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Senecio serpens (Blue Chalksticks)

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Scientific Name

Senecio serpens G.D.Rowley

Common Names

Blue Chalksticks, Blue Chalk Sticks

Synonyms

Kleinia repens

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Senecio serpens is a small, evergreen, succulent perennial, branching from the base and rooting along the stems. It is up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and up to 3.3 feet (1 m) wide. The prostrate stems hold short, sub-cylindrical, powdery blue-grey to blue-green, fleshy, finger-like leaves. The flowers are small, creamy-white, held in corymbs and rise just above the foliage in mid-summer to early fall.

Photo via youtube.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Blue Chalksticks is drought tolerant once it is established, seldom needing water during the growing season. Soak your plant deeply and let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Apply water until it drips from the bottom drainage holes and empty the drip tray after several minutes. During winter, water your plant only enough to prevent wilting.

This succulent will thrive and do its best in full, direct sunlight for 6 to 8 hours each day, but you can also grow it outdoors in partial shade. Indoors, place your Blue Chalksticks in a south-facing window or the brightest window you have.

Blue Chalksticks doesn't need much fertilizer. Give indoor or container plants a liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength 3 or 4 times during the growing season. Plants grown in the ground don't need any feeding.

Like most succulents, Blue Chalksticks is fairly pest and disease free. If you see mealy bugs, which may cause mold to develop on leaves, or scales, which may cause yellow spotting or leaf drop, use a soft cloth or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe off the pests… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Blue Chalksticks (Senecio serpens)

Origin

Senecio serpens is native to South Africa (Cape Province).

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