and start from whichever you think is more convenient. 

The good news is that this variety of euphorbia already puts you at a head start by being generally easy to propagate. Unlike other plant types, the Christ plant is not susceptible to many challenges from propagation. You can also guarantee the establishment by starting this plant in the greenhouse because the environment is optimal for young plants to develop.  

 

How To Propagate Crown Of Thorns. 2 Best Ways

How To Propagate Crown Of Thorns For Beginners

 

Option #1. Seeds

 

Pollination and seed collection

The first option for propagating a crown of thorns is from seeds. You can buy the seeds, but it’s possible to pollinate them yourself if you have existing plants. You do this by transferring pollen from one flower to another with a fine paintbrush. 

The crown of thorns plant should develop a capsule that you’ll wait until to ripen. Once this happens, please remove it from the plant and split over a paper sheet for seed collection. However, unlike other plants, note that the seeds of Christ plants are not suitable for extended storage periods.

 

Sowing and germination

Instead, sow the seeds immediately at the surface of a well-draining medium in flats. In general, this plant tolerates low-quality soil, but you can create a seed starting mix from soil, peat moss, sand, and perlite. Cover the seeds with sand lightly and maintain moisture. 

To help with germination, cover the container with plastic and place in the greenhouse where it’s bright but out of direct sunlight. Use the greenhouse to your advantage and maintain the temperature around 65 to 75°F.

As the seeds germinate within two to three weeks, remove the cover and maintain the surface moisture. You can then transplant outdoors when the crown of thorns plants develop a set of true leaves. 

 

Option #2. Cuttings

The second option and perhaps the most preferred gardeners method is propagating a crown of thorns from cuttings. However, caution is necessary for this technique because this plant has sharp spines and slightly toxic sap. NC State University recommends letting the sap dry before placing it in the growing medium. 

 

Collecting and drying

To gather cuttings from a crown of thorns plant safely, make sure to protect yourself with thick gloves. You also want to use a sharp and sterilized knife and slice through the plant’s stem around 4 inches back from its tip. Rinse the cutting and dip the end in rooting hormone powder. 

This way, the sap stops flowing, and you can let the cutting dry in a paper towel. The reason for drying the cutting is to prevent it from potentially rotting. Select an area that is warm and dry, and you’ll know when the cutting is ready if it looks puckered. 

 

Planting and care

The cutting should thrive well in a fast-draining mix of potting soil and sand, making sure that it is stable at the pot’s center by firming the medium around it. Place the container where it’s warm and dry but out of direct sunlight, and maintain the greenhouse temperature above 70°F to guarantee establishment. As with seeds, always check the medium and water if necessary. 

Did you know that you can also root a crown of thorns cutting in water? Start the cutting in a glass with around an inch of water to engulf its tip. Please place it in a similar location as potted cuttings and repot once the roots develop. 

 

Caring For Crown Of Thorns

Crown of thorns plants are generally easy to care for. You want to water them only when the soil is dry by flooding the pot and letting the water drain underneath. You can water the crown of thorns plants from spring to fall, and they can also receive water in winter if the soil is dry three inches deep. 

How to feed the crown of thorns plants? Throughout the year, a liquid fertilizer would work well with crown of thorns plants where you feed them every two weeks in summer, spring, and fall. For winter, make sure that you only do so monthly with diluted fertilizer. 

 

Conclusion

Crown of thorns is one of the most beautiful and easy-to-care-for succulents you can have in the garden. Learning how to propagate crown of thorns will allow you to start either from seeds or use cuttings to grow this unique plant. If you opt to sow seeds, remember that they are only viable for a short period. 

You need to immediately use the seeds and place them in the greenhouse to guarantee germination. This includes covering the container to maintain moisture and ensuring that the temperatures are between 65 to 75°F. On the other hand, you can take cuttings from an existing plant, given that you are extra careful with the thorns and sap. 

You treat the cutting as you would with any plant, but let it dry first before planting to lower the rot risk. Dip it in rooting hormone powder and place somewhere bright but not receiving direct sunlight. You can also root crown of thorns cuttings in water, but whichever propagation method you choose, the greenhouse makes it easy to create an optimal growing environment. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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