How to get Euphorbia 'Sticks of Fire' cuttings to grow roots

by Amber Miner
Rooted Euphorbia 'Sticks of Fire' Succulent Plants

Euphorbia 'Sticks of Fire' are NOT like most succulent plants. True - like most succulent plants - you can cut a piece off of an established Euphorbia, plant that cutting in soil and it will eventually grow new roots.

However, Sticks of Fire - and most Euphorbia actually - are not like most succulents when it comes to getting those first roots to grow. Euphorbia are extra sensitive and can actually be a little difficult. But don't worry, we're here to make sure you have success rooting your Euphoribia cuttings! 

What's different about Euphorbia cuttings?

Colorful succulent plants with bright orange and pink Sticks of Fire succulents in the front

We have found Euphorbia to take a long time to start shooting out roots. This makes them exceptionally sensitive to over-watering. Euphorbia can be stuck in soil for a long, long, long time before roots will even think about emerging. And the soil should remain dry that whole time.

Until roots start to form, the cuttings won't need any water. Most succulent cuttings at least start some roots shooting out after a couple of weeks, so watering them around that time isn't too dangerous. 

Watering Euphorbia cuttings around two weeks is most often too early. Roots are likely not happening yet, so what happens is the cuttings just sit in wet soil with no way to absorb water. We've found that Euphorbia really don't like to sit in wet, or even damp soil. 

Cuttings of Euphorbia 'Sticks of Fire' on a white background

What should you do differently to have success rooting Euphorbia cuttings. 

The answer is nothing. Do nothing, literally, for much longer than you think you need to, like almost a month. Just leave the cuttings to callous completely, they have a lot of water in the stems and will be fine without water for a long time.

Here are the steps we recommend for successful Euphorbia propagation:

  1. Make sure the cuttings have been allowed to dry and callous for a least a few days. 
  2. Prepare a pot with very well-draining soil and if possible, set the pot in the sun for the soil to warm up a bit. 
  3. Stick the calloused ends of the cuttings far enough into the soil to be supported. 
  4. Keep the newly planted cuttings out of direct sun for at least a week. 
  5. Acclimate the cuttings to partial sun slowly. 
  6. Do not water for the first three weeks. 
  7. After three weeks, gently tug on one cutting to check for resistance. This is the indication that roots have started shooting out and anchoring the plant into the soil. 
  8. Wait until there is noticeable resistance and then water the pot.
    We recommend setting the pot in a shallow dish of water until the top soil is damp to the touch. This ensures the soil gets completely saturated.
  9. Do not water again until the top 1/4" of soil is dry to the touch. 

Buy some Euphorbia 'Sticks of Fire' cuttings.

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