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Kleinia semperviva

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Scientific Name

Kleinia semperviva DC.

Synonyms

Senecio sempervivus, Cacalia sempervirens, Cacalia semperviva, Notonia semperviva

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Kleinia semperviva, also known as Senecio sempervivus, an evergreen succulent shrub, up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall, with a conspicuous swollen base, bearing fleshy, prostrate, usually purplish stems. The leaves flat, fleshy, up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide, glaucous pale bluish-green and somewhat flushed with purple. A fragrant heads of pinkish-purple flowers rise above the leaves on a up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall stem. This succulent is uncommon in cultivation. Most of the plant in cultivation are Kleinia semperviva subsp. grantii with red flowers.

Photo via wikimedia.org

Hardiness

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 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

Kleinia semperviva is native to Yemen.

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