Senecio (String of Pearls) - Care tips

Senecio

Senecio succulents are valued for their unique leaves. They can resemble pearls, chalk sticks and even bananas (yes, really). So there is a lot to discover about this plant family. Senecio plants are drought tolerant and many varieties thrive indoors. This, together with the unusual leaf shapes, ensures that you will have something really special in your home! Don't you want that too?

Information about the Senecio

Senecio is a large plant genus within the daisy family (Asteraceae) that includes more than 1,000 species spread throughout the world, ranging from noxious weeds to highly valued garden perennials. This genus is also used as a garden plant, but only in warmer climates. Some are large shrubs, but many are hanging plants used as ground covers or in hanging baskets.

The leaves of succulent Senecios are generally thick and fleshy. They can be deep green, bluish or even striped, but there is much variation in leaf shape. Some are round, some banana-shaped, and some are upright. A very versatile plant family!

Senecio varieties

There are many dozens of succulent Senecio species. Here are just a few of the well-known species:

First of all, the Senecio Rowleyanus (String of Pearls), which we know best: This cascading succulent is truly the pearl of all PLNTS! It owes its nickname to the characteristic small green balls on the plant that look like pearls. It is often used in hanging baskets and will add a little whimsy to any home!

Then there is Senecio Crassissimus: this low-maintenance species is an easy grower that can tolerate some frost. It has thick, purple stems that bear silver-grey leaves with vivid purple edges that stand out. Truly special.

Thirdly, the Senecio Haworthii (Cocoon plant): It has cylindrical, white leaves that look like cocoons. The leaves grow on woody stems and form small bushes. The colour comes from the small white hairs that cover the leaves.

Senecio Radicans (String of Bananas): This is a special succulent with leaves that look like bananas or fish hooks. It is therefore not surprising that it is also called 'String of Bananas'. The plant has green-blue curved leaves and drooping stems, making it an exotic looking plant.

Last but not least the Senecio Serpens (Blue Chalksticks): Senecio Serpens is a seductive succulent. It has blue-green leaves that appear to be sprinkled with chalk. The elongated, upward-pointing direction of the leaves and the powdery/chalky edges have given Senecio Serpens the nickname 'Blue Chalksticks'.

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Senecio Care Tips

Light and placement for the Senecio

Senecio plants prefer a good sunny spot when grown as houseplants in cooler climates. Especially in winter, give them the sunniest place you can find. Like most succulents, they are heat-tolerant. Some Senecio species can tolerate short periods of cold or humidity, but prolonged exposure to cold will kill them. So keep them in a warm and not too draughty place. Finally, also important: make sure the soil is well drained and on the sandy side.

Water

As succulents, Senecios can withstand drought very well. With most species, the roots must dry out completely between waterings. So always check the potting soil thoroughly before you water it again. Soaking in water will make the roots and the plants mushy and will therefore not do much good. At least this plant will not blame you if you forget her once in a while.

Nutrition

As Senecio plants often grow on sandy soil, nutrients will need to be replenished. Fertilise annually, but lightly. Also, fertilise only during the growing season. It is not necessary in the winter. Too much fertilisation can cause root burn.

Propagating Senecio

Cuttings are the easiest and fastest way to propagate Senecios. It is best to do this during the growing season. Cut a stem or leave and plant it in a pot with sandy soil. This way you can let your cuttings develop roots and start a new plant. How cool is that! Because there are many different types of Senecios, we always advise you to check carefully which is the best way to take cuttings for your Senecio.

Most common pest on Senecio

There are few pests that affect Senecio plants. If they do have a problem, it may be that they are infested by scale insects and mealybugs. If this is the case, we recommend you visit our PLNTS doctor. Here you will find all the tips and tricks to control these pests.

Is the Senecio toxic for pets or children?

Unfortunately, all Senecio species must be considered poisonous, some more than others. All parts of the plant are poisonous, even when dried. It can even cause severe, irreversible liver disease. So please keep your pets and small children away from your Senecio. Place the plant high, so it can hardly go wrong.

Buy your new Senecio at PLNTS.com

At PLNTS.com you can buy your new Senecio online. Whether you like your PLNTS big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!

Hi, I'm Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!

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