Plants 101

Pencil Plant (Euphorbia)

Learn how to care for the Pencil Plant!

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The Pencil Plant or Euphorbia Tirucalli is a succulent native to South and East Africa. The plant’s namesake branches are pencil-like and grow upward in a candelabra pattern. Young branches are cylindrical, smooth, and green, but with age can turn gray and rough like tree bark. Its leaves are small and slender and fall off quickly. This succulent yields a highly toxic milky sap if broken or torn. The Pencil Plant is otherwise very agreeable, surviving in nearly any condition that is both dry and above freezing. In favorable conditions, it is able to grow between two and 20 inches in a single season.

General Care

Sunlight

Thrives in bright indirect light to direct sun. Not suited for low light conditions.

Water

Water every one to two weeks allowing soil to dry out between waterings. Increase frequency with increased light.

Humidity

Don’t sweat it. Average home humidity is fine; can tolerate dry air.

Temperature

Prefers temperatures of 65°F-70°F. Average home temperature is generally suitable.

Size

Given the right indoor conditions, a Pencil Plant can grow to 6’.

Common Problems

As with all succulents, overwatering will lead to rot.

SYMPTOM: Dropping individual branches

CAUSE: Overwatered

Precautions

The sap of the Pencil Plant is quite toxic. Wear gloves when handling to prevent irritation from the sap; wash hands well after handling. If sap is exposed to eyes or swallowed, seek immediate medical attention.

Best practice is always to keep houseplants out of reach of small children and pets.

Questions? Email help@thesill


Words By The Sill

Empowering all people to be plant people — a collection of articles from The Sill’s team of Plant Experts across a variety of plant care topics to inspire confidence in the next generation of plant parents. Welcome to Plant Parenthood™.