Plant Care Pencil Cactus

Pencil Cactus

4.8 out of 5 (19 experiences)

Pencil Cactus has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower
Pencil Cactus has a Survivor plant personality Survivor

About Pencil Cactus

Plants in the Euphorbia genus have poisonous, milky, white, latex-like sap so be sure to keep them far from curious pets and children ⚠️ You may hear them referred to as cacti, but they're actually completely unrelated! They belong to a group of plants known as spurges.

Taxonomy

Euphorbia tirucalli
Euphorbia
Euphorbiaceae
Malpighiales

Also known as

Red Pencil Tree, Sticks on Fire and Firesticks

How to care for Pencil Cactus

Water

How often to water your Pencil Cactus

Water needs for Pencil Cactus
0.5 cups
every 12

Pencil Cactus needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Pencil Cactus

Water 0.5 cups every
12

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
Light

Check the growing potential in your area

A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.

Select a city to check sunlight intensity

Finding light for Pencil Cactus in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Pencil Cactus: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Pencil Cactus love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Pencil Cactus does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Pencil Cactus in your home 🏡.

Nutrients

How to fertilize Pencil Cactus

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Pencil Cactus: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Pencil Cactus after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

FAQs
Difficulty Level

Pencil Cactus is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!


Water Needs
Sunlight Needs
Toxicity
Humidity
Soil
Fertilizer
Dormancy
Native Region
Flowers
Growth Pattern
Growing Outdoors
Propagation
Common Issues

Care Summary for Pencil Cactus

Pencil Cactus

Pencil Cactus


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 12 days

Placement

< 1ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Pencil Cactus has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 10
Pencil Cactus has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 9
Pencil Cactus has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 5
Pencil Cactus has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 1
Dana.yelee avatar
@Dana.yelee
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 74 XP
globe Auckland
11/28/2021

This little guy is a trooper! Grows so easily and very easy to maintain

Fast grower Fast grower
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Ashinbyalex avatar
@Ashinbyalex
leaf-1 66 Plants
xp 4,630 XP
globe Vallejo, CA
07/14/2021

Stuck a stick in the dirt and it gave me more sticks.

Matt avatar
@Matt
leaf-1 8 Plants
xp 91 XP
globe Wrightsville Beach, NC
06/01/2021

Shit is dope son

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
Fast grower Fast grower
Egotopia avatar
@Egotopia
leaf-1 85 Plants
xp 8,803 XP
globe Jacksonville, FL
05/19/2021

Give this guy the light it needs and it’ll be growing little baby fingers in no time

Fast grower Fast grower
Joel avatar
@Joel
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 100 XP
globe East Lansing, MI
02/12/2021

I have had experience with many different varieties of pencil cactus. They are all extremely hardy. Sometimes it can be tricky to figure out the best propagation method, but once you have that down, you can multiply your plant without limit. With a proper pot and lighting, it will grow as large as the room you keep it in. My oldest plant reached the ceiling (about 8’) from a 3” propagation after about 8 years. I have a variety of other pencil cactuses. One is about 18 months old and about 3 feet tall. They don’t grow much in the winter unless you have a grow light. There is such a thing as too much light, but they are usually happy in spurts of direct sunlight. They don’t need much water, but they can handle quite a bit as long as they have proper lighting. Repot whenever the growing lulls during the growing season to keep it happy.

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor

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