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

Pencil Cactus is a popular houseplant 🌿 that is easy to grow and needs very little water to thrive. They do best in long-lasting, direct light ☀️ and should be less than 1 foot from a window.

Plant parents describe this plant as a fast grower and being a survivor with a whopping 564 being grown with Greg around the world. Check out the reviews below for more details!🌟

Pencil Cactus likes soil that is extremely well-draining. Your plant shouldn't need added fertilizers if you repot each time it doubles in size.

Pencil Cactus belongs to the euphorbia genus, and is native to Ethiopia, Tropical Africa and east to India and Indonesia.

⚠️ Pencil Cactus is not safe to consume. If you, a family member, or a pet has ingested any amount of plant material contact Poison Control, US (800) 222-1222, or your veterinarian. If you have children, cats, or dogs in the home, we suggest keeping this plant out of reach.


Euphorbia tirucalli

Also known as

Red Pencil Tree, Sticks on Fire and Firesticks

How to care for Pencil Cactus


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

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size


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 🏡.


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.

Difficulty Level

Pencil Cactus is generally considered an easy-to-care-for plant and makes a great choice for beginners!

Water Needs
Sunlight Needs
Growth Pattern
Growing Outdoors

Care Summary for Pencil Cactus

Pencil Cactus

Pencil Cactus

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 12 days


< 1ft from a window


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 Pet friendly plant personality Pet friendly 2
Pencil Cactus has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 1
Dana.yelee avatar
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 72 XP
globe Auckland

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
leaf-1 73 Plants
xp 3,506 XP
globe Vallejo, California

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

Lesliemalkowski avatar
leaf-1 20 Plants
xp 306 XP
globe Nashville, Tennessee

Easy to care for.

Matt avatar
leaf-1 8 Plants
xp 91 XP
globe Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Shit is dope son

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
Pet friendly Pet friendly
Fast grower Fast grower
Egotopia avatar
leaf-1 121 Plants
xp 5,509 XP
globe Jacksonville, Florida

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

Fast grower Fast grower
Joel avatar
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 100 XP
globe East Lansing, Michigan

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

Trending in your area

Similar to Pencil Cactus

Discover rare plants

This plant is popular in