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Euphorbia tirucalli 'Rosea' (Fire Sticks)

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Scientific Name

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Rosea'

Common Names

Fire Sticks, Red Pencil Tree, Sticks of Fire, Sticks on Fire

Synonyms

Euphorbia tirucalli var. rosea, Euphorbia tirucalli 'Firesticks', Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire',

Scientific Classification

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Euphorbioideae
Tribe: Euphorbieae
Subtribe: Euphorbiinae
Genus: Euphorbia

Description

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Rosea' is a very striking succulent shrub that grows up to 25 feet (7.6 m) tall and up to 10 feet (3 m) wide. Branches are smooth, green, cylindrical, about the diameter of a pencil. Branch tips are orange, red, or pink. The color tends to fade closer to yellow in the summer and becomes redder in the winter. Leaves are small, about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long and less than 0.12 inch (3 mm) wide. They fall off early, so usually, the stems appear naked. Flowers are pale yellow and inconspicuous.

Photo via wikimedia.org

How to Grow and Care

Euphorbias are very easy to care for. These plants require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect. Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerant wet soil. Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry several inches below the surface. Water deeply, but don't let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.

These succulents can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). They are usually propagated by cuttings. This can be tricky, because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. They tend to grow problem-free, but there are a few pests and diseases to be alert for. Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.

Origin

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Rosea' is a cultivar of Euphorbia tirucalli.

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