Unleashing the Ethereal Beauty of the ‘White Ghost Cactus’: A Guide to Caring for Euphorbia lactea + Bonus Info on ‘Coral Cactus’

Crested euphorbia lactea coral cactus white ghost

What is Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’?

Euphorbia lactea cactus care white ghost

Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’ is a visually striking plant that is known for its creamy white, pink, green, and yellow coloration. It is a member of the euphorbiaceae family and is characterized by its triangular stems with spiked margins that grow in a candelabra form, reaching over 6 feet at maturity. This plant originates from tropical regions and is tolerant of wet and humid conditions.

What are the Physical Characteristics of Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’?

Euphorbia lactea white ghost cactus care guide white ghost

The size and shape of Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’ is tall and triangular, with spiked margins. The overall coloration of the plant is creamy white, with tinges of pink and swirls of green and yellow. The growth rate of the plant will vary depending on soil type, sunlight, temperature, and other factors.

What are the Care Requirements for Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’?

Euphorbia lactea white ghost white ghost

When caring for Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’, it is important to keep the following factors in mind:

  • Watering: The plant should be allowed to dry between waterings and the frequency and amount of water will depend on soil type, sunlight, temperature, and other factors.
  • Fertilization: The type and frequency of fertilization will depend on the growing conditions of the plant. However, succulents in general don’t need to be fertilized since they’re used to being grown in nutrient poor soils in their native habitats. If you do, be sure to read about how to fertilize your succulents since there’s some nuances you need to know.
  • Pruning: Pruning is necessary to maintain the shape of the plant and to remove any dead or yellowing leaves. In my experience, you probably won’t need to do any sort of pruning unless one of its branches dies or starts rotting.
  • Repotting: Repotting is necessary when the plant becomes root bound, which will slow its growth. A larger pot should be used at this point.

What are the Safety Considerations when Handling Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’?

Propagating euphorbia lactea white ghost

When handling Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’, it is important to take the following precautions:

  • Milky Sap: The milky sap of the plant is similar to that of poinsettias and fig trees and is a strong irritant. Gloves should be worn when handling the plant and any milky sap that gets on the skin should be quickly washed off.
  • Children and Pets: As with most houseplants, it is important to be aware if you have children and pets and to keep the plant out of reach.

What are the Best Conditions for Growing Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’ in Containers?

White ghost cactus propagation white ghost

Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’ grows well in containers, both indoors and on the patio. The following factors should be considered when growing the plant in a container:

  • Room for Growth: The plant should be given enough room to grow, and a container with a diameter of 8-12 inches and a depth of 10 inches is a good starting point.
  • Indoor and Outdoor: The plant can be grown indoors or on the patio, depending on the growing conditions. If you do have yours outside, be sure to not let it get hit with full, harsh sun in the middle of the day when it is more likely to be sunburned and scorched.
Crested euphorbia lactea coral cactus scion rootstock white ghost

What are the Ideal Growing Zones and Sunlight Requirements for Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus”?

Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’ thrives in the following growing conditions:

  • Outdoor Growing Zones: The best outdoor growing zones for this plant are 9b-11, and it requires quite a bit of sunlight, depending on the location due to the low amount of chlorophyll. In colder zones the plant should be brought indoors or protected during the winter months.

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Mine is on my covered front porch which gets afternoon sun. While it hasn’t grown a whole lot in the couple of years that I’ve had it, it hasn’t suffered any sunburns.

Does Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’ Produce Flowers?

During the spring and summer, these plants produce small white or yellow flowers. However, potted plants and those grown indoors rarely flower.

How to care for crested euphorbia lactea coral cactus white ghost

How to Propagate Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’

Despite not having leaves, Euphorbia lactea, also known as the White Ghost Cactus, can be propagated through stem cuttings. Here are the steps to follow for successful propagation:

  1. Choose a healthy stem: Select a stem that is at least 6 inches long, and is not too woody.
  2. Cut the stem: Using a sharp, clean pair of scissors or pruning shears, make a clean cut just below a node (the point where the stem branches off). At this point, you will notice the white, milky sap coming out of the cut end. Do not touch it!
  3. Allow the cutting to callus over: Place the cutting in a warm, dry place and allow the cut end to callus over for a day or two.
  4. Plant the cutting: Fill a small pot with well-draining potting soil and make a hole in the center. Place the cutting into the hole and gently press the soil around it.

Safety precautions: Euphorbias produce a milky sap that is a strong irritant and should be avoided. Be sure to wear gloves when handling the stem cuttings and avoid getting the sap on your skin or in your eyes. If the sap does come into contact with your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water.

In conclusion, the Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost Cactus’ is a visually striking houseplant with unique characteristics and easy-to-follow care requirements. With its tolerance of wet and humid conditions and preference for partial shade, it’s a great option for gardeners and plant enthusiasts alike. If you’ve seen its crested version known as ‘Coral Cactus’ then keep reading below!

Bonus- Cresting New Heights: Exploring the Grafted Beauty of Euphorbia Lactea Cristata ‘Coral Cactus’

Coral cactus care white ghost

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Euphorbia lactea cristata, also known as the ‘Coral Cactus,’ is a visually stunning cultivar of the ‘White Ghost Cactus.’ This crested version is achieved through a process called grafting, where the top part of Euphorbia lactea (the scion) is joined to the bottom part of another plant (the rootstock), in this case Euphorbia neriifolia.

Coral cactus growing white ghost

Grafting is a horticultural technique that combines two plants to create a single entity. The scion provides the desired characteristics, such as color, shape, or size, while the rootstock provides the necessary nutrients and water-absorbing abilities. The resulting plant has the benefits of both the scion and the rootstock.

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Crested euphorbia lactea coral cactus grafted succulent white ghost

In the case of Euphorbia lactea cristata ‘Coral Cactus’, the grafting process enhances the plant’s unique coral-like appearance and allows for better survival in different growing conditions. The rootstock helps to provide stability and hardiness to the plant, while the scion gives it its distinctive coral-like crest. Crested succulents tend to be more susceptible to problems.

Crested euphorbia lactea coral cactus grafted white ghost

In conclusion, Euphorbia lactea cristata ‘Coral Cactus’ is a beautiful addition to any indoor or outdoor garden and is a testament to the art and science of grafting. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this plant is sure to capture your attention and imagination.

Crested euphorbia lactea coral cactus neriifolia white ghost
Learn how to propagate succulents and share them with your friends
Learn how to propagate succulents and share them with your friends

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Euphorbia Succulents: The Fierce and Exotic Addition to Your Collection

Euphorbia, also known as spurges, are a diverse group of plants that are known for their exotic and fierce appearance. These succulents are easy to grow and make quite a statement when potted solo or in arrangements. However, it is important to handle Euphorbia with caution as they contain a caustic white sap that can cause skin irritation.

Types of Euphorbia Succulents

There are many types of Euphorbia succulents, each with their own unique characteristics. Some popular species include:

  • Euphorbia trigona
  • Euphorbia milii
  • Euphorbia lactea
  • Euphorbia ingens
  • Euphorbia tirucalli

Care and Cultivation

When it comes to caring for Euphorbia succulents, it is important to provide them with bright direct sunlight and well-draining soil. These plants prefer a gritty, well-draining mix like a cactus and succulent soil. Watering should be done deeply enough for water to run out the container’s drainage hole, and the soil should be allowed to completely dry before watering again. Euphorbia are not frost-hardy and should be brought indoors to a sunny windowsill if there is a chance of frost.

Propagation and Pests/Diseases

Euphorbia succulents can be propagated through offsets, stem cuttings, or seed. It’s important to use gloves and eye protection when handling the cuttings to avoid contact with the sap. As for pests and diseases, common issues include mealybugs and spider mites. Regular inspection and prompt treatment can prevent these problems.


Euphorbia succulents come in a variety of forms, including thick, water-storing trunks, pencil-thin stems that stand up or sprawl, and large, intimidating thorns. The flowers of Euphorbia are unique from the rest of the plant kingdom, with a structure that resembles a flower but is actually a “cyathium” or cluster of simplified male flowers and one larger female flower. Below the flowers are colorful pairs of cyathophylls that look like petals but are more like leaves.

In conclusion, Euphorbia succulents are a great addition to any collection for their fierce and exotic appearance. With proper care and cultivation, these plants can thrive and add unique beauty to any garden or indoor space. Remember to handle with caution due to the toxic milky sap and thorns, and research specific species to understand its needs.

euphorbia lactea white ghost cactus

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