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Euphorbia tirucalli (Finger tree)

Intermediate
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
9m
Max height
2m
Max spread
5-10 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Euphorbia tirucalli

Other names

Finger tree, Indian tree spurge, Milk bush, Milkweed, Pench tree, Rubber euphorbia, Tirucalli, Tiru-malu, Aveloz, Naked lady, Firestick plant, Pencil tree, Sticks on fire

Genus

Euphorbia Euphorbia

Species

E. tirucalli - E. tirucalli is a tender, upright, tree-like succulent with fleshy, cylindrical, segmented, bright green stems bearing tiny, short-lived, linear to lance-shaped, bright green leaves and, in spring, clusters of inconspicuous, green flowers surrounded by prominent, light green bracts.


Euphorbia tirucalli is: Evergreen

Habit

Branching, Bushy, Upright

Toxicity

Sap causes severe skin irritation & severe eye pain, including temporary blindness that can last several days. All parts are highly toxic, possibly fatal, if ingested.

Flower

Green in Spring

Foliage

Bright-green in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Mealybugs Mealybugs

Grey mould Grey mould

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Propagation

Sow seed as soon as ripe at 15-20C.

Propagation methods

Seed, Softwood cuttings, Stem tip cuttings


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Where to grow

Euphorbia tirucalli (Finger tree) will reach a height of 9m and a spread of 2m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

Conservatory, Containers, Drought Tolerant, Greenhouse, Indoor, Low Maintenance, Sub-Tropical

Cultivation

Under glass, grow in 3 parts loam-based compost, 1 part grit in full light. Ventilate well. In growth, water sparingly & apply low-nitrogen liquid feed monthly; keep dry in winter. Outdoors in frost-free areas, grow in well-drained soil in full sun.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, East

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Euphorbia tirucalli

Other names

Finger tree, Indian tree spurge, Milk bush, Milkweed, Pench tree, Rubber euphorbia, Tirucalli, Tiru-malu, Aveloz, Naked lady, Firestick plant, Pencil tree, Sticks on fire

Genus

Euphorbia Euphorbia

Species

E. tirucalli - E. tirucalli is a tender, upright, tree-like succulent with fleshy, cylindrical, segmented, bright green stems bearing tiny, short-lived, linear to lance-shaped, bright green leaves and, in spring, clusters of inconspicuous, green flowers surrounded by prominent, light green bracts.

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Branching, Bushy, Upright

Toxicity

Sap causes severe skin irritation & severe eye pain, including temporary blindness that can last several days. All parts are highly toxic, possibly fatal, if ingested.


Colour

Flower

Green in Spring

Foliage

Bright-green in All seasons


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Mealybugs

Specific diseases

Grey mould

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Propagation

Sow seed as soon as ripe at 15-20C.

Propagation methods

Seed, Softwood cuttings, Stem tip cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Euphorbia tirucalli (Finger tree) will reach a height of 9m and a spread of 2m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

Conservatory, Containers, Drought Tolerant, Greenhouse, Indoor, Low Maintenance, Sub-Tropical

Cultivation

Under glass, grow in 3 parts loam-based compost, 1 part grit in full light. Ventilate well. In growth, water sparingly & apply low-nitrogen liquid feed monthly; keep dry in winter. Outdoors in frost-free areas, grow in well-drained soil in full sun.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, East

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3)

USDA zones

Zone 12, Zone 11, Zone 10

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Euphorbia tirucalli (Finger tree)

Common pest name

grape ground pearl

Scientific pest name

Margarodes vitis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

Main pathway; Vitis spp. plants for planting; already prohibited. However; further consideration of other pathways is required.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Euphorbia tirucalli (Finger tree)

Common pest name

Banded-winged whitefly

Scientific pest name

Trialeurodes abutiloneus

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous whitefly native to the Americas with the potential to introduce harmful viruses to the UK. EU regulation should be considered and further assessed by EPPO.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Euphorbia tirucalli (Finger tree)

Common pest name

cotton mealybug

Scientific pest name

Phenacoccus solenopsis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Watching brief for potential impact on tomato production in the Mediterranean. Other southern European countries likely to be more at risk. Precautionary action will be taken on findings on planting material to protect glasshouse crops and botanical gardens.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, East Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3) Tell us...

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