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Curio radicans (String of Bananas)

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Scientific Name

Curio rowleyanus (H. Jacobsen) P.V. Heath

Common Names

String of Bananas, String of Pearls, Banana Vine, Necklace Plant, String of Fishhooks, Fishhook Senecio, Creeping-Berry

Synonyms

Senecio radicans, Cacalia radicans, Kleinia radicans

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Curio radicans, formerly know as Senecio radicans, is a fast-growing succulent with vines that can reach up to 3 feet (90 cm) long. Leaves are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, green, pointed and with the sides of the leaves partly translucent, allowing sunlight to shine through. They grow single-file along the cascading stems. Flowers are small, white, cinnamon-scented and usually appear in late winter or early spring.

Photo via wikipedia.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Established Senecios 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 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 and constant moisture to germinate. Cuttings are easier and faster. Cut during the growing season, from early spring to fall. Root in sandy soil, in containers.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Senecio.

Origin

Curio radicans is native to Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa.

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