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Curio citriformis (String of Tears)

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Scientific Name

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

Common Names

String of Tears

Synonyms

Senecio citriformis (basionym)

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Curio citriformis, previously known as Senecio citriformis, is a unique, scrambling succulent with tear drop 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, covered in a blue-grey, waxy bloom, with 40 or more fine, clear, longitudinal stripes and in strong light may be semi-translucent. The flowers are small, creamy-yellow on thin, wiry stalks up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall.

Photo via fotki.com

Hardiness

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

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

It is native to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

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