Kleinia cephalophora Compton
Mountain Fire, Blazing Glory, Cliff Kleinia
Kleinia cephalophora, formerly known as Senecio cephalophorus, is a striking succulent shrub with blue-green leaves and beautiful large nodding flower heads. It grows up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall. Leaves are fleshy, blue-green, lanceolate with margins strongly recurved, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) wide. The solitary flower heads are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter, with bright yellow florets sometimes becoming orange.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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 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, around 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.
This species is native to southern Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape).
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