Advice, Euphorbia, Garden blogs, Propagation, Xerophytic plants

Euphorbia ‘Tirucalli’

The euphorbia ‘tirucalli’ is one of the most striking plant/tree(s) to have in the/your garden. It is highly recommended for areas with semi-arid tropical to arid climates. It can survive a one off heavy rain and rain every now and then, so don’t panic.

Common names:

  • Firestick plant
  • Pencil tree
  • Pencil cactus
  • Naked lady
  • Indian tree spurge
  • Stick on fire
  • Milk bush

Quick facts:

  • This plant/tree comes in plain green and coral colour.
  • This makes the Euphorbia ‘Tirucalli’ an xerophytic plant because it can handle arid climates and little or no water.
  • This plant/tree is highly poisonous when ingested, burns the inside of your moth and can cause death.
  • If the white sap comes in contact with skin, it causes irritation, burning  and redness of the skin.
  • If the apical meristem/tip or point of the stem comes in contact with your eyes (poke your eyes) this can cause blindness.


Propagation method:

  • First put on safety gloves and glasses, it’s a messy job as the tiny branches are fragile and more likely to get white sap on your hands and in your eyes.
  • Grab your secateurs/pruning shears and cut the end of the side branch of a mature length.
  • Put the cut branch aside for at least two days, allowing the white sap to seal/heal the end you have cut (prevents rotting).
  • After two days, first put on your safety gloves and glasses, dig in the branch of the plant/tree in the area you wish to plant.
  • It requires semi-shade to full sun and sandy to well-drained soil.
  • Give it a good decent amount of water to start of with.

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