Euphorbia cristata - Coral Cactus

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This succulent has an unusual appearance because it is actually two different plants grafted together! The top is the stunning Euphorbia lactea cristata, the crested variety of E. lactea. It is naturally very slow-growing and because of this can be difficult to keep as a houseplant. This is where the other plant comes in! The stem is Euphorbia neriifolia, and it provides a good basis for the crested cactus to grow onto, allowing it to draw nutrients and energy from the stem. This is especially helpful with higher levels of variegation, as it allows the paler plant to get enough energy from the sunlight thanks to the higher level of chlorophyll in the greener stem. Technical points aside, this is a stunning plant, with a standout shape and interesting variegation- whether paler green with pink tints on the edges or darker green with splashes of white, this plant adds plenty of colour to your home!

Find out more about cristata on our blog post 'Fascinating Facts About Cristation, Fasciation & Cristata'

Scientific Name
Euphorbia lactea cristata (Euphorbus' milk-white plant, crested variety), grafted onto the stem of Euphorbia neriifolia (Euphorbus' plant with nerium-like leaves)

Common Name
Coral Cactus, Candelabra Plant, Crested Euphorbia

Native to tropical Asia- though of course you don't get the grafts in the wild!

This plant likes plenty of bright light, and will benefit from a few hours of direct sun each day. You can build up its tolerance to direct light by introducing it gradually, but four hours is about its maximum for direct sun.

Allow the soil to totally dry out between waters. This plant can quickly rot if it is left with damp feet all the time. This is especially a risk in winter, when the plant may not need any water at all.

Your Euphorbia are adapted to low humidity, so make sure they aren't anywhere damp which can increase the risk of mould.

Use a well-draining soil mix; one designed for cacti and succulents, with added sand and grit, should work well here.

Feed every two months in spring and summer; reduce to every three in autumn and winter.

Average temperatures of 15-32°C are fine in the growing season. Lower temperatures in winter will help the plant's dormancy period, just make sure it doesn't drop below 12°C.

No, this plant is toxic to pets and small humans, as well as having sharp spikes!

Sprouts Top Tips
The main issue to look out for here is overwatering. If you notice discolouration on either succulent, this is the first thing to check for. Make sure you are letting the soil dry out totally between waters; healthy Euphorbia roots are yellow and firm, so if you aren't sure you can check there.

If the colour of the variegation changes- i.e. it gets more green or more pink, this is nothing to worry about, it is just your plant adapting to new light levels.


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