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Curio crassulifolius (Blue Fingers)

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Scientific Name

Curio crassulifolius (DC.) P.V.Heath

Common Names

Blue Fingers

Synonyms

Kleinia crassulifolia (basionym), Senecio crassulifolius

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Curio crassulifolius is a sprawling, tufted, evergreen, succulent perennial, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. The stems are smooth and hairless. The leaves are up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long and up to 0.3 inch (8 mm) wide, grey-blue-green, fleshy, cylindrical, pointing upwards and ending in a point. They are arranged in dense clusters around the tips of the branched stems. The leaves are pruinose, which means that they are frosted with a white bloom. The flower heads are small, discoid, one or a few on slender, elongated flower stalks in late winter, spring and early summer. They are white to cream or sometimes yellow.

Photo via wenxuecity.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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

Native to South Africa.

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