Pencil Plants

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  1. Aphids on Pencil Plant
  2. Dead Branch on Pencil Plant
  3. Care for pencil plant/fire cactus plant
  4. Pencil Plant
  5. My pencil seems to be losing branches, drying up
  6. Pencil Plant
  7. Pencil plant
Asked by Anonymous on June 27, 2011
Aphids on Pencil Plant

I think this plant has a tough case of aphids. However, the insects have a brown hard cover. From the picture on this site of aphids, they look black like fleas.

ANSWERS
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

If they have a hard outer shell, it could actually be scale bugs. Here is an article that you may find helpful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/scale-bug-how-to-control-plant-scale.htm

At any rate, neem oil is an effective treatment. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/neem-oil-uses.htm

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Asked by doogie on January 29, 2012
Dead Branch on Pencil Plant

Am I to leave it alone or remove it? This is an extremely old plant with one major stem coming up and branching out into 3 more large branches. For some reason the middle branch looks dead (no growth-changing color, etc. ) I am sick about it. The plant has always been beautiful. Don’t know if I should leave it alone or if I am to remove this dead section. Any help would be appreciated.

ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

If the dead section is yellow or brown, then if should be removed as it is dead and cannot be saved. If it is still green, I would leave it be.

If it is a very old plant, sometimes sections can die off due to old age. But, you may want to make sure it does not need repotted and that it has been fertilized.

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Asked by Rab on September 15, 2012
Care for Pencil Plant/Fire Cactus Plant

Hello, I have an indoor pencil plant about 4ft tall that my sister brought me from Florida. It does not get much light. Would you suggest getting a plant light? Thank you.

ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

If you cannot provide enough light for the plant, extra light from a lamps will help. You do not need to invest in a "grow" light. A simple florescent bulb will do just fine. Whether you choose the grow light or florescent light, you will need to make sure that the bulb is placed only a few inches from the plant. Otherwise, the light will not reach the plant well enough to help it.

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Asked by Anonymous on November 20, 2012
Pencil Plant

My pencil plant has a couple of yellow stems. What is the problem?

ANSWERS
AnnsGreeneHaus

The following article addresses Euphorbia truncalli (Pencil Cactus): https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/pencil-cactus/care-pencil-cactus.htm
Yellowing stems can mean several things; age, injury, temperature and too much/little moisture. Sometimes my "pencils' throw off old segments for seemingly no reason. It's kind of like when we lose a hair or two! If the plant has recieved a physical (or mechanical) injury, the connection between stem joints could have been broken. Euphorbia's are notorious for throwing leaves and segments when traumatized by temperatures too low or drought. The plant is trying to conserve it's resources by "downsizing". And, this plant is a succulent, don't keep it wet. Let it dry slightly between waterings.

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Asked by Madlady on October 27, 2013
My Pencil Seems to Be Losing Branches, Drying Up

My pencil seems to be losing branches, drying up. It is kept inside. What is wrong?

ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

This can be a sign that the plant is being overwatered. This plant should only be watered when the top inch or so of soil is dry to the touch.

Make sure you are checking to see if it needs water before you water it.

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theficuswrangler

Yes, overwatering causing constantly damp or wet soil will lead to root rot, and the loss of stems in pencil cactus. Another possible problem is if the light is too low, there's not enough energy to move moisture up the roots and through the stems. Test for moisture before watering, but test all the way to the bottom of the pot, because that's where the roots are. Here's a video on soil testing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf-8InSamYQ

So, less water, more light, your pencil cactus should turn around.

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Asked by Anonymous on February 18, 2015
Pencil Plant

My pencil plant is about 6 feet high. The only foliage is the top 12 inches with one bottom branch. The upper branches have small leaves that have died and only the leaves on bottom branch have survived. Will new leaves appear or is the plant dying?

ANSWERS
theficuswrangler

The pencil cactus leaves are very small, and only last a short time. In other words, the plant isn't really supposed to have leaves at all, except for a short time in the spring, or whenever its growing period is. Here's more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/pencil-cactus/care-pencil-cactus.htm

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Asked by Anonymous on August 5, 2015
Pencil Plant

I have a pencil plant. Can I split the roots to make two plants? It is about 3 feet tall and has two big stems coming out of the dirt.

ANSWERS
Downtoearthdigs
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

Yes, you should be able to successfully spit the plants.
Use good quality cactus potting mix and a well draining pot.
Be careful not to use to large of a pot for the new plants.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/pencil-cactus/care-pencil-cactus.htm

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