Just wondering if anyone has some advice concerning this plant.
I know it as a firestick plant. My oldest daughter started it from a small cutting six or seven years ago. The pot is the original and you can see it's quite small. The plant has a lot of new growth and seems to be thriving in a western exposure on my back porch. It gets lots of sun. The only thing I've ever done to it is dump a half gallon of water in the pot once a week and occasionally add some house plant fertilizer. I also bring it inside if the temperature is supposed to get way below freezing and stay. The only pruning it's ever received is when the plant has been blown over by the wind or my granddaughters have picked at it (have stopped that, since the sap is toxic). I'm just trying to figure out if I should trim off some of the little shoots, top it, or just leave it alone. It's still got room to grow in height, but is already up to about six feet.
Curious, I have never heard of this plant referred to as "Firestick plant". It usually is referred to as "Pencil cactus". It's a member of the Euphorbia succulent family and is common in the Southwest US where it can grow up to 30 feet tall. It's very popular as a house plant in other regions. Very easy to propagate. The botanical name is Euphorbia Tirucalli. It contains a milk like sap (as do other members of the Euphorbia family) which can cause an allergic skin reaction with varying degrees of severity depending on how allergic one is.
I have seen some really gorgeous specimens of it. It's not that attractive when it's small but, the larger specimens are quite impressive,with a very sculptural like appearance.
I'll bet Bixa knows more about this plant than I do, being the cacti/succulent Queen that she is.
Thanks for the information, Casimira. Firestick is what my daughter has always called it, so I picked that up from her. Maybe we'll eventually hear from Bixa, too.
It's the only plant left on my back porch that I haven't killed or tossed out. I should probably gather a few more plants together to display on a plant stand I have, but I've neglected the area because I expected to be out of town for most of the summer.
It looks like a plastic toy in real life, too, which is why it took me a long time to convince my granddaughters it was not in their best interest to break off pieces. It's surprising to me that neither child seemed to react when coming into contact with the toxic, milky-looking liquid that oozes out from a broken spot. Good hand washing afterwards helped, I suppose. It's never bothered me either, but I'll dig out some gardening gloves if I ever decide to give it a good trim.