Pencil Cactus vs Fire Stick ; Are They Same ? 4 Unusual Tips

Have you seen ever had difficulties differentiate pencil cactus and fire stick? Well I have lot of information in this article “Pencil cactus vs Fire stick”. Lets find out about these amazing plants.

Pencil Cactus vs Fire Stick

Pencil Cactus vs Fire Stick ; Are They Same ?

Fires stick and the pencil cactus both are the same plants. However the only difference is that the fire stick is the variegated version of the pencil cactus plant. 

The scientific name is Euphorbia Tirucalli. Their common names are pencil cactus, milky bush, Aveloz, Indian tree spurge, naked lady etc. 

They could be great house plants and easy to care for. To briefly touch on the origin of these plants, they are originating from Asia and from Africa. 

It is stated that the collectors have brought them to western countries purely because of the aesthetic beauty these plants carry. 

You could see many people tend to grow this along with other succulents and they add more beauty to the entire landscape once they grow to the fullest along with them.

You could usually spot them in dry areas and tend to grow in black clay soil. Further they would consist of smooth branches and chances are that it could rise to a height of 22 feet which is about 7 meters. 

It is a quite famous and attractive plant which many people tend to grow across the world.

If you are a fresher in gardening, this would be one great pick for you to start things off. They are easy to care for and would require only a minimum care treatment from you. 

In addition to that, they would finely grow in any growing condition also. You must be wondering as to why you could call these plants as firestick plants.

That is in fact, during the colder weather conditions of the year, pencil cactus would tend to turn their colors to orange or to red. 

That is exactly why you could call these plants fire sticks. Do not misinterpret it as a disease. That does not mean the pencil cactus has any health related problem. 

They would tend to turn back in their usual colors when the heated months come in.

To tell you as to what you could call these plants as fire sticks. That is because of the orange – red colors which they get due to the change in the weather conditions. 

Once they turn in those colors, they would look like they are on fire. When I say during the change in the weather conditions, it is when the plant is approaching colder season from the warmer season.

What is more interesting about these plants are, you could plant them indoors or even outdoors. You may choose pots or containers to grow them. 

Best is to use terracotta pots and make sure you provide adequate sunlight for them. It has to be ideally full of sunlight. 

If you grow them outdoors, choose the brightest spot in your garden. On the other hand, if you grow them indoors, you could grow them closer to a bright sunny window.  

Pencil Cactus vs Fire Stick

What is the difference between them?

Having said that, both these plants are the same.

Having said that, what is only differentiating them is that the firestick plant is the variegated version of Euphorbia Tirucalli for which you could call pencil cactus in common.

As aforesaid, you could grow them along with other succulents and that would bring so much grace and colorfulness when you grow them along with them.

To reiterate, once these plants enter the colder months, they would tend to turn their colors into orange or red and that is the difference when compared to the regular pencil cactus in general.

Scientific explanation 

Common name: Firestick plant, pencil cactus, naked lady, Indian tree spurge, pencil tree, milk bush etc.

Scientific name: Euphorbia tirucalli

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Type of plant: Perennial

Genus – Euphorbia

Species – E.Tirucalli

Pencil Cactus vs Fire Stick

Pencil cactus appearance 

Pencil cactus have an attractive look along with multiple branches which resemble pencils. That is what makes the plant look very attractive. 

They do not comprise any spine and would tend to thrive better when they are exposed to full sunlight.

When they grow in their natural habitat, they tend to grow taller. Their stems would be thin and would further contain little tooth as well.  

They do not contain any foliage though. In fact, their branches would be the diameter of the pencil cactus.

When they form new growth, they would be tinged pink. Moreover, they would comprise small leaves as well. However, they would vanish once the plant grows older and becomes mature.

Pencil Cactus vs Fire Stick

Fire stick appearance 

When it comes to fire stick plants, they would comprise thick stems which usually tend to form in clumps. 

You could spot them in red, orange or even sometimes in yellow too. When they grow to their fullest in those vibrant colors, you would get the feeling like they are on fire. 

They would contain small branches, and they would be about 7mm in thickness.

You could spot them in producing little yellow blooms which could be quite attractive towards the butterflies, bees and to other insects as well. 

Those flowers would also produce in clusters in the apex during colder weather conditions.

They would usually rise to 4-8 feet in height and would be about 120-240 cm in width. They would further produce a fruit which would be pink in color. 

They are fuzzy. You could spot them forming on short stalks and would be about ¾ inch in diameter.

The leaves would be small and slender. However, chances are that they could fall off rapidly once they show up. 

When they shed the leaves, there would be scars on the limbs and that would further beatify the plant.

Credit to: Budget Plants
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.