Curio repens (L.) P.V.Heath
Blue Chalksticks, Blue Chalk Sticks
Cacalia glauca, Cacalia repens, Kleinia repens, Notonia glauca, Senecio repens, Senecio serpens, Senecio succulentus
This species is native to South Africa (Western Cape).
Curio repens, formerly known as Senecio serpens, is a small succulent shrub with fleshy cylindrical leaves borne on prostrate stems. It grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall with a spread of up to 3 feet (90 cm). The stems root at the nodes as they touch the ground. Leaves are powdery blue-grey to blue-green and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. Flowers are small, creamy-white, held in corymbs, and appear just above the foliage from summer to early fall.
The specific epithet "repens (REE-penz)" means "creeping" or "crawling" and refers to the creeping habit of the stems. It is the perfect active participle of the Latin verb "repo."
How to Grow and Care for Curio repens
Light: Keep your C. repens in partial shade if outdoors and bright sunlight if indoors. Avoid intense afternoon sun in summer. It will grow in full shade but will become lank and leggy.
Soil: As with most succulents, this plant prefers a well-draining soil mix. For growing C. repens indoors, it is essential to use a container with at least one drainage hole at the bottom.
Hardiness: C. repens can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b. The plant will not survive consistent temperatures below freezing.
Watering: Water regularly during the growing season, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. This plant is drought tolerant, but the soil should never be left dry for too long. Reduce watering frequency during the winter months. Water only if the soil is completely dry.
Fertilizing: C. repens can take a bit more fertilizer than other succulents if you want to grow fast. Feed your plant once a year with a dilute solution of a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer in summer.
Repotting: You do not need to repot this plant often. You can do it when you see that the container becomes too small or shallow.
Propagation: This plant can be grown from seeds or cuttings. Seeds need warm temperatures or using seed warmer and constant moisture to germinate. Take cuttings during the spring and summer.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Curio.
Toxicity of Curio repens
C. repens is a toxic plant. Grow it with great care if you have children, pets, or livestock.
Hybrids of Curio repens
- Back to genus Curio
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.