How to properly care for your Coral Cactus

When it comes to indoor appeal, many would argue that cacti do it best. One particular cactus known as the Coral Cactus has been all the rage off late! Prominent for its vivid appearance and architectural beauty upon blooming, this plant is an amazing indoor companion. Native to India, Asia, and Africa, the coral cactus grows best under full sun or in partial shade. They can grow up to 15 inches at most. However, one thing to keep in mind is that unlike other succulents, the coral cactus needs to have soil that’s neither too dry nor too moist, which makes them difficult to care for. Keep in mind these cacti have a poisonous sap and sharp spines! 

2 fun facts about Coral Cacti

  • The coral cactus is a combination of two plants, the Euphorbia neriifolia with Euphorbia lactea, which is why taking care of them can be tricky. 
  • Since it looks like a coral on top and a cactus on the bottom, it got named Coral Cactus!

How to care for Coral Cacti

1. Light and temperature: Ideally, you want to keep your coral cactus in temperatures ranging between 60-85 degrees. As far as growing conditions go, coral cacti grow well under the sun, but if it’s too hot outside, consider placing them under partial shade (same as pencil cactus). Without at least 3 hours of sunlight per day, your coral cacti could end up growing lopsided, so care for them well! 

2. Watering: While several succulents and cacti can go days without water, the coral cacti can’t. It’s a tricky plant because it can’t be watered too little or too much – the watering has to be just right! The best way to sort this is by checking 2-4 inches of the soil, if it’s dry then proceed to water the soil. This is a good way of taking care of the cacti. 

3. Fertilizing: The coral cacti grow during the spring and summer; during this time, fertilize it regularly with a 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer that’s been diluted to a quarter of its strength. Fertilizing once in a fortnight should be the ideal way to take care of the cacti! 

4. Pruning: For the most part, cacti don’t require pruning. But in case they develop rot in the roots, ensure you cut the damaged part off. Also, keep in mind that the cacti’s sap is poisonous – so equip yourself with gloves before pruning. Take care to not let kids or animals come in contact with the sap either! 

Propagating a coral cactus

Coral cactus can be propagated from mature plants. But keep in mind that propagating a coral cactus is very tricky. Making contact with the cactus’ sap can also be toxic! Take care while cutting and transferring the plant. Here’s how you can propagate your plant safely:

  • Equip the necessary safety gear
  • Cut a “V” into the upper segment of the plant, with great care so as to not damage the plant.
  • Trim off the stem connecting to the branch and wash under cold water. 
  • Dip it in some rooting hormone powder and set it upright in good soil.

There you have it! With these steps, you will be able to care for your coral cactus and propagate it efficiently. 

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