House plants for beginners

By February 15, 2020 No Comments

When our house cats died we were all sad, especially the kids. But for me it was a chance to finally purchase some house plants. So, when I walked through Home Depot last fall, I couldn’t resist picking up a few house plants. Cheap, small house plants.

Today, after absentmindedly watering my three house plants for months, I discovered a flower and thorns on one of my plants. Surprised, I finally pulled out the plastic tag and read it. Aha!

Euphorbia milii

Right away I recognized the Spurge family because we have Euphorbias in the landscape and they produce the same poisonous white sap (latex). Now you know why house plants and cats don’t always mix.

Use gloves when handling and pruning the plant. The white latex is a skin irritant and doesn’t belong in your eyes. I’ve pruned Euphorbias in the landscape and the sticky sap was annoying. My skin was fine.

The common name Crown of Thorns makes sense because right below the flower are brown thorns. I tested them gently and it looks like a tight squeeze would hurt. Light touch was fine. I actually like the look. I can see how people would make the association with Jesus.

The flower appears at the end of a stalk and has gentle lobes. I like small, unassuming flowers. Not every flower in your house has to be in your face big. If you re-pot the plant you can expect it to reach 10-50cm. This is my next step, re-potting.

Euphorbia milii is a succulent which, I suspect, is why it’s a perfect house plant for beginners. You can forget to water it and it will still plug away until you remember you owned house plants. I know, life is busy. I’ve tried to get my kids to water our house plants, without success.

Fun, fun, fun

It was fun to learn something new today from a cheap house plant I picked up on the way to the cash register at Home Depot. And while I prefer outdoor plants, it’s still a lot of fun to get some house plants. Try it!

Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns)

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