Plant Feature: Firesticks

This spicy little number will add a jolt of ultra-vivid color to your landscape, with its tall, skinny limbs that emerge a rich jade green, topped with gold and fiery orange tips. Each candle-like stem of Euphorbia tirucalli or ‘Firesticks’ lights the scenery ablaze like a tiny torch. And with such dense foliage, when seen from afar, these succulent plants serve some classic burning bush looks. Throwing it back to biblical times—we love a retro aesthetic! 

When grown in the landscape, these fast-growing behemoths can reach up to 30 feet tall and 10 feet wide, so they certainly make a big statement. If you want to increase the color saturation and vibrancy in your garden by 200 percent, add some bright, scorching Firesticks into the mix. Hey… is anyone else craving Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? 

Firesticks also make fantastic container plants, bringing so much color and personality to patios and front stairways. Basic potted evergreens got nothin’ on this technicolor dream plant! Just remember to repot them every year or two, so they don’t get too crowded in their container.

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Growing Firesticks in California

It should come as no surprise, but this hot tamale can handle the California desert heat like a total champ. After all, it’s a type of cactus, so it’s adapted to thrive in hot, dry climates. In fact, the more sunshine it receives, the more vibrant its colors will become. Plant your Firesticks somewhere that receives at least 6–8 hours of sun per day, and that should result in the brightest reds, greens, oranges, and golds you could possibly imagine! If you’re going to grow a small Firesticks plant indoors, place it by a south- or west-facing window that gets plenty of sunshine. 

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While it is drought-tolerant, that doesn’t mean you can totally skip out on the watering. Water as much as you would with your other succulents—soak the soil thoroughly, but let it dry out before you get back in there with the hose. However, you should water it a little more frequently for those first few months after planting, just to help the roots establish.

Since they get tall so quickly, you may find that you need to cut back your plant to make it more manageable. But beware: if you mess around with Firesticks, you’re going to get burned! Always wear protective gloves and goggles when pruning Firesticks as their sap is mildly toxic, safely dispose of any clippings (unless you plan on propagating them into new plants), and ensure no pets are nearby while you’re trimming your plant.

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Not to be dramatic, but this radiant rainbow succulent sets our souls on fire. We’re obsessed with adding it to gardens and landscape designs! To grab some of your own Firesticks to light up the landscape, visit OC Succulents to see our incredible collection of healthy, thriving cacti and succulents, ready to flourish in their new home in California.

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