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Senecio crassissimus (Vertical Leaf Senecio)

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Scientific Name

Senecio crassissimus Humbert

Common Names

Vertical Leaf Senecio

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Senecio crassissimus is an erect, evergreen subshrub, up to 24 inches (60 cm) tall and up to 18 inches (45 cm) wide, with thick, purple stems, holding stiff, flattened, waxy and obovate leaves. The leaves are up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and silver-grey with vivid, purple margins facing outwards. In winter the inflorescence rises from the stem tips up to 2 feet (60 cm), bearing an open, branched head of bright yellow, daisy flowers.

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

Senecio crassissimus is native to Madagascar.

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