Houseplant of the week: pencil tree | Houseplants

Why will I love it?
The appeal of Euphorbia tirucalli lies in its sleek stems and sparse foliage, which exude minimalist elegance. It is remarkably resilient, making it ideal for beginners.

Light or shade?
Pencil trees thrive in bright, indirect light. Sunlight encourages healthy growth and maintains a vibrant green colour.

Where should I put it?
Try a south- or west-facing window, as they receive the most sunlight.

How do I keep it alive?
As a succulent it requires minimal effort to keep thriving. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so having a drainage hole in your pot is essential. Plant your pencil tree in well-draining cactus and succulent soil to prevent waterlogging and promote root growth. They are sensitive to cold draughts. Indoor temperatures should be kept above 10C to avoid damage to the plant.

Did you know …
Pencil trees are native to Africa and India and their drought tolerance means they are often cultivated as ornamental plants in arid regions. Some varieties turn orange/red in the sun, which is why they are sometimes called fire sticks. Take care when handling pencil trees, as the milky sap in all euphorbia succulent plants irritates the skin and eyes and is toxic if ingested. This plant is not pet-friendly.

What makes Euphorbia tirucalli special?
Euphorbia tirucalli, also known as pencil tree, stands out with its sleek stems and minimalist foliage, giving off an elegant vibe. Its resilience makes it a great choice for beginners.

Lighting requirements:
Pencil trees thrive in bright, indirect light. Sunlight is essential for healthy growth and vibrant green color.

Best placement:
For optimal growth, place your pencil tree near a south- or west-facing window to ensure it receives plenty of sunlight.

Care tips:
Euphorbia tirucalli is a low-maintenance succulent. Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot by ensuring your pot has proper drainage. Plant it in well-draining cactus and succulent soil to promote healthy root growth. Keep the plant away from cold drafts, and maintain indoor temperatures above 10C to prevent damage.

Fun fact:
Native to Africa and India, pencil trees are popular in arid regions for their drought tolerance. Some varieties change color in the sun, earning them the nickname “fire sticks.” Handle with care, as the milky sap in euphorbia plants can irritate the skin and eyes and is toxic if ingested. Keep this plant away from pets.