Pencil Cactus Plant

Euphorbia tirucalli

The unusual and exotic pencil cactus plant is very easy to grow as long as it receives sufficient light.

Euphorbia tirucalli is a mass of pencil thick, shiny green stems which jut from the thicker main stems at every conceivable angle. Tiny leaves will sometimes appear along the stems.

Pencil cactus plant growing at  Heathcote Botanical Gardens.

Euphorbia tirucalli performs well in poor, dry soil and can grow into a tree 30 feet tall in just a few years.

In Zimbabwe it is known as rubber hedge and it is used for thick, zero-maintenance hedges.


Pencil Cactus Toxicity

Growing Pencil Tree Cactus Plants

*Anaphylaxis is a life threatening allergic reaction that causes your lips and throat to swell, cutting off your airway.

My husband has this reaction to shellfish. A doctor once told him to keep Benadryl on his person at all times and to take 2 tablets at the first sign of an allergic reaction (usually his lips will tingle before they start to swell).

The most important thing is to place it in bright sun. This plant stretches toward the sun and lack of light will cause it to droop and loose its upright growth habit.

Plant it in fast draining soil and don't provide supplemental water except during long periods of drought.

Feed Euphorbia tirucalli once a month, but only when the soil is moist.

Pencil cactus propagation is easy. Take cuttings of any size and let them dry for a few days before placing them into fast draining soil. Keep them shaded and barely moist until you see new growth. Shift the new plants gradually into higher light.

If you suddenly notice bees swarming around it, it is probably blooming. The flowers are inconspicuous and it is unlikely you would ever notice them otherwise.






Other Exciting Succulents:

Succulent Gardens: Growing Succulent Plants in Pots or in the Ground

Crown of Thorns Plant:One of the most popular Euphorbias

Ideas for Indoor and Outdoor Cactus Gardens

Coaxing a Christmas Cactus into Bloom

Orchid Cactus: a day-blooming hybrid of the night-blooming Cereus

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