Plant Care Red Pencil Tree

Red Pencil Tree

4.8 out of 5 (19 experiences)

Red Pencil Tree has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower
Red Pencil Tree has a Survivor plant personality Survivor

About Red Pencil Tree

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.


Euphorbia tirucalli

Also known as

Pencil Cactus, Pencil Cactus, Sticks on Fire and Firesticks

How to care for Red Pencil Tree


How often to water your Red Pencil Tree

Water needs for Red Pencil Tree
0.5 cups
every 12

Red Pencil Tree 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 Red Pencil Tree

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 Red Pencil Tree: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Red Pencil Tree love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

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

Red Pencil Tree does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

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


How to fertilize Red Pencil Tree

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Red Pencil Tree: 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 Red Pencil Tree after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Difficulty Level

Red Pencil Tree 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
Native Region
Growth Pattern
Growing Outdoors
Common Issues

Care Summary for Red Pencil Tree

Red Pencil Tree

Red Pencil Tree

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

Red Pencil Tree has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 10
Red Pencil Tree has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 9
Red Pencil Tree has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 5
Red Pencil Tree has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 1
Dana.yelee avatar
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 74 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 66 Plants
xp 4,630 XP
globe Vallejo, CA

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

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

Shit is dope son

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

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, MI

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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