Plant of the Month: Sticks on Fire (Euphorbia Tirucalli)

Plant of the Month: Sticks on Fire (Euphorbia Tirucalli)

The Euphorbia tirucalli is a striking evergreen succulent shrub forming a thicket of brilliantly colored, loosely branching, vertical stems. As thin as pencils, the distinctive stems exhibit a reddish-golden color which fades to yellow shades in summer before changing back to redder tones in winter. When new, the stems bear small leaves that are inconspicuous and soon drop. Euphorbia tirucalli is prized by landscape designers who use it to add vertical accents in waterwise gardens, to create succulent seascapes or to lend its fiery color to container floral displays.

The Sticks on Fire typically grows up to 4-8 feet tall and wide, if grown in-ground in a hot and frost-free climate. Resilient to most pests and diseases, it is salt tolerant and is easy to care for. It performs best in full sun in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. It is drought tolerant and does well in poor, rocky soil.

But beware, all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested. The milky sap may cause irritation to skin and eyes. Be very careful when handling this plant as the stems break easily and the milky sap can burn the skin. When handling, it is recommended to use gloves and protective goggles.

Source: www.gardenia.net

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