Euphorbia tirucalli, also known as pencil cactus, is a succulent plant that has bright green leaves and small red dots on its stem. This plant can be propagated with leaf cuttings to produce new plants in the garden or from frost-proof containers, like hanging baskets. Euphorbias generally prefer temperatures between 65°F (18C) and 100°F (37.78C) and can tolerate some frosts, but should be brought indoors before the weather turns too cold.
Euphorbia tirucalli, or poinsettia, is a popular holiday plant in the United States. They are commonly sold as potted plants at most garden centers during this time of year. In fact, it seems like every other person on the street has one! A lot of people don’t realize that they can propagate euphorbia tirucalli.
Euphorbia tirucalli propagation
Euphorbia tirucalli propagation is easy! There are lots of ways to propagate euphorbia tirucalli, but the most common and easiest method is via cuttings. There really isn’t much work involved in this process at all! All you need is a poinsettia that has finished blooming for about two weeks or so (or up to a month).
In order to do this, you will need some rooting hormone, a pair of scissors or pruning shears, and a plastic pot with drainage holes in the bottom. Fill your pots three-quarters full with moistened perlite or vermiculite that has been well-sifted.
The next step is to check the root ball of your poinsettia. You can’t attempt propagating euphorbia tirucalli if it doesn’t have any roots! Once you’ve ensured that there are roots on or near the surface, carefully cut off a section with about six-eight leaves and two-three centimeters (or one inch) of the stem.
Then, trim the leaves and place in a rooting hormone for about ten seconds or so on each side; this will help produce root growth faster. Next, insert your cuttings into your pot with perlite or vermiculite up to the base of the cutting (or even below it).
It’s important to keep the pot moist and free from high light. You can also add some water once or twice a day, but make sure that it drains well so as not to create too much humidity in your growing medium.
Euphorbia tirucalli care
Euphorbia tirucalli is an indoor plant that prefers a bright location. A south-facing window or artificial light are both sufficient for the health of this plant.
The type and intensity of light can dramatically affect how quickly your Euphorbia Tirucalli grows, so make sure you’re following these guidelines to get the best growth out of your plant.
The best soil to use for this plant is a peat-based mix. This should be available at local garden centers, or can also be made by mixing one part sand with two parts compost and four parts peat moss (or humus).
If you are unable to find the potting mix that works best for your needs, you can also mix one part sand with two parts compost and four parts topsoil.
The potting soil should be watered well before adding it to the planter, as water is necessary for the peat moss or humus material to break down into a usable product.
No more than a quarter of the pot should be filled with soil. The plant’s roots will grow vigorously, which means that they need room to spread out and anchor themselves into the peat-based mix.
If your chosen potting mix is too dense or heavy for this purpose, you can also add perlite (or vermiculite) to lighten it up and help provide drainage.
If you are unable to find perlite, or if your chosen potting mix is already lightweight enough, then adding compost will also work well. Compost should be added in small amounts because too much can become waterlogged.
Fertilizers should be used sparingly because they can cause unbalance in the soil.
There are a variety of ways you could fertilize your plants, but one option that is recommended for people who want to use organic products is adding compost or aged manure to their planting pots at the beginning of each season. This will help provide nutrients to the soil.
If you have a mix that is already heavy in organic material and would like to fertilize your plants, then fish emulsion or seaweed extract diluted with water are two options for this purpose.
Fish fertilizer can be used every other week during the growing season as it provides nutrients without adding too much weight to the plant. Seaweed extract can also be used every other week during the growing season as it helps replenish nitrogen in the soil.
If you have a mix that is heavy in the sand and would like to fertilize your plants, then adding organic material such as compost or aged manure will help provide nutrients without introducing too much weight into the plant.
If you would like to add inorganic fertilizers, then a good option is adding potassium sulfate. This will provide nutrients without adding too much weight into the plant and should be applied every other week during the growing season.
As with any fertilizer product, it’s important to make sure that they are added at an appropriate time because too much can cause problems.
The best time to add inorganic fertilizers is early on, during the first few weeks of planting before the plant starts growing and developing any roots into its potting mix. This will give it a head start with providing nutrients for when they are needed most later down the line.
Temperature and humidity
The plant does best in an area that is both warm and humid. The ideal temperature should be between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit with the humidity at 50%. If these conditions are not provided, then this will result in wilting plants that may die if they’re left to their own devices for too long.
If you don’t have the proper environment available, then you can use a humidifier or an air conditioner to keep these conditions at optimal levels.
During daylight hours, this plant should be exposed to plenty of natural light from either the sun or artificial sources such as grow lights. If it is not getting enough sunlight during the day due to where it’s planted in your home, then you should consider moving the plant so that it is in a location where it will get enough sunlight.
When to repot
This plant is known for being low-maintenance, which means that it does not need to be repotted as often.
It should only be repotted when the peat base starts drying out or becoming too compact, and its roots can no longer grow through it. This typically occurs about once every four years in most cases.
The euphorbia tirucalli does not need to be pruned.
If you would like to remove parts of the plant, then it’s best to wait until they start growing before doing so because their stems are quite brittle and will break if they’re cut when dry. This also means that this is a time-consuming process as well.
Euphorbia tirucalli is a slow-growing succulent that can take as long as 20 years to grow to its full size. The average height of the plant is around 12 inches and will be at least half again higher when it reaches maturity. This slow growth rate is the perfect attribute for gardeners with less time to spend on their gardens.
Euphorbia tirucalli is hardy in zones 11-12.
Euphorbia tirucalli is not toxic to humans, but it can be irritating if touched.
The plant has a milky sap that comes from the latex in its stems and leaves. This sap contains a chemical called euphorboside A which will cause skin irritation when touched or rubbed on the area where contact was made. To avoid this irritation, use gardening gloves when you handle the plant.
Pests and diseases
Euphorbia tirucalli is susceptible to all pests and diseases that can affect succulents.
Watch for any signs of pest or disease like wilting, leaf curling, grayish patches on the surface, sudden growth, discoloration, and blotches. Treatments are available in garden stores if you spot any problems before they become a full-blown infestation.