Firestick Plant, Red Pencil Tree, Fire Sticks Succulent

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks of Fire'

It is a shrubby and sun-loving succulent plant from the Euphorbiaceae, spurge family. It can grow up to 2.5m tall and up to 1.5m wide. Its stem colors are bright red, orange, pink, or yellow. This shrubby succulent looks good, but due to its toxic nature, it should be grown outdoors but not be planted near sidewalks.

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Details about Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks of Fire' "Firestick Plant, Red Pencil Tree, Fire Sticks Succulent"

How to care for Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks of Fire’ (Firestick Plant)

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on fire' is a colorful plant. It looks great with other succulents. Firestick succulents bushes resemble sea coral. It is native to many places i.e. from Madagascar to tropical and subtropical South Africa, Arabian Peninsula, and India. It can be grown in Southern California as well. Due to its toxicity, you should plant and handle it with extra care. Read more about poisonous succulents.

Euphorbia tirucalli firestick plant is resilient to most pests and diseases. It is salt tolerant and needs less attention to grow. It is deer or rabbit-resistant as well.

According to Wikipedia. The milky latex from Euphorbia tirucalli is toxic and is extremely irritating to the skin. Be careful while handling. Protect your hands and eyes especially. It can cause blindness. Skin contact causes very bad irritation, redness, and a burning sensation. If ingested, it can cause burns to the mouth, lips, and tongue. It is suggested to wear eye protection gear and gloves for handling the plant.

Common names of the stick of fire succulent are milk bush, pencil tree, naked lady, finger plant, fire sticks succulent, aveloz, Indian tree spurge, pencil cactus, Euphorbia tirucalli 'Rosea', pencil succulents, pencil plants, firestick plant, and Red Pencil Tree.

Soil needs

Almost all succulents need well-draining soil like their natural habitats. So any soil that is nutritious and is also well-draining will work. You can learn to make your own succulent soil OR you can buy pre-mixed from the market.

Check out the guide for the best succulent soil.

How much water does it need?

'Sticks on fire' needs very less water like most succulents. You should allow the soil to completely dry out before watering again. The optimal time vary based on your environmental conditions, like humidity and temperature.

Usually, fire sticks succulent has low water needs. But if you kept its soil wet for a longer time, it may lead to root rot.

You can use the normal succulent and cactus watering method.

Where to plant 'Sticks on fire'?

Euphorbia tirucalli can be easily grown in a container. But you should pot it in a larger container as it grows quickly and you'll need to re-pot it more often. The plant changes colors according to seasons. It shows most colors in the winter season.

Fire sticks plant should be potted in an area that gets about 4 - 6 hours of direct sunlight.

The plant is toxic so it should be potted in a place where your children and pets do not roam often. Plant in a place where there is not much foot traffic.

Check out planting succulents.

How to Propagate Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks of Fire’

Like most succulents, Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' is also best to regrow by stem cuttings. But be careful while handling it because it is toxic. You should wear gloves and take other precautions.

Propagate by stem cutting

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' is best propagated by stem cuttings. But take precautions as it is a toxic plant.

First, wear some gloves and cut the stem with a sharp knife near the base. Dip the removed stem in water to stop latex. Keep the removed stem for a few days to dry and form a callous before plotting in well-drained potting soil.

Is it toxic?

Yes, the euphorbia tirucalli "firesticks succulent" contains latex sap (milky sap), which is toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets like horses and donkeys. It is also toxic to humans and should always be avoided to touch your skin (burn skin) or eye (eye irritation).

Pairs Well With

Aeonium ‘Kiwi’

Growing Tips and Tricks

  • Keep it in a brightly lit area but not direct sunlight in the hot season as it may burn your firestick cactus plant.
  • Use a sharp clipper for thick older branches, as tough cords are inside.
  • Every pruned branch can be propagated to produce a new plant. Let it callous for a day and sow in succulent soil. After a few weeks, check its growth.
  • The fire-stick succulent adds color and interest to all succulent gardens during the winter when it produces new red branches.
  • The red hue of this succulent adds depth and color to pot designs. It provides height, color, and texture to the design.
  • Allow it to dry for a few days between watering.
  • Because it is a rapidly expanding plant, it will require more replanting than other succulents.
  • It is good to use clay containers.
  • Grow the fire-stick succulent in a container that has holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain out of it. This will prevent root rot, one of the most common problems with succulents.
  • This succulent can also be grown indoors as long as there is enough humidity and the soil doesn't dry out too much between watering.
  • The fire-stick plants can handle lower temperatures too.
  • Due to its toxicity, avoid planting it where there is a lot of foot traffic.
  • When grown as a landscape plant, it can reach 15′-30'.
  • In freezing cold winter, frost clothes and mini greenhouses can help them survive.
  • You can use the same succulent watering needs for sticks of fire plant as well.

The most popular way to grow this bright plant is in a container or planter with other succulents or in container gardens. This succulent looks great when it's planted in a decorative container but must be repotted every year to ensure its optimal size and growth rate.

Check out growing and caring for succulents indoors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do rabbits eat Firesticks?

No, it is resistant to rabbits and dears.

How do you care for a Firestick plant?

Provide appropriate succulent and cactus potting mix, maintain a succulent watering schedule, fertilize if you want to increase its growth rapidly, prune every year, and replant it early. Keep in mind, that it is toxic so plant it in an area that is safe from pets and children.

Is Firestick a succulent?

Sticks of fire plant belong to the euphorbia family, which is not a true succulent plant, but, its characteristics are common to its succulent cousins. So most people consider it a succulent plant as well.

What makes fire sticks turn red?

Chlorophyll gives vegetation its green color. The number of chlorophyll changes during "stress times." This succulent bursts with color during the winter stress period. It glows almost fluorescein in hues of pink, coral, green, red, and orange. Many of these plants "stress" as the nighttime temperatures fall into the 40s or lower. In winter, they slow down and may lose their leaves as the plant goes dormant.

Facts & Features

  • 5 ft Wide

    This plant grows up to 5′ (1.5 m) wide.

  • 8 ft Tall

    This plant grows up to 8′ (2.5 m) tall.

  • Full Sun

    It needs full sunlight to grow properly.

  • Grows in Summer

    Need more care during this time.

  • Normal Watering

    Use regular succulent watering methods. Learn how to water succulents easily.

  • Not Cold Hardy

    Protect from very low temperatures.

  • Not for Indoor

    Not suited for indoor growing.

  • Propagation by cuttings

    Usually by a leaf or stem cutting.

  • Toxic

    Protect yourself and your pets from it. Especially, avoid consumption.

  • Zone 10a

    In this zone, the temperature can drop up to 30° F ( -1.1° C )

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