How to propagate pencil cactus. The common name includes “cactus,” in fact it is a succulent. Like nearly all members of Euphorbia, when cut or broken it will ooze white latex sap.
Cacti are a popular houseplant due to their relatively low water and light requirements, ease of propagation, and tolerance of indoor environments.
The species plant can grow up to 30 feet tall but can be kept much smaller by pruning it if kept indoors.
The colorful red-gold cultivar Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Rosea’ maintains a more compact size of 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, while Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’ grows up to 6 to 8 feet tall.
How to propagate pencil cactus
Propagating pencil cacti from cuttings is easy, and anyone with a green thumb can try it.
All that you need for this process is a sharp blade, protective wear, and some cactus soil.
Take a 6 inch long cutting off of a green branch to use in your propagating, allow the end to dry for about a week before potting in moist soil or the soil that’s designed specifically for succulents.
How to Care for a Pencil Cactus
The pineapple plant is also easy to take care of, but it requires a bit more attention than the pencil cactus.
This plant goes through serious dry spells over the wintertime and watering should be increased significantly during this time.
Additionally, when you notice dead leaves hanging on after several weeks or months, you’ll need to remove them. Make sure to fertilize both plants regularly.
A light source
Under the right lighting conditions, the pencil cactus seems to thrive while outdoors in sandy, well-drained soil included with pieces of gravel. The plant thrives in a position that’s partially shaded but never too much.
Under artificial light, it seems that the plant is best off when situated near your bright window. It can adapt to daytime exposure to natural sunlight indoors as well.
This plant thrives in a sandy, dry environment. However, it does better with less-fertile soil and prefers a container garden.
You will want to use any potting mix that does not retain moisture as well as one specifically designed for cacti or succulents.
Water your succulent at least once every two weeks during the spring and summer. Reduce watering to once a month in the fall.
Water only when the soil is dry to the touch. Don’t overwater; alternatively, don’t allow the potting soil to become overly dry, which can cause root rot.
The temperature and humidity
This plant is the perfect indoor plant if you’re looking for one that will thrive in a warm environment.
It prefers temperatures around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit but should be kept indoors if the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
This plant is best suited to being in an area with very low humidity but doesn’t need to be in an area of higher humidity either as long as its soil isn’t allowed to retain excessive amounts of water.
It’s important to water your pencil cactus regularly, but it’s not a heavy feeder, so you don’t need to worry about fertilizing frequently.
In the spring, give your pencil cactus a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer.
You can do this once every 6-8 weeks in subsequent months, depending on how much growth or re-potting is needed.
After that, you could go as late as 2 months without giving it fertilizer while still keeping it healthy.
Pencil Cactus Plant Propagation
In order to protect your skin from the milky sap, which can temporarily blind humans, we recommend you wear trade compliance goggles, gloves, and long sleeves whenever you plan to transplant a cactus.
Individuals with sensitive skin or breathing issues, as well as stomach problems, may also experience skin irritation.
Rub alcohol or household cleaners with alcohol (such as Pine-Sol or Lysol) can be used to sterilize your plant tools.
Make sure that your plant-cutting tools are completely submerged in chlorine bleach solutions so that they do not further break down.
Do not use chlorine bleach when there is equipment around that may be damaged easily by strong chemicals, such as hairdryers and razors. Be sure to brighten the location until new growth forms on your plants.
Pencil Cactus Potting and Repotting
Deciding on what type of container to use when growing a pencil cactus is essential.
The best option, among others, would be an unglazed clay pot because it can let moisture evaporate through its walls, letting the plant’s soil get good air circulation and ample oxygen.
Make sure there are drainage holes in the pot because you don’t want to water-log your pencil cactus.
If you plan on moving around your pencil cactus more often than not, having a larger-sized pot – where the roots have filled the inside up to an inch or two from the top is better than having it in a smaller one that has nowhere left for the roots to grow into.
When re-potting your pencil cactus, water should be avoided at all costs because too much water can kill your plant if trapped in its pot for extended periods of time, which could eventually lead to root rot and devastating consequences.
How to propagate pencil cactus