Sticks on Fire Plant: Planting & Care In Pots

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Euphorbiaceae
  • Genus: Euphorbia
  • Species: tirucalli
  • Cultivar: ‘Sticks on Fire’

What is Sticks on Fire plant?

The Sticks on Fire plant, scientifically known as Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire,’ is a species of Euphorbia tirucalli. The species Euphorbia tirucalli is native to Madagascar and some parts of Southern Africa. It grows in dry areas, especially the savanna, and is often used to feed cattle or as hedging. It has been introduced to many other tropical regions, such as Brazil, India, Vietnam, the Philippines etc and has become a popular ornamental plant.

Appearance And Growth Habit

  • The “Sticks on Fire” plant consists of slender, upright, and cylindrical branches that resemble sticks or pencils.
  • The stems grow in a vertical fashion, appearing bushier or like a dense, columnar structure.
  • The stems display a gradient of colors. The color starts with a green base and transitions into shades of orange, red, and pink towards the tips.
  • The stems are smooth to the touch and lack the spines or thorns commonly associated with some other succulents.
  • In optimal conditions, the Sticks on Fire plant can grow to be several feet tall.
  • Unlike many traditional plants, the Sticks on Fire plant lacks true leaves. Instead, photosynthesis primarily occurs in the stems, which contain chlorophyll.
  • The intensity of the plant’s colors can change with the seasons. In cooler temperatures, the coloration might deepen, while in warmer conditions, the colors can become more vibrant.

Landscape Uses of Sticks on Fire Plant

  • Sticks on Fire plants are well-suited for xeriscape gardens or water-wise landscapes.
  • The plant can be used as an architectural focal point in a landscape design to draw attention to garden spaces.
  • It can be integrate into rock gardens.
  • The plant can be combined with other succulents in the landscape.
  • It as a background planting in garden beds to provide height and a backdrop for shorter plants.
  • Planting Sticks on Fire on slopes can help prevent soil runoff and erosion.
  • You can use it as accent plants to add splashes of color and form to various garden areas.
  • Sticks on Fire plants are well-suited for urban gardens and courtyards.
  • Sticks on Fire plants can be featured in gardens designed with a focus on artistic and sculptural elements.

How To Grow and Care In Containers

When grown in containers, the Sticks on Fire plant maintains its upright growth habit, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor decorative purposes. Container cultivation also allows for better control of the soil and environmental conditions.


Ensure you are growing at a place that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. If grown indoors, place the plant near a south-facing window to ensure it receives adequate sunlight.


If planting in containers, ensure the pots have drainage holes to prevent water accumulation. Use a mix designed for cacti or succulents, or a sandy soil. If you are using garden soil, Adding perlite or coarse sand to the soil mix enhances aeration.


Just like succulents, the best way to water the Sticks on Fire plant, is to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. How do you tell it is time for watering? Well, insert your finger into the soil up to the first knuckle. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.

Water the soil directly around the base of the plant rather than overhead to prevent water from settling in the crown. During the dormant winter months, Sticks on Fire plants require less water. Reduce the frequency of watering. Increase watering during the active growing season (spring and summer).


Use a balanced liquid fertilizer with equal ratios of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K). A general-purpose fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 can be suitable. While at it, avoid over-fertilizing, as succulents generally have low nutrient requirements.


Propagating Sticks on Fire plants (Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’) can be done through stem cuttings.

  • Choose a healthy and mature Sticks on Fire plant for propagation.
  • Make a clean cut just below a node using sharp pruning shears. A node is where leaves, branches, or flowers emerge from the stem.
  • Place the cuttings in a dry and shaded area for a day or two to allow the cut ends to callus.
  • If desired, dip the cut end of the dried cutting in rooting hormone to encourage root development.
  • You can then plant the cuttings in a well-draining soil mix or bury the cut end of the stem into the ground soil.

Facts About Sticks on Fire plant (Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’)

Scientific NameEuphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’
Common NameSticks on Fire, Firestick Plant
Growth HabitUpright, columnar
ToxicityContains toxic sap; handle with care
Temperature ToleranceUSDA Zones 9-11; Tolerant of high temperatures, protect from frost

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