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Senecio macroglossus (Wax Ivy)

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Scientific Name

Senecio macroglossus DC.

Common Names

Wax Ivy, Wax Vine, Natal Ivy, Flowering Ivy, Cape Ivy

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Senecio macroglossus is an evergreen climber, up to 10 feet (3 m) long, with smooth, thin, flexible branches bearing triangular or 5-pointed, ivy-like leaves. When creeping along the ground, the branches sometimes develop roots at the nodes. The leaves are somewhat succulent, bright glossy green and up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long. The flowers are large, pale yellow, daisy-like and appear mainly during the summer months.

Photo via plantbook.co.za

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °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.

Origin

Senecio macroglossus is native to southern Africa, from Zimbabwe and Mozambique to eastern South Africa.

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