Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Pencil plant ( Euphorbia tirucalli )




This is one of those cool finds you catch at the novelty plant section in Walmart. I find these, stick them in the ground and tell them ‘live or die it’s up to you’.

Pencil plant is only rated to 20’F so if we get a cold winter, it’s toast. Otherwise it should do just fine here. I’ve had it planted for about 2 months now and it’s wasted no time settling in and getting growing.

Height can get to 15′ and spread to 6′. I’m expecting Houston winters will keep it much smaller than that. It will naturally form into a shrub shaped plant.

I have mine in pretty close to full sun. Care information says it can handle partial shade.

This is a drought tolerant, loving plant. Do not over water it and plant it someplace dry.

The sap of this plant will burn you. Wear gloves to prune it. Prune it to what ever shape suits you, these are excellent for topiary fun.

It can be invasive in the right conditions, so consider carefully before planting this one. It can be a nightmare to remove because of the sap.

Not freeze tolerant.

Propagate by just not picking up fallen branches. Only slightly joking here. Propagate by stem cuttings. It is extremely easy to propagate and often fallen stems will root themselves.

Leaves can appear in the summer, and it does have tiny yellow flowers but they are of little interest.

This plant is native to southern Africa. It is in the same family as pointsettia. Treat it as you would a jade plant.