The Coral Cactus, a.k.a Euphorbia lactea 'Cristata' made an appearance as our Luxury Indoor plant of the month for August of 2019. Apart from its striking appearance, this is an incredibly unique plant, for one main reason. Read on to find out all you need to know about what's super special about this plant and how to care for it.
Native to tropical Asia, mainly India, and Africa.
Light and position in the home
Full, direct sun to partial shade.
Flowers and foliage
This plant is actually two plants in one: both are Euphorbias, but the straight green base and the top 'coral' part actually originate from two totally different plants, which have been grafted together by hand, and live quite happily like that.
This grafting is an attempt by us humans to mimic a very rare mutation that does occur naturally in the wild, but which is hard to replicate in the greenhouse. Talk about amazing, right?!
Succulent fans beware, although this is a succulent, because of its unique grafted plant nature. its watering needs are quite unusual. You cannot leave it to completely dry out, but it also doesn't like very moist soil as the roots can rot very easily. Allow top 2-4 inches to dry.
The ideal growing temperature is 16-29 degrees Celcius.
Take extreme care when handling this plant. 1) It has very sharp spines. 2) The sap of this plant (known as latex) is also toxic, so exercise extra caution if you have small humans or pets in the home.
Why I chose this plant
We know how much you like receiving plants from us that are a bit more eyecatching and unusual. And, well, you can't get much more unique than the Coral Cactus. Most people don't realise that this plant is a two-plant hybrid, so it's a great conversation-starter! We've never delivered anything like it to you before, and it's unlikely you'll see anything similar from us any time soon as there are very few grafted hybrids that are quite this beautiful! Truly a Frankenstein of the plant world, this one is nothing if not unique and unusual.
It's perfect for this time of year, because it's part cactus and can therefore survive relatively long spells without water (although not as long as some succulents so don't forget this one). But likely long enough for any week-long trips abroad you might have planned at this time of year. Just be sure to check in on it when you get back, as it might well need a bit of a drink by then.