Senecio fulgens (Hook.f.) G.Nicholson
Coral Senecio, Scarlet Kleinia
Kleinia fulgens (basionym), Notonia fulgens, Notonia welwitschii, Notoniopsis fulgens, Senecio hookerianus, Senecio welwitschii
Senecio fulgens is a stunning, grey-leafed succulent plant with a profusion of scarlet flowers. The species name “fulgens”, means shining and refers to the vibrant, scarlet color of the flowers. It grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and is ideal for planting in rockeries or other dry, sunny spots, as the scarlet flower heads add a splash of color in mid-winter. The succulent leaves, which are an attractive grey-green with purpling on the underside, give the plant year-round appeal and add a pleasing contrast when planted among short grasses or spring flowering bulbs. It has a creeping, tuberous rootstock.
How to Grow and Care
Established plants 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 (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.
Few pests bother Senecio. They can occasionally be affected by scale and mealy bugs. Rabbits found my String of Pearls quite tasty… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Senecio.
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