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Care of the plant Euphorbia tirucalli or Pencil cactus.

Care of the succulent plant Euphorbia tirucalli or Pencil cactus

The genus Euphorbia, family Euphorbiaceae, includes 2,000 species of succulents, trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants of cosmopolitan distribution. Some species are: Euphorbia tirucalli, Euphorbia meloformisEuphorbia lomeliiEuphorbia stenoclada, Euphorbia obesa, Euphorbia mammillaris, Euphorbia lactea, Euphorbia ingens, Euphorbia inermis, Euphorbia horrida, Euphorbia heptagona, Euphorbia grandicornis, Euphorbia flanaganii, Euphorbia enterophora, Euphorbia enopla, Euphorbia echinus, Euphorbia coerulescens, Euphorbia candelabrum, Euphorbia canariensis, Euphorbia handiensis, Euphorbia balsamifera.

Common names: Pencil cactus, Firestick plant, Finger tree, Finger euphorbia, Indian tree spurge, Pencil tree. This species is native to Africa.

They are fast growing succulent shrubs that become arborescent and reach 5 meters (16.4 feet) in height. The branches are green, cylindrical, without leaves and are made up of 8 cm (3.14") long segments. They produce small yellow inflorescences.

They are used as isolated specimens, to form informal hedges, in pots for terraces, patios and balconies and even as a houseplant and greenhouse. They are ideal for Mediterranean coastal gardens.

Euphorbia tirucalli needs full sun exposure and warm temperatures. They resist occasional and low intensity frosts. In winter they appreciate a rest at 10 ºC (50 ºF).

The soil can be a mixture of two parts coarse sand, one part leaf mulch, and one part peat. Transplant every spring if it's grown in a pot.

Water frequently in summer and spring, waiting for the substrate to dry. In winter, water very little because they come to rest.

Fertilize biweekly during the summer with liquid mineral fertilizer for cacti.

They do not need pruning.

They are resistant plants to the usual pests and diseases.

They propagate from cuttings; protect yourself from the irritating latex these plants produce.

Images of the succulent plant Euphorbia tirucalli or Pencil cactus

Euphorbia tirucalli
Euphorbia tirucalli
Euphorbia tirucalli
Euphorbia tirucalli
Euphorbia tirucalli
Euphorbia tirucalli