Coral Cactus (Euphorbia lactea)

The Coral Cactus, scientifically known as Euphorbia lactea, is a fascinating and unusual plant that captures attention with its unique appearance. Despite its name, the Coral Cactus is not a true cactus but a succulent. This plant is often grafted onto a rootstock of another succulent, creating a striking, coral-like structure that makes it a popular choice for decorative indoor gardens. Native to tropical Asia, the Coral Cactus combines beauty and intrigue, making it a conversation piece in any plant collection.


Coral Cacti offer several benefits that make them a fantastic addition to any home or office:

  1. Aesthetic Appeal: With its striking, coral-like crested growth, the Coral Cactus adds an exotic and artistic touch to any space.
  2. Low Maintenance: Like many succulents, the Coral Cactus requires minimal care, making it ideal for busy individuals or those new to plant care.
  3. Compact Size: This plant’s compact size makes it perfect for small spaces, such as desks, windowsills, and shelves.
  4. Air Purification: While primarily valued for its appearance, like other succulents, it helps in improving indoor air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

Watering & Care

Caring for a Coral Cactus is relatively easy, but there are some specific guidelines to ensure its health and longevity:

  1. Light: Coral Cacti thrive in bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some direct sunlight, especially in the morning or late afternoon, but prolonged exposure to intense light can cause sunburn.
  2. Watering: Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot. Water approximately every 2-4 weeks, depending on the humidity and temperature of your environment.
  3. Soil: Use a well-draining cactus or succulent potting mix. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom.
  4. Temperature & Humidity: Coral Cacti prefer temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C) and can tolerate low humidity. Avoid exposing the plant to drafts or sudden temperature changes.
  5. Fertilizing: Feed the plant with a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer) once a month. Avoid fertilizing during the dormant winter months.

Facts Check

  • Origin: Euphorbia lactea is native to tropical Asia, particularly India.
  • Varieties: There are several varieties and cultivars of Euphorbia lactea, including the popular ‘Cristata’ form, which features the crested, coral-like growth.
  • Growth: Coral Cacti are slow-growing plants that can reach up to 1-2 feet tall when grafted onto a rootstock.
  • Grafting: Coral Cacti are often grafted onto the rootstock of another succulent, such as Euphorbia neriifolia, to create their unique shape and structure.


How often should I water my Coral Cactus?

Water your Coral Cactus every 2-4 weeks, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings to prevent root rot.

Can Coral Cacti tolerate low light?

While Coral Cacti prefer bright, indirect light, they can tolerate lower light conditions, but their growth may be slower and less vigorous.

Are Coral Cacti toxic to pets?

Yes, Coral Cacti are toxic to pets and humans if ingested, and their sap can cause skin irritation. Handle with care and keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Why is my Coral Cactus turning yellow?

Yellowing can be a sign of overwatering or insufficient light. Ensure proper watering practices and provide adequate bright, indirect light.

Can I propagate my Coral Cactus?

Propagation of Coral Cacti is typically done through grafting, which can be challenging for beginners. It’s best to purchase a grafted plant from a reputable nursery.

The Coral Cactus (Euphorbia lactea) is a captivating and low-maintenance succulent that brings a unique and exotic touch to any indoor space. With its striking coral-like appearance and easy care requirements, it’s an excellent choice for both novice and experienced plant enthusiasts. By following the care tips outlined above, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of the Coral Cactus in your home or office for years to come.