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Pencil Cactus

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  • Low Maintenance
  • Light Preference/Tolerated (Bright Direct Light)
  • Below Average Watering Needs
  • Mature Height 6-15 Feet

This flashy succulent will brighten up your home with its pencil-like stems that can range in color from orange, red, yellow or green, depending on the season. The plant is also known as Fire Sticks or Stick on Fire, because its stems turn a fire-red color during colder months. Because it is a succulent, it requires minimal care to be happy. This is a great plant for beginners.

Best Locations For Growing Pencil Cactus 

Your Pencil Cactus will thrive in a sunroom, porch or living room. Just make sure it gets sufficient light, or else it will have trouble growing. This plant is mildly toxic to humans, cats and dogs, so keep it away from pets and children. 

Pencil Cactus Sunlight Requirements

Indoors, your Pencil Cactus will need a lot of bright light to survive. It will do best in a south-facing window, where it can get as much sunlight as possible. East- and west-facing windows will also work. Try to make sure your Pencil Cactus gets at least 5-6 hours of sunlight each day. If you don’t have a suitable location that can provide enough light, use a grow light for your Pencil Cactus.

Pencil Cactus Care

The sap of this plant is toxic and can cause severe irritation to the skin, so it’s important to take care when handling the plant and use gloves. This plant is relatively easy to care for and most die from too much care or overwatering.

Watering Pencil Cactus 

The Pencil Cactus is highly adapted to dry weather conditions, so you don’t need to water it often. If you live in a dry environment, try watering it every 7-10 days in the summer and every 10-14 days in the cooler months. If you live in a more humid environment, you may need to cut back on this watering schedule. To know for sure if it is time to water, simply check the soil. The top inch should be dry before you water. Water deeply, but don’t let your plant sit in wet soil because it can lead to root rot.

If you notice that your plant has shriveled leaves, it is likely due to under-watering. Give it a good drink and it should perk up within a day or two. Overwatering can lead to mushy leaves. Cut back on watering and allow your plant to fully dry out.

Feeding Pencil Cactus 

Feed your Pencil Cactus with a fertilizer diluted to half the manufacturer’s recommended strength monthly.

Pencil Cactus Information

Light Exposure: Bright Direct Light
Care Requirements: Easy
Watering Requirements: Below Average - Let the soil dry completely, then, water deeply.
Pet Friendly: No
Kid Friendly: No
Air Purifier: Moderate
Habit: Clumping
Growth Rate: Fast
Mature Height: 6-15 feet
Mature Spread: 3-5 feet
Flowering: Yes
Flower Color(s): Yellow
Flower Shade/Description: Yellow
Fragrant: No
Foliage Type:
Foliage Color(s): Red, Yellow
Foliage Description: Mostly Yellow In The Summer, with Warm Red Tones Emerging As Temperatures Cool
Temperature: 65° - 70°F (18° - 21°C)
Humidity: Low
Common Name: Pencil Cactus
Other Name(s): Fire Sticks, Stick On Fire, Red Pencil Tree, Milk Bush, Finger Tree
Scientific Name: Euphorbia tirucalli 'Rosea'
Plant Type: House Plant

Container Sizes

Please Note: The pictures below are to give a general representation of the different container sizes. The actual size/ages of plants are estimates and will vary based on; type of plant, time of year, last pruning & many other factors.

4.5 Pot

4.5" Pot
 Also Known As:
   4.5" Container

 Plant Age:
   ~ 6 months
 Plant Size:
   ~ 3"-6"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.5"H x 3.75"W
   1.42 quarts

Quart Pot

Quart Pot
 Also Known As:

 Plant Age:
   ~ 6 months - 1 year
 Plant Size:
   ~ 4"-8"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.75"H x 4.5"W
   1.50 quarts

2.5 Quart

2.5 Quart
 Also Known As:
   2.5 Quart Pot

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1 - 2 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 8"-12"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 6.5"H x 6.5"W
   2.20-2.30 quarts

#1 Pot

#1 Pot
 Also Known As:
   #1 Container
    1 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 1 - 2 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 10"-14"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 7"H x 7.75"W
   2.26-3.73 quarts

#2 Pot

#2 Pot
 Also Known As:
   #2 Container
    2 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 1.5 - 3 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-18"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 9.5"H x 9.5"W
   1.19-1.76 gallons

#3 Pot

#3 Pot
 Also Known As:
   #3 Container
    3 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2 - 4 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-30"
 Pot Size:
   ~9.5"H x 11"W
   2.32-2.76 gallons

For more detailed information, please click here.

Plant Addicts Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts always guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy & healthy. However, plant(s) are being shipped through the mail & sometimes accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped, just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note, plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly. 

For more information on how to care for your new plants, please click on our guide below.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty, whether you're a new gardener or an expert. There are many variables outside of anyone's control that can cause a plant to die. Hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, diseases & pests are all good examples of what can cause plants to die. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all of the unknowns and will replace your plant if something were to happen to it.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant(s). We will cover 100% of the price of the plant, but the warranty does not cover shipping costs. SImply let us know if your plant has died within 1 year of receiving it and we will get you a new one shipped out as soon as possible (depending on the time of the year and availability). We may ask for photos for documentation purposes, but we try to make the process as easy as possible.

For more information, please click on our page below.

Guarantee and Warranty

Plant Shipping

Below are some factors we consider when determining when to ship the plants depending on the timing of the order.

Winter to Early Spring

We ship only when it's warm enough to plant in your growing zone.
Sometimes plants aren't completely ready to sell and ship in early spring. We will wait until the plants are ready before shipping so you don't get a subpar product.
For Southern plants we will be able to ship much earlier than plants coming from our northern nursery.


If there is extreme heat we may delay shipping for a week or several weeks.
We review what areas the plants are traveling through as well as your location.

Fall into Winter

We’ll ship plants out all the way up to the end of the fall planting season!


Get your order in early to reserve your plants for Spring planting!

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an automated email with tracking information. 

Click here for more detailed shipping information.

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations