Pencil Cactus | Euphorbia Tirucalli
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Pencil Cactus | Euphorbia Tirucalli

I am actually a succulent and not a cactus and have a myriad of common names - Milk Bush, Firestick Plant, Indian Tree Spurge and even Naked Lady!

Useful to know:

Origin

I am native to South Africa and India

Height/Growth

I am relatively slow-growing but can reach heights of well over 1m indoors.

Light

I like bright light so keep me near a window. Just keep an eye out on me if there's lots of direct light as it may scorch me.

Water

During winter you can stop watering me altogether. The rest of the year I'll be more than fine with water every 2-3 weeks. Make sure my soil dries out between watering.

Temperature

As an African native, I like it warm but live comfortably in rooms above 15 degrees C. Keep me away from draughts please.

Feeding

I'm super hardy so all I need is a half-strength dose of fertiliser once a year in my growing season (spring).

Grooming

You can trim me to keep me prim and proper, but please wear gloves to avoid getting my sap on your skin!

Care

I am super hardy and require very little care. I am easy to propoagate - just cut a stem and stick it in soil.

Toxicity

My sap/milk is very poisonous, so keep me away from pets and kids and wash your hands if it gets on your skin.

Fact

I am a hydrocarbon plant, meaning that my poisonous latex sap can be easily converted into a fuel equivalent to gasoline.

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