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Coral Cactus

Question:

I saw the other Question: on the leaves growing from the plant but didn’t say anything in depth on what to do etc. Here is some pics of mine. I live in Fort Myers Florida and its outside on my lanai. It stays there because since outside, it really sprouted big time in a few months. It has grown 2 stems and getting big. I also see tiny leaves on top and on one end red ones.  What is going on with that too? What do I do with it? Do I cut the leaves off and have stems? Does it turn into other cactus or never does? How to propagate? How does it get bigger? I hear they go up to 15″ high.  Do I re-pot?

Answer:

Despite its common name “Coral Cactus,” it is not actually a Cactus at all. It is a succulent properly named Euphorbia lactea cristata.

This is a very unusual plant in the way that it often produces an unusual looking fan-like crest. Because you have provide such a good environment for yours in terms of light and water, yours is happily producing side shoots that will continue to grow taller. This is normal and healthy.

It terms of appearance, you can cut off the side stems if you prefer to just maintain the crested portion of the plant. The side stems can be propagated in their own separate pots if you want to do that. You can also leave the stems attached and the stems will continue to grow taller and produce more leaves. There is no reason to cut off just the leaves.

If you leave it alone, it will get taller although the crested portion will maintain its current size.

Your plant is very healthy and it does not need nor should it be repotted.

To propagate the side stems, simply cut them off and allow the cut ends to dry in the open air over night. Then, insert the cut end about an inch deep in a small pot filled with a porous cactus potting mix. Keep the cuttings warm and slightly damp and provide lots of sun in a location similar to your existing plant.