Crown of thorns
I have a confession to make, and I may lose friends saying so, but I am not a fan of poinsettias!
To me they are the battery chickens of the horticultural world: propagated en masse, probably at great cost to the environment, and about as original a Christmas present as a chocolate orange!
So today I offer you a brilliant alternative to Euphorbia pulcherrima (the Latin name of the ubiquitous poinsettia) and it is another euphorbia – E.milii. Mine is on its third or fourth Christmas, it needs no cosseting, and flowers on and off all year, but is at its best right now!
Also known as ‘crown of thorns’, it certainly lives up to its common name, so needs careful handling. This apart, it asks nothing more than a good soak when it has completely dried out, and a south-facing position near a window. I have also successfully propagated it by sitting cuttings in a glass of water!
Happy gardening in 2023!
NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.
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