Cutting Christ's thorn - tips on technique and timing

Cutting Christ's thorn - tips on technique and timing



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The Christthorn is one of the easiest houseplants to care for and also delights us with its decorative flowers in winter. With regular cutting measures you ensure a perfect look.

The Christ thorn (Euphorbia milii) is not a plant that needs a regular topiary and otherwise becomes unsightly after a short time, but cutting measures are well tolerated and can be carried out all year round if necessary or if necessary.

When should the Christ thorn be cut?

If the plant is kept at room temperature all year round, cutting measures can be carried out at any time. A cut is primarily made so that the plant gets or maintains the desired shape. Year-round cutting measures will also be necessary if parts of the plant damaged by disease have to be disposed of. If the plant has grown and should be trimmed to size, spring is a good time. Make sure that the plant has not yet sprouted at this point.

" Tip: The parts of the plant that result from pruning the healthy plant can be used as cuttings for the propagation of the Christ's thorn.

Cut back the Christ thorn - This is how it's done

  1. use sharp and aseptic cutting tools
  2. Prepare the plant
  3. wear gloves
  4. Shorten the middle shoot for a bushy growth
  5. Taper cut can include 2/3
  6. Treat interface
  7. Continue cultivating the plant as usual

The best time for targeted cutting measures is the beginning of spring. Then the plant awakes from its winter dormancy and has not yet started to sprout again. In order to hurt the Christ thorn as little as possible and to achieve smooth cut edges, you should use a sharp knife that you have disinfected with alcohol beforehand.

In order for the plant to grow bushy, the middle shoot should be shortened at the base. With the taper cut, about 2/3 of the plant can be removed without damaging the Christ thorn. You can supply the resulting interfaces with charcoal ash or put on a piece of kitchen paper as a plaster.

Be careful - the Christ thorn as a poisonous plant

The Christ thorn has spines that cannot be overlooked. However, the plant is by no means a cactus. The tropical plant is much more closely related to the poinsettia. In his homeland of Madagascar, the Christ thorn populates entire thorn bush steppes. As a houseplant, the milkweed is quite easy to cultivate. But you should always be aware that it is a milkweed plant and therefore a poisonous plant.

Cutting the Christ thorn brings you some advantages and disadvantages:

advantagesdisadvantage
By pruning you can determine the shape of the plant.The escaping plant sap is toxic to humans and pets.
The plant sections obtained can be used for the propagation of cuttings.Open wounds with escaping milk juice can be dangerous for small children and pets.
The plant is very well tolerated by cutting and also forgives spontaneous cutting measures due to diseases.

Even the smallest injuries to the Christ's thorn lead to the leakage of the toxic milk juice. This leads to skin irritation and irritates the mucous membranes. To protect yourself and others, heed the following advice.

❶ Wear gloves and eye protection when cutting.
❷ Carry out the cutting measures outdoors if possible.
❸ Treat all wounds and cover them.
❹ Keep children and pets away from freshly cut plants.
❺ Dispose of the plant sections created during the cut.

The disease-related pruning

Cutting measures on the Christ's thorn can not only be carried out if necessary, sometimes you also have to use a knife for this plant. If certain parts of the plant are affected by diseases, it is advisable to cut back as radically as possible and only keep the healthy parts of the plant.

" Tip: If the plant can no longer be saved, try to get some healthy cuttings and re-grow the Christ thorn.

The damage is usually evident from the condition of the leaves. There are various options here:

"The leaves appear to be covered with a sticky layer:
This type of damage occurs very rarely. It is honeydew, the excretions of various pests. Since most pests move away from the Christ's thorn due to the poisonous plant sap, the leaves are hardly likely to stick together.

"The leaves appear to be covered with a mealy layer:
This is an infestation with mildew, favored by warm, humid air during the winter half-year. The plants do not like high humidity and get along very well with dry heating air. Control is difficult because the plants should not be sprayed. This common method of pest control would damage the Christ thorn even more. Instead, cut back all infested parts of the plant and, if necessary, use a chemical pesticide.

"The leaves appear wilted and brown:
This is a particularly common occurrence of damage, mostly caused by maintenance errors, such as too dry soil or the abrupt change of location, for example when the plant is allowed to go outside in the summer and is placed in the blazing sun without a familiarization phase. If the affected leaves are removed and the care errors are remedied, the Christ thorn usually recovers quickly and freshly emerges.

"The leaves appear yellow:
If the sun is too intense, the leaves may turn yellow. Plants can also be affected by jaundice. This chlorosis can occur if the plants cannot tolerate calcareous water.

" Tip: Water regularly with rainwater and the chlorosis occurs anyway, waterlogging could also be the cause.

Remove the yellow leaves and cut back the plant slightly if necessary.