How to grow Pencil Cactus Plant | Euphorbia Tirucalli | Firestick plant

How to grow Pencil Cactus Plant | Euphorbia Tirucalli | Firestick plant

Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia Tirucalli)

Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia Tirucalli) is a member of the Euphorbia family. It is a tropical plant and is native to Africa and India. Another common name for pencil cactus is milk bush. It is a succulent plant but not a real cactus. Like other euphorbia’s, milky white stem sap from the pencil cactus also turns out, which can irritate the skin. This is a type of popular indoor plant, which produces special charm in the interior of the house. Learn How to grow Pencil Cactus, growing condition, Care of Pencil Cactus Cutting and more about this succulent plant.

Pencil Cactus

Common name

Pencil Cactus, milk bush, Firestick plant, African milk bush, naked lady, finger tree, Indian tree spurge, pencil tree, pencil euphorbia, pencil cactus, Milk hedge, Rubber euphorbia, Petroleum plant, stick on fire.


Scientific name             Euphorbia tirucalli

Common name              Pencil Cactus

Plant type                     Houseplant

Sun required                 Full Sun to partial shade

Soil                              Well-drained, fertile soil

Soil PH                         6.0 ideal

Zone                             9-10

Growing condition Pencil Cactus

It is very easy to take care of Euphorbia plants, though they require a little tamper to be the establishment, once they are established, they become self-reliant. In fact, more plants die due to excessive care and water.

Location and soil

The firestick plant likes the presence of the bright and full sun, although it tolerates light shadow, so choose the sunny window space for your houseplant. It rises with light, warm temperatures, it is ideal from 65 F to 70 F. They prefer the well-drained soil so make the soil gritty. And if necessary, add grit to the soil, like granite, oyster shells or limestone. If the pencil cactus is planted as a houseplant then the soil use rough soil which allows moisture to evaporate and well-drained, otherwise, there may be a risk of root rot in the plant.


Give this plant water every 2 to 3 weeks in summer and let the water when the soil becomes dry. This plant does not require water in winter. Reduce the amount of water in the fall and spring every month.


A controlled release fertilizer feeds your pencil cactus at the beginning of the growing season, use balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer on mature plants and low nitrogen fertilizer on young plants. Read more.


While taking care of firestick plant be cautious to avoid SAP.  This requires the protection of eyes because the pencil removes a toxic substance, which can cause an anaphylactic reaction. In most cases, it can be cleaned with antihistamine but sometimes it becomes more severe and it becomes difficult to clean it.

Pencil Cactus

Care of Pencil Cactus Cutting

  • Cutting and propagating pencil cactus is also very easy, to avoid sap they need to be careful while cutting and planting, but the roots can be cut easily.
  • To prevent rot and pathogens, you need a small pot and with soilless medium and a misting bottle.
  • Cutting with a sterile razor blade and dry them for two days.
  • Put at least one inch deep and haze medium in the cutting.
  • To take care of firestick plant cutting requires less light and slightly more moisture compared to fully established plants.
  • Once this new growth has started, gradually place the plant in high light and give less water.
  • Pencil Cactus grow very fast and will touch your roof in a few years, so do not be afraid to prune it, and use cutting to make new plants. Read more.
  • Whenever this plant needs care and sorting, always wear protective clothing.

*Firestick plant, Euphorbia tirucalli, is toxic to humans and dogs all over the world because milk substances can be serious for you

Read also: Growing Ridge gourd at home. Growing Cornflower in your garden. Salvias growing at your home. How to grow Rose cactus. Best flowers for Bees and Butterfly garden. How to Basil in your herb garden. Long beans Growing at home. Cosmos flower growing and caring guide. Coriander growing guide.  Verbena Growing in containers. Mulberry tree growing at home Mussaenda Bush growing and caring at home.

Happy gardening

For pin:

Pencil Cactus