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Coral Plant Care (Jatropha Multifida)

Updated: December 30, 2022

The Coral plant is a semi-succulent shrub with long petiolate leaves belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family. Bright red blooms characterize the Coral plant.

Where to Find The Coral Plant?

The Coral plant traces its nativity to the Caribbean and Mexico. However, varieties of this plant grow in South West Asia, Africa and South America.

What Do Coral Plants Symbolize?

The striking red blooms infused with the green foliage are symbolic of the complementary abilities people have. Spouses commonly give each other the Coral plant as a token of gratitude for their different roles that work in harmony to make their marriage life blissful.

Does The Coral Plant Have Any Other Names?

Known as Jatropha Multifida in the scientific community, it also goes by the names: coral bush, firecracker, psychic nut, and coral fountain.

Different Types of Coral Plants

  • Coral Cactus
  • Euphorbia lactea
  • Balanophora coralliformis
  • Rusellia equisetiformis

Main Uses of Coral Plants

  1. To decorate hanging gardens with beautiful blooms.
  2. As a landscape accent.
  3. As a border plant.

How to Prune Coral Plants

Coral plants are low-maintenance plants. However, they seed frequently, and this may cause invasive tendencies in the plant. Pruning is essential to control its size and remove dead growth. Using a pair of scissors, cut through the base of the plant to remove some of the foliage. You can use the dead matter in a compost soil mixture for newly propagated plants. Prune your coral plants in late winter or early spring.

Best Soil for Coral Plants

The ideal soil for the Coral bush is light, well-drained loamy soil. The Coral plant is content with rocky ground once its roots have firmly implanted into the earth. Composite soil mixtures with high grit content will suffice where loamy soils are unavailable.

How Much Light Do Coral Plants Need?

The red blooms of the Coral plant are light and demanding. Ideally, you want your coral plants exposed to the full sun. Take care not to cook them in the scorching sun during summer. Filtered light supports the plant’s growth, however minimally. Place your pots containing coral plants near a window with a South-West aspect for a fuller appearance. When light intensity lowers during winter, the firecracker goes into a latent phase, and the light requirements may decrease, albeit at the expense of the red blooms.

How Often to Water Coral Plants

Coral bush is drought tolerant when developed. Water it twice a month with two inches of water to retain its green foliage. During winter, reduce water because of dormancy. Over-watering causes root rot; therefore, you should examine your coral plants after every watering session. It is vital to allow the soil to soak up the water and almost dry in between irrigations. Wizened leaves indicate paltry watering.

Ideal Temperature Conditions for Coral Plants

The Coral plant’s nativity is Subtropical climate; therefore, it thrives under warm temperatures. It is not frost tolerant, and you should bring it inside during winter. It can withstand temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Humidity Conditions for Coral Plants

Coral plants’ nativity is in a sub-tropical climate; therefore, they thrive in a humid environment. Optimally, 60% humidity for outdoor plants and 65 percent for indoor coral plants will accelerate growth.

Best Fertilizer for Coral Plants

General-purpose fertilizers improve the growth of shrubs, the Coral plant being no exception. However, for optimal growth, use a balanced plant food fertilizer diluted to twice its strength. Fertilizing during spring is salient to give it a growth boost. However, you should be keen to avoid over-fertilization, which may cause finicky leaves and colored spots on the verdure.

How to Propagate Coral Plants

Growing a large botanical garden of coral bushes may necessitate propagation. Coral plants seed all year long except during winter, and these bear new plants. However, the most effective way of propagation is using cuttings. Using scissors, cut through the stem from the root, make sure your cutting has two or more nodes. Stick them in the soil with minimal water and fertilizer. Direct introduction into the sun speeds up the growth of newly propagated plants.

Growth Rate of Coral Plants

The Coral bush grows significantly during spring when there is adequate light intensity, although it naturally has a moderate growth rate. However, during winter, its metabolism lowers, and the growth is limited. When grown outside, the Coral plant can grow up to 15” tall with its orbicular leaves spanning 12” across. Sufficient light and proper culture enhance the Coral plant’s growth.

Ideal Pot Size for Coral Plants

The Coral bush is a big plant, and others may sprout in the same pot. You should use an 8” pot to accommodate future sprouts without depleting soil nutrients. Use porous pots for draining the soil while maintaining enough moisture for growth. Terra-Cotta pots are ideal for the Coral plant because of their ability to absorb excess moisture from the soil.

Repotting Tips for Coral Plants

Coral plants self-seed at the base, and newer plants may grow in the same pot. Over time, the plants exhaust nutrients and exhibit stunted growth. It is imperative to report and replenish plant vigor. Repot during the spring for better results.


Are Coral Plants Edible?

No, coral plants contain latex which has abortifacient properties. The Coral bush fruits may cause gastrointestinal distress when ingested. Keep the Coral plant at a safe distance from your kids.

Are Coral Plants Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Coral plants may cause skin irritation to your furry friends. The sweet fruits of the Coral plant may lure pets into eating them and hence experience abdominal pains. The Coral plant belongs to category 3 of the toxicity groups.

Is the Coral Plant Poisonous?

Yes, coral plants contain latex which is a neuromuscular blocker. However, it is not deadly poisonous and may only induce diarrhea and vomiting.

Do Coral Plants Prefer To Grow Indoors or Outside?

Their invasive tendencies and broad leaves make them prefer to grow outside. However, you can plant them in hanging gardens inside your house while controlling their spread and height.

Some Other Great Plants That Prefer The Outdoors

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What Is The Cost for Coral Plants

Coral plants are rare. The standard pot size of the Coral bush will cost you $17 to $39. You can shop at renowned botanical gardens to get quality plants.