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Senecio serpens – Blue Chalksticks

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Scientific Name

Senecio serpens G.D.Rowley

Common Names

Blue Chalksticks

Synonyms

Kleinia repens

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Subtribe: Senecioninae
Genus: Senecio

Description

Senecio serpens is a small, evergreen, succulent perennial, branching from the base and rooting along the stems, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and up to 40 inches (1 m) wide. The prostrate stems hold short, sub-cylindrical, powdery blue-grey to blue-green finger-like fleshy leaves. The small flowers are white in color.

Senecio serpens

How to Grow and Care

Established plants are extremely drought tolerant. They do need some water, during the summer, but do not leave the soil wet for prolonged periods. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings in the winter, when they are somewhat dormant. Since they are growing in sandy soil, nutrients will need to be replenished. Fertilize annually, but lightly. Too much fertilizer will cause a lot of leggy growth. Taller varieties can get floppy. You can prune them back to where the stem is firm, in very early spring. You can even root the cuttings. Plants can be divided or repotted in early spring. If you are growing them in containers, they enjoy spending the summer outdoors. Wait until there is no danger of frost and move them back indoors in the fall. Senecio can be grown from either seed or cuttings. Seeds prefer warm temperatures (55˚F / 13˚C). And constant moisture to germinate. Cuttings are easier and faster. Cut during the growing season, early spring to fall. Root in sandy soil, in containers… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Senecio.

Origin

Native to South Africa (Cape Province).

Links

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