Fire sticks cuttings not taking

yorkiemikiDecember 30, 2013

So I've been trying to do euphorbia fire sticks cuttings for the past few months.

I basically cut off some stalks of the fire sticks and let it dry for a week then I stuck it some high pumice soil. Then I stuck it in garage next to a window with filtered light and spritzed/sprayed it with water about every 1-3 days.

Not really sure why they aren't taking to cuttings/ rooting

It seems like they're just drying out. Is it because they are dormant?
Should I leave them outside maybe instead of in garage?

Its been like 65-70 degs and lows of 55 degs here in Los angeles

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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

It's the wrong time of year for Euphorbia cuttings. The best time is in the spring. I would think you would be lucky if you can keep them from rotting until spring when they will root.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:12PM
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kaktuskris

I took a cutting of 'Firesticks" a few years back in Florida during a visit, and tried rooting in winter, out of necessity, and it is a thriving plant now. So it can be done, just not as easily. On the other hand, had a cutting of the green variety of E. tirucalli from the previous year's visit to Florida which never rooted.

Christopher

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:56PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

Root them in pure dry sand, skip the mist!

It is the wrong season but that should only slow them from rooting, not prevent it, in my experience.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 5:11PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Yorkster, Same here I've cut and cut during these cold winter months and have even cut and planted in the ground immediately and PRESTO! Roots are no problem, Of course I'm in zone 9 in Calif. but hey it's been down to @ 28` out here some nights.

And what I've always heard about these guy's is that they thrive on abuse.

NO WATERING NOT EVEN A MIST. just the cold miosture should be fine and if it rains that's no problem either they love rain water if it happens to rain, But!! don't worry about watering during this time of the year because they can handle the dryness just fine.
.

Greg

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 5:56PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I just stick them in the ground. They root when they are ready.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 6:02PM
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lzrddr(91360)

ditto

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 10:46PM
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yorkiemiki

OK so as a lot of you said I think I should leave outside. Most likely planted in ground. thanks!

The ones I had in the garage seem to have dried up. I was misting every once in a while and they turned into dry little "twigs"

I'm in los angeles near the coast. It's been warm here and dry. Hasn't rained for like 2 weeks or so and been like 70 every day (except today it was cold and foggy hehe)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 12:37AM
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yorkiemiki

I'm starting to notice the dormancy periods a bit more. Over the summer I tried rooting the senecio blue chalk fingers and they would either dry up or turn into black moldy mush.

Now during the winter I stick the blue chalk fingers into some dry soil and they seem to root fairly easily

:)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 12:40AM
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stanofh

I think they can be touchy to root. I had quite a few Firesticks cuttings taken from my front yard plant over the years..and then they stopped taking them. I'm sure all died on them. GOOD.
On the other hand,I used to just take the all green Pencil tree cuttings and stick them in the ground. Those grew faster then ones rooted in a pot,then put in ground. As I recall,they were much faster growing that way. The 2007 freeze or maybe Gophers or both killed it at 6' and wide.
As to "Firesticks" ? I might have stuck one or two in a pot...and they died fast.
Your best bet might be pure perlite,some watering of course,and a cold frame/hot sunny window to get them started.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 2:40PM
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stanofh

Also,that freeze that killed the all green? Only tip frosted 'Firesticks'. Is Firesticks hardier? or was something else as I said like gophers, at work? I cant say for sure.
Firesticks made it this year with no protection whatsoever. But, a potted green Pencil tree did also. 2013 was dry. 2007, wasn't so dry. Maybe a factor.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 3:33PM
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lizzieroux

I am wonders the same thing IF the cuttings will take or not.

Can I plant them into the garden "as is", or do I have to plant in a pot until it roots, then plant in the garden?

Any help is appreciated.
Thanks

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 10:19PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Lizzy, These are one of my favorites, they are so colorful and turn all kinds of wonderful shades and add to your cacti & succulent garden, I like it also because it DEMANDS so much attention Ive had people walking by say, "it looks like a salt water fish tank garden" need I say anything else.

Ive cut and planted to planted this in the ground immediately & waited a few days No difference was noticed, Although Im sure location is everything, Im in zone 9 sunny Calif.

Greg

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 11:22PM
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lizzieroux

Hi Greg,

I, too, am in sunny California.

Your plants look absolutely beautiful!!!!

How long did it take for the cuttings to grow to this size?

Tomorrow I am going to dig the hole, add some cactus soil and mix in with garden dirt, and pray for the best!

Thanks for posting the photo.

Lizzy

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 3:19AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

This plant is fairly forgiving. I would make sure your plants have drainage even though I lived on the windward side of Hawaii and it was planted in clay and it i did fine. I was on a hill. I just stuck a LARGE branch in the ground. I let cut surfaces seal over before planting now but I don't know if it is necessary with this.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 9:02AM
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plantomaniac08(8)

I broke a piece off of mine by mistake last year (it was in the summer though) and didn't even bother to let it dry before sticking it in the pot. It did develop roots, but my experience is they're not fast root growers, so patience is a key. Even after a couple months, I only had about an inch of root growth. But, it did take. I didn't find it all that difficult to root, but this may just be an uncommon experience.

Planto

This post was edited by plantomaniac08 on Sat, Apr 5, 14 at 10:26

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 10:23AM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Lizzy, this plant is a fast grower once it's established and that doesnt take to long either. I agree with the other comments also, one thing Ive also learned is that it thrives on abuse, No water tons of Hot sun and even soil can be bad. I would say one could grow this size in 1 year, so fast. Just my experience tho, and also one last thing (WARNING) dont get any of that white milky fluid on your skin 0r eyes.

Greg

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 10:47AM
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Sundewd(9B)

I love pencil cactus. Been growing them for about ten years now. Have only ever lost plants to harsh winter weather when I was unable to move them in time. Lr favorite variety is a hybrid form of Tirucalli x stenoclada that I found last year. I recently took some cuttings from a rather hairy one with the main stem twisted downwards and growth trailing along the ground. So hopefully I will see roots in a few weeks.

I can tell you based on experience that it is best to get branches that are reasonably fresh. As soon as they stiffen up and start to slow down their growth leaves its time to take it cause those root the easiest and fastest. Old growth can also work as long as it is healthy.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 10:57AM
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Sundewd(9B)

I love pencil cactus. Been growing them for about ten years now. Have only ever lost plants to harsh winter weather when I was unable to move them in time. Lr favorite variety is a hybrid form of Tirucalli x stenoclada that I found last year. I recently took some cuttings from a rather hairy one with the main stem twisted downwards and growth trailing along the ground. So hopefully I will see roots in a few weeks.

I can tell you based on experience that it is best to get branches that are reasonably fresh. As soon as they stiffen up and start to slow down their growth leaves its time to take it cause those root the easiest and fastest. Old growth can also work as long as it is healthy.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 10:58AM
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yorkiemiki

Just a little update since I originally posted this back in December- A lot of my cuttings died earlier in the winter and just dried up or got whithered away probably due to dormancy. But some of the cuttings that I put in pumice in February took and are now starting to show some growth.

Sundewd thanks for tip about getting newer growth for cuttings.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 3:52AM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Greg,
Yeah... my Mom had an 'African Milk Tree' and bumped a leaf off one day. She couldn't figure out where this red blister came from on her arm until she remembered she bumped into that Euphoria. I have to keep an eye on my Mom. :)

Planto

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:44AM
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stanofh

They went into dormancy only because of the short days and cool nights. IF,you want to root anytime of the year,using overhead grow lights of your choice and a heating pad work wonders.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 2:27PM
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yorkiemiki

Thanks stan for the tip, I didn't realize it's based on light/warmth. I thought there was something innate in the plant that kind of knew what time of year it was lol. So if I were in South Africa on the other side of the earth they would go into dormancy at different times?

I should have left them in the full sun because we had a hot warm witner. It was like 75 degrees every day. I had the cuttings in the garage in some pumice. Live and learn.

Also thanks for pics hjole

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 2:32PM
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lizzieroux

OK!
My plants cuttings are in the ground and in a couple of pots.
I will see which one get's roots/growth first.

One one cuttings I did dip in rooting powder just as a test.
:)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 8:30PM
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lizzieroux

Hello all!
I am back again with a new photo and wondered if you all think my plants is growing or at least holding on since April.
I notice it has a bit of green on the lover side close to the soil which was not there when I planted it.
These plants take a long time to decide to "rise" up :)
Thx

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 12:56PM
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lizzieroux

Another view.
Also, the color is not the same as when first planted?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 1:00PM
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angellilly

I dont know about the colour,perhaps a transitional phase?i have the regular one (the plain green tirucalli) and i found it on the floor of a nursery,the mother plant a few feet away,and i took it (they were going to throw it away,right?).That was in February,i left the cutting alone (didnt plant it)until it was properly callused and a little wrinkly,i potted it up in April and it took one month before it was firmly attached to the soil,another month for me to see new growth.Point is yours may not show signs of growth until you are ready to give up on it.My advice is, leave it alone and it will do the rest! (be careful of your watering though)
Helen

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 3:14PM
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KittieKAT

I've tried with cuttings i found on the floor at a store they weren't as big as yours are just about an inch, i cut off a end and stuck IT IN soil, can't tell if it's rooting or NOT. ..or if it's just from cutting off the end *shrugs* I'm so jealous of your plant Greg what i would DO to have a fire stick like yours on my Sun porch, i have a plain green ONE my bf gave ME but i just love the bright colors of these one's, really hope they root. ....goodluck everyone

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:45PM
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lizzieroux

Thanks again everyone!

With hope :)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:10PM
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lizzieroux

Can't believe that my plant is just beginning to take off after all these months :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 7:18PM
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dhd47

I just purchase some cuttings off ebay and from what I read before it didn't matter what time you planted it would grow. I hope so as I have them in gritty soil and only a little water to start. I'll be sure to report back with any results of good or bad.

I really like these and hope I can get 1 of the 7 cuttings to grow.

Dave

    Bookmark   October 1, 2014 at 3:43PM
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lizzieroux

Dave,
I agree, they are really beautiful!
I don't understand why it has taken all these months for it to start growing. I planted it in the right sun srea in the yard.
Good luck with yours, and please do show photos of the progress.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2014 at 2:33AM
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