Indian Ocean Pencil Cactus

Indian Ocean Pencil Cactus

Sculptural and exotic, this Euphorbia is native to the West Coast of India and the East Coast of Africa. It loves the sun and grows quickly in ideal conditions. But it happens to the best of us. A yellow leaf here and saggy stem there. We’ve got you. submit arrow

Beach bums that like full sun.

Beach bums that like full sun.

Beach bums that like full sun. A bright spot by a large window would be perfect. It does well on a table or at a height where it gets more time to sunbathe. Rotate it every few weeks so it gets sunned evenly. It doesn't tolerate low light conditions.

It needs very little water.

It needs very little water.

Water thoroughly and then wait for the soil to dry out completely before watering again.

The most common mistake with this plant is overwatering. Pencil Cacti are susceptible to root rot, so it’s very important that you do not water the plant if you detect any moisture in the soil. Poke your finger into the soil to check its moisture level. If the top few inches of the soil are dry to the touch, then it is safe to proceed with watering, but if you can feel moisture, then you should wait before watering the plant again.

Start with roughly once a fortnight for the monsoon and cooler months, more in the beachy, summer months.

Spa day, once a month

Spa day, once a month

1. Trim off brown stems snipping closely to the central stem. Pull out old stumps from the base to make space for new leaves.

2. Scrape off any white mould on top of the soil. It’s just harmless fungi that lives in the soil. Lightly dust the soil with ground cinnamon.

3. Poke holes in the soil with a chopstick to aerate it and and give your plant a bit of extra breathing room. Sprinkle a tablespoon of vitamins in the soil and massage in.

4. Its stems tend to accumulate dust. Shine its leaves with a damp cloth, gently removing any dust. This not only makes your plant look nicer but helps it to soak in light more easily.

5. Spin it around to make sure its leaves are sunned evenly as it tends to grow towards sunlight.

6. Prune its stems to sculpt it to the shape you like.

7. Clean your cork mat with soap and water or white vinegar.

It yields a toxic milky sap

It yields a toxic milky sap

Use gloves when pruning.

Common questions

Why is my Indian Ocean Pencil Cactus brown and wrinkly?

It is a sign of under-watering. The difference between symptoms of over and underwatering can be hard to discern, so it’s always best to feel the soil to test if the moisture matches with your diagnosis.

Why is my Indian Ocean Pencil Cactus droopy and grey?

It may be getting too much water. Pieces of the plant may turn grey and fall and although they look brittle, this symptom is often from overwatering. Feel the soil of your plant and test the moisture to see if it matches your diagnosis.

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