Euphorbia Tirucalli is a succulent which grows naturally in semi-arid tropical regions and is native to South Africa and India. The plant is grown worldwide and especially loved by landscape designers for its unique look.
The plant does not require much care once established in fact it is over-caring which harms most pencil plants. Just be careful while handling the plant as the sap from the plant can cause dermatitis and temporary blindness if it gets in the eyes.
The plants can grow in full light or partial shade. If growing indoors then rotate the plant frequently so that all sides receive light.
Light green cylindrical shaped, finger-thick glossy stalks emerge from the trunks giving the plant a distinguishing look. Sometimes the stalks turn reddish during the winter months. Leaves fall off quite early leaving behind dents on the plant. The flowers are quite inconspicuous and the fruits are slightly oval, three-parted capsules which are reddish in colour. Flowering season is in spring.
Pencil tree is highly drought resistant and does not require frequent watering. Let the soil completely dry out before watering again. Twice a month should be enough unless you live in a very dry region. Water deeply.
Use a well-draining, light soil. Add loam if you are planting it directly in the garden. Use organic content like manure and compost with the potting mix.
Indoors it'll grow up to 1 ft to 3 ft while in the garden it can grow larger. You can use larger containers if you prefer a bigger plant.
Use organic material before planting. If your soil is low in specific nutrients, use a fertilizer based on the deficiency. Other wise use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted to half monthly.
Always be on the lookout for mealybugs and spider mites. Take as soon as you see them. Spray the plant with organic insecticides. Also be care while watering the plant as it is susceptible to root-rot.
It has showy foliage or the pencils, which makes it perfect as a specimen plant. You can easily grow it indoors and add a unique look to your house. It's easy to maintain and looks beautiful.
It can also be used as a hedge plant. In some cultures, it is used in the preparation of traditional medicines used to treat asthma, cough, toothache and warts.