I planted this dynamic looking Euphorbia tirucalli, common name “Firestick” in a Talavera ceramic pot matching the orange and green colors of the succulent with the colors painted onto the ceramics. Talavera pottery is made in Mexico exclusively in the State of Puebla with the same techniques used in the 16th century.
Euphorbia tirucalli is a native to South Africa and grows well in drained soil with no frost exposure. In San Diego it is the most colorful in winter months with tips of bright orange-red and a green-yellow base. I call this Euphorbia a “show stopper” because it stands out among my other plants with absolute beauty in color and form. A great container plant, but also grows well on hillsides for landscaping with a growth potential of 30 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
*NOTE * The firestick sap is hazardous and the sap can burn skin and eyes. Use protective gloves and clothing, especially eyewear when handling this euphorbia. I have gotten it on my forearms and it burns quite aggressively and is painful.
The E. tirucalli is a fast grower, drought tolerant, grows well near the coast and loves full sun. I designed this meditation garden (photo below) with a Firestick which is kept pruned back to maintain the small size. The growth and pruning diversity with this Euphorbia allows for more creativity with landscaping design.
The new growth tips are where the color bursts are most prominent. Other common names for this plant are: Milk bush, Pencil bush, Pencil tree and Firestick.
* Note: The Euphorbia plant contains a milky sap that can burn skin and eyes, wear protective gear when trimming or working with this plant.
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