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How to Care for Jerusalem Thorn

Ask the Expert: Care of Jerusalem Thorn ?

It’s a plant that is usual grown in the hot climate. It has many thorns. Has a yellow or red small flower. Gloria

Plant Expert Reply:
Please take a look at the first picture shown below. Since common names like Jerusalem Thorn can be used for more than one and often different plants, I am assuming that the plant you have is a Parkinsonia aculeata and not a  Euphorbia milii var. splendens (shown in the second picture)

Jerusalem Thorn (Parkinsonia aculeata) is grown as an ornamental tree for its attractive flowers and delicate foliage.

Location preferences: Jerusalem Thorn is a drought tolerant plant preferring a full sun location and sandy or gravelly soils. It tolerates chalky or alkaline soils. It thrives in hot climates and is susceptible to severe damage in climates that see temperatures below 18 degrees Fahrenheit or -7.8 degrees Celsius.

Water preferences: In the spring and summer, water this plant moderately and once a month apply a balanced fertilizer (something where the percentage of the primary nutrients are all the same. ie 13-13-13). During the winter water it sparingly.

Pruning needs: Jerusalem Thorn is a small ornamental tree that can reach heights of 25ft and a spread of 20ft. Prune it only if you need to restrict growth.

Pests & Diseases: Jerusalem Thorn is susceptible to galls, spider mites, mushroom root rot, dieback and some types of leaf spot.

Hope this information is helpful.



  1. Jamie, Thanks so much for getting back to me. Would you believe, Crown of thorns was the plant I was referring to. Once I saw the picture, it was easy to remember the name. Thanks again. I clicked on the picture and was able to get the info I wanted.