Simply Trees

Pencil Cactus

Ships 1-3 days*


Small, 1 to 3 ft or 6 inch pot
Medium, 3 to 4 ft or 8 to 10 inch pot
Large, 4 to 5 ft or 8 to 10 inch pot
XL, 5 to 6 ft or 10 to 12 inch pot
XXL, 6 to 7 ft or 10 to 14 inch pot

Please Note: Sizing can differ between plant varieties. Please chat with us if you need clarification.

*Measured from the bottom of the pot.

Bright indirect sunOnce a monthSuper easyNot pet friendly
  • Unique Pencil-Like Stems: The Pencil Cactus features slender, pencil-like stems that create a distinctive and captivating appearance.
  • Low Maintenance Marvel: With its slow growth rate and minimal care requirements, this succulent thrives effortlessly, making it an ideal choice for busy households.
  • Striking Vertical Accent: The Pencil Cactus's upright growth and vibrant green color make it a striking and unique vertical accent in your indoor landscape.
  • Pot pictured is not included
Pencil Cactus

More Details

Meet the Pencil Cactus, an intriguing and low-maintenance houseplant that adds a touch of nature's wonder to your indoor environment. With its slender, pencil-like stems and vibrant green color, this succulent plant is a captivating addition to your home decor. The Pencil Cactus is celebrated for its ability to thrive with minimal attention, making it an excellent choice for both experienced plant enthusiasts and newcomers. It exhibits a slow growth rate and typically reaches a mature height of 4-6 feet, creating a unique vertical accent in your indoor space.

Growth rate: Slow growth rate; eventually reaches a mature height of 4-6 feet, with a width of 2-3 feet.

Water the Pencil Cactus sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. This drought-tolerant plant prefers infrequent watering to avoid overhydration.

Provide your Pencil Cactus with bright, indirect light for optimal growth. It can tolerate partial sun but should be shielded from direct sunlight to prevent sunburn.

We process and ship your order as quickly as possible, typically within 1-3 business days. You will receive a shipping confirmation with tracking information once your item(s) ship.

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!

In cases of extreme cold or hot weather, we may temporarily delay shipping to ensure the well-being of your plants. Our primary focus is on delivering healthy and thriving plants to you. Rest assured, we'll make every effort to notify you of any delays promptly.

Please allow additional ship times during inclement weather and sale periods. We do not process or ship orders on the weekend or U.S. Holidays. Simply Trees is not responsible for delays due to carriers, local disruptions, or weather.

See how we pack your plants!

Learn more about our Shipping Policy

At Simply Trees, we're committed to your satisfaction. If your plants arrive considerably damaged or sustained damage beyond the point of recovery, please contact us within five days at with clear photos for assistance. Our 30-day guarantee covers issues after planting, subject to our terms and conditions. We can't cover plants in the wrong climate or with inadequate care, but we're here to help in other situations. For a detailed understanding of our 30-day guarantee and how we ensure a fair process, click here to learn more.

From Our Farm to Your Door

How We Pack & Ship Plants

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!

Frequently Asked Questions

Pencil Cactus can grow to varying sizes, depending on its growing conditions and how it's cared for. Here are some general guidelines regarding the size of Pencil Cactus:

Height: In its natural habitat and under optimal conditions, Pencil Cactus can grow quite tall, reaching heights of 6 to 30 feet or even more. However, as a houseplant or in containers, it is typically smaller, often ranging from 3 to 8 feet in height.

Width: The width or spread of Pencil Cactus can be similar to its height, especially when it's allowed to grow freely. In indoor or container settings, the spread can vary but is generally more compact, typically ranging from 2 to 6 feet.

Growth Rate: Pencil Cactus is known for its relatively fast growth under the right conditions. It can grow several inches to a few feet in height each year when provided with adequate light, warmth, and care.

It's important to note that Pencil Cactus has a naturally upright and branching growth habit, with slender, cylindrical stems resembling pencils. Over time, these stems can become quite thick and densely packed. Regular pruning can help manage the size and shape of the plant, encouraging branching and a bushier appearance.

Keep in mind that the size of your Pencil Cactus can be influenced by factors such as available light, temperature, watering, and pot size. If you wish to maintain a smaller and more compact plant, occasional pruning and root trimming can be beneficial. Additionally, be cautious when handling Pencil Cactus, as it contains a milky sap that can be irritating to the skin and eyes, so wear gloves and take precautions when working with it.

Pencil Cactus is known for its relatively fast growth rate. It can grow several inches to a foot or more in height each year when provided with ideal conditions. However, the exact growth rate can vary depending on factors such as light, temperature, and care.

As for reaching maturity as an indoor plant, Pencil Cactus can attain a significant height within a few years, often reaching a mature height of 6 feet or more with the right care and conditions. It's essential to provide sufficient space or consider pruning to manage its size if you want to keep it at a more manageable height.

Pencil Cactus is a drought-tolerant succulent plant that prefers dry conditions. To care for your Pencil Cactus:

Allow Soil to Dry: Let the soil dry completely between waterings, which may be every few weeks to a month or even less frequently.

Seasonal Adjustments: Adjust watering frequency based on the season, reducing water in winter when the plant goes semi-dormant.

Reduce Winter Watering: During the cooler months, reduce watering to prevent root rot.

Use Well-Draining Soil: Ensure well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged roots.

Water Thoroughly: Water deeply until excess water drains from the pot, and empty the saucer to avoid standing water.

Watch for Signs: Pay attention to the plant's appearance; wrinkling or shriveling stems indicate it needs water.

Err on the Dry Side: When in doubt, underwatering is safer than overwatering for Pencil Cactus.

Consider factors like pot size, environment, and light when determining watering frequency. Prioritize the plant's moisture needs to keep it healthy.

Yes, you can put your Pencil Cactus outside, but it's essential to consider the following factors and provide the right conditions for it to thrive outdoors:

Climate: Pencil Cactus is native to warm, arid regions and is well-suited to climates with hot, dry summers. If you live in an area with mild, frost-free winters and hot summers, your Pencil Cactus may do well outdoors. However, it's not cold-hardy and cannot withstand freezing temperatures.

Sunlight: Pencil Cactus enjoys plenty of sunlight. When placing it outdoors, choose a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight or partial to full sun. Be cautious not to subject it to intense, scorching sunlight, especially during the hottest part of the day, as this can lead to sunburn.

Well-Draining Soil: Ensure that the outdoor planting location has well-draining soil. Pencil Cactus is susceptible to root rot if the soil becomes waterlogged. If your soil has poor drainage, consider amending it with sand or gravel.

Container vs. Ground Planting: You can plant Pencil Cactus directly in the ground or keep it in a container. Container planting allows for better control of the soil and the ability to bring the plant indoors during cold or rainy seasons.

Protection from Frost: Remember that Pencil Cactus is not cold-tolerant. If temperatures are expected to drop near freezing or below, you should bring the plant indoors or provide frost protection, such as covering it with a frost cloth or moving it to a sheltered location.

Watering: Even when grown outdoors, Pencil Cactus should follow the "dry before watering" rule. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings, and be cautious not to overwater.

Pest Control: Monitor your outdoor Pencil Cactus for pests like aphids or mealybugs, which can sometimes infest these plants. Take appropriate measures to control pests if necessary.

Pruning: Outdoor Pencil Cacti may require occasional pruning to maintain their shape and size. Use caution when handling the plant, as its sap can be irritating to the skin and eyes.

Before placing your Pencil Cactus outdoors, assess your local climate and conditions to ensure it's suitable for the plant's well-being. If you live in an area with harsh winters or frequent frosts, it's often safer to keep your Pencil Cactus as a potted houseplant and move it outdoors during the warm season.

Pencil Cactus prefers bright, indirect sunlight, but it can also tolerate some direct sunlight, especially in moderation. Here are some guidelines for providing the right amount of light for your Pencil Cactus:

Bright Indirect Light: Ideally, place your Pencil Cactus in a location where it receives bright, indirect sunlight for most of the day. A spot near a south- or west-facing window with filtered light is often suitable. This mimics the plant's natural habitat, where it grows in full sun but is often shaded by other vegetation.

Direct Sunlight: Pencil Cactus can tolerate some direct sunlight, particularly during the morning hours or in regions with milder sun exposure. However, in hot climates, intense afternoon sun can be too harsh and may lead to sunburn or stress. If you provide direct sunlight, ensure it's not scorching or excessive.

Adjust as Needed: Observe your plant's response to light conditions. If you notice that the stems are becoming reddish or orange, it may indicate that it's receiving enough light. However, if you see signs of sunburn (yellowing or browning of the stems), you should move the plant to a slightly shadier location.

Indoor Conditions: If you're growing Pencil Cactus indoors, rotate the pot occasionally to ensure even exposure to light on all sides of the plant. If natural light is insufficient, you can supplement with fluorescent grow lights.

Outdoor Conditions: When growing Pencil Cactus outdoors, select a location with partial to full sun exposure, depending on your climate. Protect it from extreme heat and provide some shade during the hottest part of the day if necessary.

Remember that Pencil Cactus is adapted to arid regions and is relatively drought-tolerant. It's essential to allow the soil to dry out between waterings, especially when grown in containers, as overwatering can be more detrimental than insufficient light. Finding the right balance of light and water is key to keeping your Pencil Cactus healthy and thriving.

In some cases, the green stems of a Pencil Cactus may turn red or orange in response to increased exposure to sunlight or other environmental stressors. This color change is a natural response and can enhance the plant's visual appeal. However, not all Pencil Cacti will change color, and the degree of color change can vary depending on several factors:

Sunlight Exposure: Increased exposure to direct sunlight, especially in the form of bright, full sun, can trigger the stems to turn red or orange. The intensity of the color change may depend on the amount and duration of sunlight.

Stress Response: Environmental stressors, such as drought or temperature fluctuations, can also induce color changes in Pencil Cacti. The plant may turn red as a protective mechanism in response to stress.

Varietal Differences: Some varieties or cultivars of Pencil Cacti are more likely to exhibit a color change than others. Certain cultivars are selected for their vibrant red or orange stems.

To encourage your green Pencil Cactus to turn red, you can gradually increase its exposure to sunlight. However, be cautious not to subject it to too much intense sunlight too quickly, as this can cause sunburn and damage the plant. Instead, acclimate it gradually to brighter conditions.

Keep in mind that the degree and permanence of the color change can vary, and not all green Pencil Cacti will undergo a dramatic transformation. Additionally, the primary appeal of the plant lies in its unique form and structure, so the color change is an added aesthetic bonus for some growers.

Yes, the Pencil Cactus can produce small, inconspicuous flowers, but they are not particularly showy or ornamental. The primary attraction of the Pencil Cactus is its unique and striking appearance, characterized by slender, pencil-like stems that resemble a bundle of pencils or sticks. The plant's green stems can turn reddish or orange under certain conditions, adding to its visual appeal.

While the flowers of the Pencil Cactus are not the plant's main feature, they can appear at the tips of the stems in the right conditions. These flowers are typically small and greenish-yellow in color, and they may not be noticeable unless you closely examine the plant. The primary focus of growing a Pencil Cactus is for its distinctive form and structure rather than its flowers.

If your Pencil Cactus does produce flowers, it is an interesting natural occurrence, but it's not the primary reason why people cultivate this plant. Instead, it's cherished for its sculptural and architectural appearance as an unusual and low-maintenance houseplant or outdoor succulent.

The Pencil Cactus can drop branches for several reasons, and understanding the underlying cause is essential to address the issue and prevent further branch loss. Here are some common reasons why Pencil Cacti may drop branches:

Overwatering: Pencil Cacti are drought-tolerant and do not like consistently moist soil. If the plant is overwatered and the soil remains soggy, it can lead to root rot, which can cause branches to die and eventually drop.

Underwatering: While Pencil Cacti are drought-tolerant, they still require some water. If the plant is severely underwatered for an extended period, it may lose branches as a survival mechanism.

Environmental Stress: Changes in environmental conditions, such as sudden temperature fluctuations, exposure to cold drafts, or inadequate lighting, can stress the plant and lead to branch loss.

Pests or Diseases: Pencil Cacti can be susceptible to pests like mealybugs and scale insects, which can weaken the plant and cause branch dieback. Fungal or bacterial diseases can also affect the plant's health.

Physical Damage: Accidental damage to the branches, such as bending or breaking, can cause them to break off or eventually die.

To address branch loss in your Pencil Cactus, consider the following steps:

Assess Watering: Ensure you are watering the plant appropriately. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and provide well-draining soil to prevent root rot.

Check Environmental Conditions: Place the plant in a stable environment with consistent temperature and adequate, indirect sunlight. Protect it from cold drafts.

Inspect for Pests and Diseases: Examine the plant closely for signs of pests or diseases. If you find any issues, treat the plant accordingly with the appropriate pest control or fungicide.

Pruning: If branches have already dropped or appear dead, you can prune them back to healthy tissue to promote new growth.

Repotting: If the plant has become root-bound or is suffering from severe root rot, consider repotting it in fresh, well-draining soil.

Monitor Care: Pay attention to your plant's care routine and adjust as needed based on its specific requirements.

By addressing these factors and providing proper care, you can help your Pencil Cactus recover and prevent further branch loss.

The Pencil Cactus can be grown as a houseplant, but it's important to be aware of some safety considerations when caring for this plant:

Irritating Sap: The Pencil Cactus produces a white latex sap that can be irritating to the skin and eyes. It's essential to handle the plant with care and avoid contact with the sap. If you do come into contact with the sap, wash the affected area with soap and water and avoid touching your face or eyes.

Keep Out of Reach: If you have pets or young children, it's a good idea to keep the Pencil Cactus out of their reach. Pets and curious children may be tempted to chew on the plant, which can lead to ingestion of the sap.

Proper Placement: Place the Pencil Cactus in a location where it's less likely to be brushed against or knocked over. Consider placing it on a high shelf or in an area where it won't be disturbed.

Protective Gear: If you need to prune or handle the plant, consider wearing gloves and eye protection to minimize the risk of sap contact.

Ventilation: Ensure good ventilation in the room where you keep the Pencil Cactus to disperse any potential irritants released into the air.

While the Pencil Cactus can be an interesting addition to your indoor plant collection, it's crucial to be aware of these safety precautions and to exercise caution when caring for this plant to avoid any potential skin or eye irritation. If you have young children or pets in your home, you may want to consider whether the Pencil Cactus is the right choice for your household.

The Pencil Cactus, also known as the Milk Bush or Rubber Euphorbia, is not typically known for its air-purifying properties. While some houseplants are known to help improve indoor air quality by filtering out certain pollutants, the Pencil Cactus is not one of them.

However, it's essential to note that the Pencil Cactus has some unique characteristics and care requirements. It produces a white latex sap that can be irritating to the skin and eyes, so it should be handled with care. Additionally, it is a drought-tolerant plant that requires very little water and prefers bright, indirect sunlight.

If you're looking for houseplants specifically for their air-purifying qualities, you might consider other common indoor plants like the Snake Plant or Peace Lily, which are known for their ability to help improve indoor air quality by removing certain pollutants.

Eco Pot

  • Made from Recycled Materials & Natural Minerals
  • Natural-Looking Hand Finish
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  • UV Protected & Frost Resistant