6″ Cactus Pencil


Growing Tips and Tricks

  • Thick older branches develop tough cords inside. A sharp clipper can be used.
  • Every branch you remove can be used for a new plant. Let the end dry for a day and simply put into soil and watch for new growth.
  • The plant grows new red branches in the winter and adds color and interest to all succulent gardens.
  • Add small branches of red color to pot arrangements. It brings height, color, and textural interest. Let it dry out for a couple of days between each watering.
  • Since it is a vigorously growing plant, it will need more replanting than other succulents.

The easiest way to enjoy this colorful plant is in a planter or pot with other succulents. Planters and decorative pots, requiring replanting each seasonal is good method for keeping this succulent at a manageable size.

Do not get the sap near your face and eyes. Wear long sleeves to avoid getting sap on your arms. This plant can be enjoyed if the sap is safe inside the plant. My dog has never licked or bit into the stems or branches and has not suffered illness just because he has explored under it or near it. He is a smart dog, though, and has never became ill because of landscaping in the yard.

How Much Sunlight Does It Need?

This plant requires that you plant it in an area of your garden that gets 4–6 hours of bright sunlight a day. Sunlight should be available year round. These plants are native to sunny places and should not be grow in places with long, harsh winters.

How Much Water Does It Need?

“Sticks on fire” has typical watering needs for a succulent. It’s best to use the “soak and dry” method—allow the soil to dry out completely between watering.

Things to Consider Before You Plant

The fire sticks succulent gets too big and is too toxic to have where kids or unknowing adults may break off a stem and get exposed to the sap. I am hearing eye irritation stories more and more, so watch the toddlers and curious youngsters when walking the neighborhood. Don’t plant this succulent near public walkways, because the stems are tender and break very easily.

Gloves Are Essential When Trimming This Succulent

The gallery below shows the gloves that I have in the garden shed. I always wear them for roses and sago palm trimming, but failed to think of them when I attacked the sappy Euphorbia plant.

The gloves are washable too. Put them in the laundry if too dirty or sappy. They fit snug around the fingers and the arm shield guards against pricks and sap. They are made by a baseball outfitter.

What to Be Aware of When Trimming Succulent Fire Sticks

New branches are tender and can easily be removed by breaking them off by hand. Be cautious, because the sap running from the branches can irritate eyes and skin. Even little flying droplets can become a painful episode.

A cool day in the garden seemed like a good time to thin branches. I know the white sappy stuff is toxic but have worked on the plant before without any problems. I did not have long sleeves or gloves on. The next day, I had a rash on my arm and the side of my face. It was itchy. So, a word of caution to all Euphorbia growers: the sap can cause rash and eye irritation!


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