How to Grow and Care for Pencil Cactus (Complete Guide)

Pencil cactus, also known as the milk bush or Euphorbia tirucalli, is an intriguing and versatile addition to any indoor gardener’s array of plants.

Pencil Cactus Plant Care

This succulent prefers sandy soil with good drainage holes to avoid overwatering which can lead to root rot due to excess moisture. Care should be taken to ensure low humidity.


The pencil cactus loves basking in full sun to thrive best, but they’re also tolerant of low light conditions. The direct sun helps to keep the plant’s shrub-like structure and dense foliage in good shape.


Pencil cactus thrives best in well-draining sandy soil. As a succulent, it is highly susceptible to root rot, an issue that often plaguing these plants caused by excess moisture.


Pencil Cactus has a rather particular watering regimen. This striking succulent, popular in India for its low maintenance needs, can tolerate drought conditions, but it doesn’t mean it requires much water.

Temperature and Humidity

Pencil Cactus is a succulent shrub native to parts of Africa and India. It thrives in warm temperatures and is relatively resistant to drought.


Fertilizing a pencil cactus is essential for its growth, especially in the early summer and late spring. However, the frequency of fertilization should be moderate.


Pruning pencil cactus is crucial to maintain its shrub-like appearance while managing its growth.

How to Propagate Pencil Cactus

Remember to always wear gloves when handling this plant as it oozes a milky sap when its stems are cut. The sap can be irritating to the skin and eyes, so caution is advised.

Plant the Dried Stem

Once the cut end has dried, the stem is ready to be planted in a new pot. The pot size should be compatible with the size of the stem.

Monitor and Care

After planting, the shrub will require care and attention for successful propagation. The pencil tree is vulnerable to pests like aphids and spider mites, so regular checks are essential.

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