Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’

flaming pencil plant
Color intensifies in winter on this shrubby euphorbia. Treelike form with time, great in containers.
Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire'Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire'Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire'
height 6–12ft
width 3–6ft
tolerates Drought, Deer , Gophers, Heat, Pots, Rooftops, Salt, Wind
This plant will need to be protected from getting both cold and wet. Do not add additional water during periods of winter rain. During winter it should be kept extra dry and will be intolerant of overwatering.

In the San Francisco Bay area, protect thsi plant from betting too much water by putting it in a small pot.

When the plant it actively growing, it will like water. If you see your euphorbia begin to shrivel or lose firmness, your plant is likely totally dry and should be watered. To get good healthy growth your plant doesn’t want to sit around totally dried out during it’s growing season. Once it is dry, water it.
exposure Part Sun – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Requires Perfect Drainage, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin Madagascar
13, 17, 21–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Shrubby when young, with great age this plant is treelike.
Gophers and deer avoid this plant due to the toxic latex sap. It also irritates people, so avoid it and wash off skin quickly if exposed. Take extra precaution to keep the sap out of your eyes.
Prune lower branches to create a more treelike form, but avoid sap.
You may find your euphorbia develops hard brown scabs that eventually cover the cactus, especially on older growth. This is called corking, and is the natural process of the cactus ‘branch’ becoming a cactus ‘stump’ and getting bark, just like trees do. Corking is totally natural and adds to the beauty of your plant over time.
This plant tolerates a light frost, but tends to get blackened stems that will die back and need to be pruned off. Place in a protected microclimate if frost is expected.

Special Interest

Reliably a good indoor plant as well, and this plant easily transitions from outdoors into a warm sunny room inside. This is a great choice for a very hot indoor spot and will tolerate direct indoor sunlight.