NOTE: Pencil cactus may be referred to as Euphorbia tirucalli in this article, in fact, those are the same plants, Euphorbia tirucalli is the botanical name for Pencil cactus.
The pencil cactus is an interesting shrub that is native to tropical climates. In the wild, it can grow large. The plant has thick brown branches with clusters of smaller green branches at their ends, which are cylindrical in shape and around the thickness of a pencil.
There are leaves that grow up to an inch long on the branches. There are small flowers at the ends of the green branches in the late spring and early summer. The plant doesn’t have the sharp spines that are found on cacti.
Why does my Euphorbia tirucalli roots have rot?
Root rot on your Pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli) can be dangerous if left untreated. In order to keep your plant alive, we strongly suggest that you follow our advice if the signs start to show: blackened and mushy roots.
Why does my Pencil cactus have gray mold spots?
A particular fungus known as gray mold spots spreads quickly and frequently damages flowers. This fungus is probably to blame if you see any brown (or gray) spots. If you disregard these warning signs, your plant could die.
The solution is quite logical when you know the cause of the problem. Most of the time, it is due to overwater of the Euphorbia tirucalli. We advise you to remove the infected parts of the plant, cut off the infected roots and leaves, then repot your plant using sterile potting soil and a clean pot.
Why does my Pencil cactus have leaf spots?
This type of disease is one of the most frustrating for Pencil cactus owners, we give you all the leads to spot and save your plants that present symptoms such as leaves that suddenly change color, or wilt/droop.
Why are my Pencil cactus leaves turning yellow?
In the world of horticulture, yellowing leaves are undoubtedly the most common problem. The two main causes of this problem are overwatering and a lack of nutrition.
Whether you think your plants are getting too much water, cut back on how often you water them, and take the following measures to see if they might be nutritionally deficient:
Here are some indicators of yellowing on the Euphorbia tirucalli brought on by its numerous flaws:
- Magnesium deficiency starts as yellow patches between leaf veins on older leaves. Veins stay green as yellow moves from the leaf center out. Leaf edges turn yellow last.
- Iron deficiency also shows as yellowing between leaf veins, but it hits young leaves on plant tops and branch tips first.
- Sulfur shortage first affects the youngest leaves, turning them entirely yellow.
- Potassium deficiency shows itself when leaf edges turn bright yellow, but the inner leaf stays green. Older leaves show symptoms first, and leaf edges soon turn brown.
- Nitrogen deficiency shows up as a general yellowing. Older, inner leaves turn yellow first. As it progresses, yellowing moves outward, eventually reaching young leaves, too.
You only need to act in accordance with the symptoms listed above. You can address a potassium or nitrogen deficiency by buying a particular soil, and a gardening store consultant will be able to advise you on how to do that. Furthermore, you can also limit how frequently you water your plants.
Is my Pencil cactus sunburned?
It is simple to determine whether your Pencil cactus (your Euphorbia tirucalli) has sunburn. Your plant will change color in this instance, beginning to turn yellow or white, much like it does on us.
As we saw above, the leaves of your Pencil cactus can also change color if it receives too much water or insufficient light.
The bottom of the yellow leaves with a shaded area closer to the base can be examined to determine if they have been sunburned. If this part remains greener, the yellow leaf is most likely sunburned and not something else.
Why are my Pencil cactus leaves turning brown?
Most of the time, leaves of a Pencil cactus that turn brown is a sign that your plant has been sunburned, it has probably been exposed to too much direct sunlight. Don’t panic, your plant probably won’t die from this, but its growth will take a hit.
Should I leave my Euphorbia tirucalli in direct sunlight?
No! If your Euphorbia tirucalli (or Pencil cactus) has the symptoms described above, don’t leave it in direct sunlight, that’s the reason why your Pencil cactus is in such a state!
The remedy, as said in the paragraph above, is simple: just move your plant’s Pencil cactus out of direct sunlight. Your plant should swiftly re-grow with this strategy and appropriate watering.
Why are my Euphorbia tirucalli leaves drooping or wilting ?
When you become dehydrated, this usually happens. Large plants are more vulnerable since they need more water on a regular basis than smaller plants.
Whether your Euphorbia tirucalli plant’s pot appears light, the soil and roots are likely fairly dry and need water, so you can readily tell if it needs to be hydrated.
In order to ensure that the roots of your plant receive the water’s benefits, you must first moisten the soil in the container if it is absolutely dry. One common error is to immediately drown the Pencil cactus after a dry period in the belief that it requires a lot of water.
This is true, but the easiest way to end it is to give too much water at once. Instead, you should water the soil properly, returning to a peaceful watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Euphorbia tirucalli
Water is essential to the survival of your plant, however, it is important to balance the rate of watering. As we explained above, overwatering could have fatal consequences for your Euphorbia tirucalli.
You can tell if your plant needs water by touching the soil; if it still feels damp, it’s usually preferable to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
Maintaining a consistent temperature for your Euphorbia tirucalli is also a good idea, especially if it is kept indoors. At GreenShack, we typically advise reserving a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees F. Of course, avoid positioning your Euphorbia tirucalli close to air conditioners, radiators, or other sources of hot or cold air.
Keep your Pencil cactus Dust-Free
This one is about houseplants. Your indoor plants’ leaves get dusty just like your furniture does. The problem is that this might prevent photosynthesis from beginning, which would result in the plants gradually losing their color.
This would also make the pests happy, a real descent into hell for your Pencil cactus.
To remove the dust from the leaves of your plant, take a microfiber cloth and gently rub the leaves. You can wet the cloth to make it easier to remove the dust, but never use corrosive products (such as rubbing alcohol!)
Keep drainage in mind
If you have a tendency to overwater, you should be mindful of your drainage, and if they don’t already have them, we suggest selecting a saucer and a pot with drainage holes.
If your pots don’t already have holes in them, you can add volcanic rocks (or any other pebbles with holes) to the bottom of your pot in the meantime. This will assist in creating a channel and keep the water from pooling there for an extended period of time, protecting the roots from decay.