Kleinia chimanimaniensis van Jaarsv.
Kleinia chimanimaniensis is a sprawling shrublet, up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall, with fleshy leaves and stems and scented yellow flowers. The stems are glaucous green at first, becoming green and eventually pale brown and purplish, with pale grey horizontal leaf scars, up to 1 foot (30 cm) long, and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) diameter. Leaves are alternately arranged, glaucous green with margins and nerves becoming purplish under stress, up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long, and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide. Flowers appear in summer on up to 20 inches (50 cm) long stem. It resembles Kleinia galpinii and accordingly, in the past, has been wrongly identified.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °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.
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