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Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by TCW, Jan 29, 2006.
What is the proper care for the E. tirucalli?
I have this - it's the "Pencil Cactus" Mine was about a foot tall when I bought it and now it is about 5 feet tall- I keep it dry, slightly pot bound, and stake it when it's branches start to spread out too much. I haven't had many problems, it seems like a pretty easygoing plant! I have seen pictures of them grown to 10 ft tall indoors. I suppose you just need alot of room for them, as they are brittle and don't like being bumped into constantly.
Sorry for the delay in answering. I have found tha mine too likes to be potbound, but likes a good deal of water, at least 1 liter of water at least once a month.
I have one I got 18 years ago. At that time it was about 2 and a half feet tall. It's planted in very dry, unfertile soil in AZ. It gets a good watering maybe twice a year, plus occasional rain (we're in a drought here). It is currently about 12 feet high, and a good 15 feet across. As it grows, some arms bend downward, then back up where they touch the ground, like elbows to support the whole plant. A year ago it bloomed. I never heard of one blooming, but it was covered in tiny greenish white flowers for about 1 day.
It's never been pruned, and none of the arms have ever broken off.
TCW, where did you get your Euphorbia tirucalli? I have been trying to get one in Canada for the longest time.
Very easy plant. I water mine (green one) once every two weeks if the soil is dry. There is a red version as well.
Stays in a south window and is over 2 ft tall. Gets little green leaves in spring/summer, never seen any flowers yet, but know they are small. Not sure if they have a scent or not.
I think the red version is called something like "Firesticks" and it is gorgeous. I love my pencil cactus, and it is a very low maintainence plant, that is for sure. I have never seen flowers either, and mine gets the best light possible.
I just acquired a cutting of this weird plant. I've heard they are easy to root. My family friend says theirs was a foot tall, and now it is probably about four feet.
I took a pic to go along. Its got little leaves.
Happy New Year
Yep, the red ones that are called "firesticks" have a nice color! Very easy to root as long as the soil & pot are well draining. I accidentally broke off a 7" single stem back in Sept. Cut a little bit off the jagged part letting it dry a few days, then just stuck it back in with the mother and rooted ok:)
I'll have to look into these Firesticks... I have had my E. Tirucalli for 10 yrs, got it at Lowes for a couple bucks, (Fil) has traveled with my from Illinois to Indiana and all the way to Texas... Fil started out at about 4 inches and is now about 5 feet. I have cut him back several timse over the years and he keeps on trucking right along. I have fertilzed him in the past, in doing so he shoots his little leaves out like crazy! He has always been potbound and leafs out all year depending upon the water that he gets. He really seems to like the the hot and humid parts of the year.
hmmm, i didn't know they like to be pot-bound!!
i got some very nice 'firesticks' last summer - 8 or 9 pieces potted up together; none larger than 10 inches. i repotted in better soil (was in peat) and split them up into smaller groupings.
i did one grouping of 4 in a nice 8 inch clay pot - no wonder it's not doing much!! i don't think that bunch has grown at all! i guess i'll need to split them out into 2 and 2 or put all 4 in a smaller pot. i've got it in a south window - lost it's fire within a month and never got it back...those i keep in the west windows also lost their fire...even the one i kept out on the porch - south face with some west - lost it's fire :( i thought that one would get it back with more sunlight - didn't happen.
i REALLY love the red of it!! how much sunlight per day do they need to stay red??
I nearly went blind from the sap of this plant. be very careful of the sap. If it gets in your eyes you could go blind not to mention the pain of burning out your corneas. It can also cause shock in some people. You don't know until its to late. The sap can be toxic to some people. If you have a reaction after handling this plant, get to the ER, fast. If the sap gets on your hands it can get in your eyes, even if you wash it may not come off. Handle with care. If you have a latex allergy this plant is very dangerous.