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Curio citriformis (String of Tears)


Scientific Name

Curio citriformis (G.D.Rowley) P.V.Heath

Common Names

String of Tears, String of Lemons


Senecio citriformis

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Subtribe: Senecioninae
Genus: Curio


Curio citriformis, formerly known as Senecio citriformis, is a unique scrambling succulent with teardrop-shaped leaves. The shoots are erect, later procumbent, and up to 4 inches (10 cm) long. The leaves are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, soft green to deep green depending on the season, with fine, clear, transparent, longitudinal stripes and covered in a blue-grey, waxy bloom. The flowers are small, creamy-yellow, and appear in late summer to winter, on thin, wiry stalks up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall.

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USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

These succulents are grown more for their beautiful foliage than for their flowers. They look good all year and need minimal care and attention.

Keep Curio plants in partial shade if outdoors, which is their preference in summer, and bright sunlight if indoors. Avoid intense afternoon sun in summer. They will grow in the shade but will become lank and leggy.

Curio plants are drought tolerant, but the soil should never be left dry for too long. They do need some water during the growing season but be careful not to leave the soil wet for prolonged periods. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, especially during the winter.

Curio can take a bit more fertilizer than other succulents if you want them to grow fast. Fertilize the plants once a year, in summer, with a dilute solution of a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

You do not need to repot these plants often. You can do it when you see that the container becomes too small or shallow.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Curio.


Curio citriformis is native to South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland.


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