Table of Contents
- 1 What are Senecio Succulent Plants?
- 1.1 Senecio Anteuphorbium (Swizzle Sticks)
- 1.2 Senecio Articulatus
- 1.3 Senecio Barbertonicus
- 1.4 Senecio Canadicans “Angel Wings”
- 1.5 Senecio Cineraria
- 1.6 Senecio Citriformis (String of Lemons)
- 1.7 Senecio Crassissimus
- 1.8 Senecio Ficoides (Blue Chalk Stick Senecio)
- 1.9 Senecio Fulgens (Coral Senecio)
- 1.10 Senecio Haworthii (Cocoon plant)
- 1.11 Senecio Herreianus (String of Tears)
- 1.12 Senecio Himalaya
- 1.13 Senecio Jacobsenii (Trailing Jade)
- 1.14 Senecio Kleiniiformis (Spade Head)
- 1.15 Senecio Macroglossus (Wax Ivy)
- 1.16 Senecio Mandraliscae (Blue Chalk Sticks)
- 1.17 Senecio Mikanioides (German ivy)
- 1.18 Senecio Peregrinus (String of Dolphins)
- 1.19 Senecio Radicans (String of bananas)
- 1.20 Senecio Rowleyanus (String of Pearls)
- 1.21 Senecio Scaposus
- 2 Basic Senecio Plant Care Tips
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 References
What are Senecio Succulent Plants?
Senecio is a widespread genus of beautiful plants that belong to the Asteraceae or daisy family.
In the Senecio genus, more than 1000 species are grown around the world.
You will find highly prized perennial species to noxious weeds. Interestingly, you will find around 100 succulent species in this genus that can be grown as garden plants.
Remember that Senecio plants are regarded as toxic to pets. That’s why we suggest you either grow them in hanging baskets or keep your pets away from the plant.
Some of these plants are grown as trailing plants because of their climbing nature.
The leaves are fleshy and thick, and their colors range from green to bluish or even striped.
Side note: Though Senecio plants include many of the ‘string of’ type plants (e.g., string of pearls, string of bananas, or string of dolphins), the string of hearts is not part of the Senecio genus; the string of hearts plant is part of the Ceropegia genus.
For other ideas on what succulents to grow, take a look at our post on various types of succulents.
Senecio Anteuphorbium (Swizzle Sticks)
Senecio anteuphorbium is commonly known as Swizzle Sticks, is a deciduous shrub and remains dormant during the summer months.
This species stand upright and may reach up to 5 feet tall with green-gray-colored round stems.
The leaves have a lance-like shape. During the winter months, the plant produces beautiful white disk flowers.
These succulents are cold-hardy as they can tolerate temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
This variety prefers growing in Mediterranean and Tropical climates. Remember that high humidity can be dangerous to these species.
We suggest you water these plants less often as they can retain water in their leaves. Moreover, excessive moisture can damage the roots.
Senecio anteuphorbium grows quite fast, and this succulent enjoys growing under partial or full sun.
Since they grow actively in winter, you should schedule your water period during this time.
Nevertheless, some gardeners suggest watering this succulent species moderately throughout the year. Like the other Senecio plants, these are very easy to propagate.
Senecio articulatus is generally known by other names – Hot dog cactus, Candle plant, or Sausage plant.
The stems have a unique cylindrical shape. This species is native to South Africa. This Senecio plant is perennial and may reach up to 2 feet tall.
This beautiful clump-forming plant produces clumps of green-gray stems with green marks close to the bottom.
Senecio articulatus doesn’t require too much attention to grow. They thrive even in the full sun or in partially shaded areas.
They are cold-hardy like most Senecio species, and they tolerate temperatures as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remember that extended periods under freezing temperatures can inhibit growth. We suggest you keep this plant indoors during the winter months.
Since this species is extremely drought-tolerant, you don’t have to worry about watering too often. Water them only when the topsoil seems dry.
For feeding, you can fertilize them during the early spring. Use a cactus mix potting soil for growing these indoor plants.
Senecio barbertonictus is another evergreen succulent shrub belonging to the large genus Senecio.
This flowering succulent is found mainly in the South African region.
This species has other names, like Succulent bush Senecio, Lemon bean bush, or Finger-leaves Senecio.
These succulent plants grow well near the rocks of desert areas.
These succulents are grown as indoor plants worldwide because of their drought resistance characteristics.
They produce beautiful clusters of flowers that bloom during the early fall. These flowers attract butterflies as well as other pollinators.
Like most Senecio varieties, this variety doesn’t require too much attention. If you are a new gardener, you may start gardening with this one.
If kept under the full sun, Senecio barbertonicus becomes a fascinating green ornamental plant.
They prefer warm places and don’t require much watering. Use a well-drained potting mix for planting them.
Senecio Canadicans “Angel Wings”
Senecio canadicans is a relatively new variety of the Senecio genus with an attractive shape and unique color.
This catchy and unusual perennial has grey-white or silvery leaves with soft, velvety, or downy texture.
The foliage color and the yellowish flowers are the main reasons Angel wings are a popular variety of Senecio to grow.
Senecio canadicans can tolerate temperatures as low as 40-degree Fahrenheit.
Moreover, since these plants are native to the coast, they can tolerate saline soil. If you live in a dry region with well-draining garden soil, you can indeed plant this species in your garden.
While growing them in a container, ensure that you provide these plants with sufficient space because the leaves become huge.
They grow best under the full sun and cannot withstand heavy clay soil that retains moisture.
For propagation, you need to take the cuttings of young shoots in late summer. You may either plant the cuttings in water or soil.
Interestingly, the leaf decoction of Senecio canadicans can be used to treat gastric ulcers because of its gastroprotective activity .
It has been found that the aqueous extract can decrease lipid peroxidation.
Senecio Cineraria is one of the most beautiful Senecio succulents in the daisy family.
This Senecio variety is commonly known as Dusty Miller or Silver Dust because of its silver and grey leaves.
This subshrub is mainly found in the Mediterranean area and is typically grown as ornamental. It is a half-hardy annual variety and grows up to 24 inches (2 feet) tall.
During the first year, these plants produce fascinating cream or yellowish flowers. Senecio Cineraria leaves are covered with silver-grey fleece.
Place them under the full sun to encourage growth. Avoid placing them in shady areas, which can discourage growth.
Senecio cineraria are drought tolerant and can withstand arid conditions.
Water them when the topsoil seems dry. You can feed Senecio Cineraria using liquid fertilizer every month to encourage new growth.
Moreover, you can prune the leaf tips to accelerate basal growth. The propagation is similar to the other Senecio spp.
Senecio Citriformis (String of Lemons)
Senecio citriformis is commonly known as Strong of Tears or String of Lemons because of its unique shape.
The name citriformis has arrived from citrus and form, which means lemon and shape. You can easily identify this variety due to its leaves, which are like lemons.
The color of this plant ranges between green and blue, and this plant stands upright and may grow as tall as 4 feet.
During the blooming period, it produces pompom-like flowers.
Senecio citriformis is toxic if it is injested. You should always keep these plants away from pets and children.
Although this species of Senecio can withstand as low as 42-degree Fahrenheit, it may not survive a hard frost.
This succulent is drought tolerant. Therefore, you should water them less often.
Plant this variety in well-drained soil to remove excess moisture.
Compared to the other succulents, it grows fast if you can supply fertilizer at the right amount.
Feed these plants using liquid fertilizer during their growing period.
Senecio crassissimus is an evergreen perennial sub-shrub with blue or deep green fleshy leaves with beautiful purple margins.
They have other names, like Propeller plants, Lavender steps, or Vertical leaf.
The name – Vertical Leaf Senecio – is given mainly because of the leaves’ direction. The leaves never stay with a flat surface facing towards the sun.
This succulent species may reach up to 2 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide. This Senecio plant grows well in the arid region.
You can try growing it in a container as it can be a great addition to your indoor garden.
Remember that they cannot withstand freezing temperatures, and exposure to significantly lower temperatures can lead to mushy plants.
They are very drought-tolerant once they become established. Senecio crassissimus may also grow in sandy soil with better drainage conditions.
Overwatering can cause root rot.
Also, make sure that they receive bright indirect light even during the summer months.
Senecio Ficoides (Blue Chalk Stick Senecio)
Senecio ficoides is also known as Blue Chalk Stick Senecio, Silver Senecio, or Flat-leaved Senecio.
This variety is an evergreen plant that may grow up to 1 meter tall. It is one of the most popular Senecio varieties.
The gray leaves have a waxy cover on their surfaces. You will see the cream-colored small flower heads at the end of the branches.
Senecio ficoides is native to South Africa, especially Alexander Bay, Namaqualand, and the Northern Cape.
Nevertheless, you may also see them in the subtropical or temperate areas of the world. This Senecio spp. grows well under the bright sun.
The leaves may turn to pale blue color if kept under full sun.
Like most Senecio succulents, this variety requires a well-draining, mildly alkaline, or mildly acidic potting mix.
You should try supplying moderate water during spring to autumn, their growing period. Moreover, you can propagate them easily by stem cuttings.
Senecio Fulgens (Coral Senecio)
Senecio fulgens is commonly known as Coral Senecio and is native to the South African region.
This attractive species can reach up to three feet.
The leaves of this plant have a silvery green color with a spoon-shaped and develop irregular lobes over time. They can be great container plants.
Senecio fulgens produce fascinating red-orange colored pompom-shaped flowers during the winter and spring season.
Remember that these species are softer. Hence, they cannot tolerate hard frost and may die. In this case, you should move them indoors.
These plants thrive well under the full sun. It is better to place them in the southern facing window, where these plants will receive abundant sunlight.
In addition, make sure that the soil has a good drainage system.
Use the cactus potting mix to prepare the soil. Coral Senecio plants are drought-tolerant, so you shouldn’t worry about watering them too often.
Senecio Haworthii (Cocoon plant)
Senecio haworthii is a popular and another impressive variety of Senecio.
This plant is also known as the Cocoon plant or Woolly Senecio.
The cocoon plant is mainly grown in a container garden, and you may also plant it in hanging baskets to enhance its beauty.
The leaves of this plant have a white color and are covered with white wool.
The woolly plant produces beautiful yellowish pompom-shaped flowers, though it rarely produces them.
The color of the leaves becomes more attractive if you can supply them with a minimum of 4 hours of morning sunlight.
This plant grows well if you place them on a south-facing window. Keep them away from the midday sun.
The cocoon plant is highly drought tolerant.
Therefore, you should water them occasionally. Never make the soil too wet as excess moisture can kill Senecio haworthii.
Feed them during their growing season. They can be a great addition to your other garden plants.
Senecio Herreianus (String of Tears)
Senecio herreianus is commonly known as String of Tears and is native to the South African region.
This variety is a low-growing and trailing plant. You should try growing them in hanging baskets to beautify your garden.
These trailing plants have purple to green colored long stems and may grow more than 1 foot long. The leaves look like raindrops or teardrops.
You may become confused with Senecio citriformis as both have similar leaf styles.
This Senecio species produces white fuzzy daisy flowers.
This succulent Senecios grow quickly and prefer bright light, so don’t place them under the scorching midday sun to burn the leaves.
Late afternoon or morning sun seems perfect for them.
Like the other Senecio succulents, this variety is drought resistant and store water in the leaves.
Don’t overwater them as it can create a stagnant condition. This plant blooms beautiful flowers if one can fulfill its requirements.
Senecio himalayas can easily be identified by its long bean-like fleshy leaves, which have an upward curvature similar to the chandelier.
Each leaf is around 3 inches long. The plant can grow up to 6 feet tall. It is a kind of trailing plant.
Therefore, you should plant it in hanging baskets for decoration purposes. To maintain the shape, you can also trim it.
Nowadays, many people grow this species with other garden plants because of its increased popularity.
It can easily withstand arid conditions. Water them only when the top 2 inches of the soil becomes dry.
They store water in their leaves and thin stems. They can be a great addition to the rocky gardens.
These plants bloom beautiful flowers during the winter months.
The flowers come up at the top of the stems with yellow golden colors and a sweet fragrance.
An interesting fact about Senecio himalaya is that – this species can improve the air quality of the house and lower anxiety or stress levels.
Senecio Jacobsenii (Trailing Jade)
Senecio jacobsenii is commonly known as trailing jade or weeping jade. This is native to Kenya and Tanzania as a ground cover.
Many people also grow this species in hanging baskets with other garden plants.
If you can provide a trailing jade plant with ample space, the thick stems can reach 4 feet long.
The leaves are smooth, have a smooth shape, and stand upright on the branches.
They can handle moderate stress, such as cool temperatures or bright sunlight. It is an easy grower like the most Senecio.
This low-growing plant blooms colorful orange-colored flowers that look like paintbrushes during the winter.
They are winter hardy and can tolerate as low as 40-degrees Fahrenheit. Remember that you must protect it from heavy frost.
While preparing potting soil, don’t forget to use perlite, gravels, and coarser materials, which will improve the drainage system of the pots.
They are heat tolerant, so you don’t need to water too often. Water them deeply when the top 2 inches of the soil looks dry.
Use organic fertilizers to feed Senecio jacobsenii because too much fertilizer can damage the roots.
Senecio Kleiniiformis (Spade Head)
Senecio kleiniiformis is a succulent species considered an impressive variety for growing in containers.
If you live in a warm climate, we will suggest you grow this one with other garden plants, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot use this species in cool temperatures.
This one is a hardy variety and can grow anywhere if properly managed.
Like many species of Senecio, this plant is straightforward to maintain because of fewer requirements.
You may know them in your local garden centers by another name – Spade Head plant and native to the South African region.
Compared to the other varieties of the Senecio genus, it grows slowly. It blooms attractive yellow flowers during the early fall and summer.
You can easily identify this plant by its triangular spear-like leaves. Prepare a well-drained potting soil for growing these plants in pots.
Sandy soil can be an excellent choice for growing them. Allow the top 2-inch of the soil to dry thoroughly before watering.
Feed them with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.
Senecio Macroglossus (Wax Ivy)
Senecio macroglossus has many common names: Marguerite ivy, Natal ivy, Climbing Senecio, and the most commonly known as the Wax Ivy.
These plants are native to African regions, like Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Macroglossus, a Latin term, means large tongue.
This is why the leaves of this plant look similar to a tongue.
This evergreen climber species can grow up to 10 feet tall with waxy 3-inch long leaves.
During the summer months, it blooms beautiful daisy-like yellowish flowers. This plant can tolerate a minimum of 41 or 45-degree Fahrenheit.
We suggest you grow them in pots if you live in a colder climate.
Remember that this species can come up with numerous variegated forms.
So, choose the variety based on your demand.
Make sure you prepare a great potting soil by mixing perlite, vermiculite, coco peat, gravel, pumice, and other materials, which will quickly drain the excess moisture.
Feed them with a balanced fertilizer because too much fertilizer will cause toxicity. Place them under the bright light to make them happy.
Senecio Mandraliscae (Blue Chalk Sticks)
Senecio mandraliscae is a low-growing succulent plant known as blue chalk sticks. People grow this variety as ornamental plants.
You will find it mostly in South African rocky areas.
These dwarf shrubs can reach up to 20 cm in length. They are also called finger-leaved Senecios because of their fleshy finger-like leaves.
This easy grower blooms beautiful off-white-colored flowers during the early fall to early spring.
Like the other succulents, Senecio mandraliscae is also heat tolerant and prefers growing under bright indirect light.
Water them when the topsoil seems dry. They can withstand around 45-degree Fahrenheit.
Sandy soil is considered the most for growing these plants in pots.
You can also use other inorganic materials like pumice, perlite, or vermiculite to improve drainage.
Feed them using organic fertilizer because synthetic fertilizer can damage the roots.
Lastly, there’s another species called the Senecio serpens that looks a lot like Senecio mandraliscae blue chalk sticks.
The Senecio mandraliscae species grows quickly, but the Senecio serpens is more a of groundcover species that grows slowly.
Because they have a common name, they are readily mistaken.
Senecio Mikanioides (German ivy)
Senecio mikanioides is a so-called cousin of a String of Pearls plant
This species of Senecio genus has a unique leaf pattern and may come up with various colors ranging from lustrous purple to bright green.
It is native to South America.
This variety is known as German ivy or Magic Marble in some regions. This Senecio species has a climbing nature.
You may keep it indoors and grow it in hanging baskets.
The combination of thin stems and colorful leaves increases the overall beauty of Senecio mikanioides.
The long stems can reach a maximum of 3 feet in length. It will grow fast if you can supply sufficient light and water.
We suggest growing them in larger pots because they could out-grow your pots quickly.
Keep these Senecio varieties under indirect bright light. Growing them in a sandy soil potting mix with a neutral pH range is ideal.
Follow the soak and dry method to water them and always use organic fertilizers to feed them during the growing season.
Senecio Peregrinus (String of Dolphins)
Senecio peregrinus is one of the most beautiful species belonging to the Senecio genus.
It is also known as String of Dolphins because its dolphins like small fleshy leaves.
The leaves’ linings and stems look like dolphins jumping out of the water.
We particularly like these plants and suggest growing this variety with other indoor plants.
During the flowering period, it blooms with pompom-like flowers that are white.
Related post: How to Care for String of Dolphin Plants (Senecio peregrinus)
You may either grow them in plastic pots or hanging baskets. Remember that they cannot survive frost.
So, if you live in extremely cold areas, it would be a good idea to bring them indoors. Prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can cause death.
String of Dolphin plants are heat tolerant, but they cannot withstand soggy conditions.
Make sure that the potting medium is made of sandy, well-drained soil. Water these plants when the soil looks dry.
To encourage their growth, you should prune the stems occasionally.
Senecio Radicans (String of bananas)
Senecio radicans is also known as Fishhook Senecio or String of Bananas.
Like most other succulents, they have long stems and deep green leaves.
This is a trailing, perennial plant that grows quite fast. Gardeners can plant these String of Bananas plants both outdoors and indoors.
The vines can grow a minimum of 3 feet in length.
The leaves of this plant are similar to the small bananas.
This plant produces yellow or whitish lavender flowers with a cinnamon-like smell during the fall and winter.
Remember that every part of this species is toxic. So, make sure you keep it away from your child and pets.
Related post: Caring for String of Bananas (Senecio radicans) Plants
This hardy succulent plant is easy to grow. If you are a new gardener, then growing this species will be a great idea to start your indoor gardening.
You will find these plants widely distributed in the South African region.
They prefer growing in 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit temperature under medium sunlight.
You can give it some light fertilizer occasionally to feed Senecio radicans.
Senecio Rowleyanus (String of Pearls)
Senecio rowleyanus is a popular houseplant, commonly known as String of Pearls.
This succulent species is considered a gem because of its unique appearance, beauty, and characteristics.
The longer stems can grow up to 3 feet. You can either plant Senecio rowleyanus with indoor plants or an outdoor garden.
It can be a great idea to plant a few younger plants together to enhance beauty.
Related post: Reasons Why Your String of Pearls Are Dying (Senecio rowleyanus)
Senecio rowleyanus has vigorous growth, and when planted in a hanging basket, it cascades down all the sides.
If the stems become too long, you can cut them and use them for propagation. Senecio rowleyanus grows well in partially shaded areas, unlike the other succulent plants.
It prefers a temperature around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months, and during the spring, it produces beautiful flowers.
Prepare a sandy potting mix to improve the drainage condition. Feed Senecio rowleyanus plants with balanced organic fertilizers in the pots.
Avoid using synthetic products as those can damage the root system. You can easily propagate this variety using stem cuttings.
Senecio scaposus is one of the most beautiful species of Senecio’s large genus because of its impressive silver-white fleshy leaves.
These succulent plants look similar to icy plants with woody stems.
They are native to South Africa, and you will see them mainly growing on steeper slopes of rocky areas. They grow best in sandy and acidic soil.
The foliage has a silvery coating, which acts as a protection to survive in dry conditions, intense heat, or burning.
This small perennial succulent can reach a maximum of 1 foot and form an excellent ground cover.
You can keep these plants under full sunlight. Make sure that the potting medium has an excellent drainage system.
Excessive water conditions can damage the roots. Their propagation is also very easy as one can propagate this plant by simply stem cuttings.
Basic Senecio Plant Care Tips
In this section, we will briefly explain the basic requirements of Senecio plants. Their appearance and beauty will vary depending on how you fulfill their needs.
Senecio succulent plants require bright, indirect light. If you live in a colder region, it is better to grow them in containers.
Once they are established, they can survive well in any region.
Remember that if you live in a hot climate, keeping them away from direct sunlight will be better.
You don’t have to worry about soil pH. Plants belonging to the Senecio genus enjoy a pH ranging between 6 and 7 (neutral range).
In addition, you should make sure that the soil is well-drained and avoid using heavy clay soil while preparing the mix.
Water and Fertilizer
Since Senecio is a heat-resistant genus, you need to water them only when the soil seems dry or the plant starts wilting.
Excessive water will damage the roots. Feed them with liquid fertilizer or organic manure during their growing period.
Temperature and Humidity
These plants can stand with brief periods of dampness or coldness, but prolonged exposure can be harmful.
They can withstand a low as 40-degree Fahrenheit temperature and don’t require high humidity.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big can Senecio plants grow?
Senecio plants can grow up three to four feet in height and three feet wide. Different varieties will have different sizes lengths. Typically, Senecio plants are maintained a bit shorter, with a standard height of one foot. These plants’ growth habits include wandering, clump-forming, and spreading. Its stems are covered with branches and roots, making it an ideal succulent ground cover.
Are Senecio succulents?
Yes, there are more than 1,100 different types of Senecio plants, with around 100 of them being succulents. These resilient, intriguing plants can trail, spread as groundcovers or grow into big shrubby-like plants, depending on their size and shape.
Can I grow Senecio in shady areas?
Despite the fact that it will grow in shade, Senecio plants will tend to extend as they search for light. Their growth is aided by direct sunlight, but they will not tolerate damp soil. Grow them in a bordered garden, raised bed, or container/pot.
Are Senecio Plants Cold Hardy?
Just like the vast majority of succulents, these plants can withstand high temperatures. In contrast, some Senecio varieties can withstand brief periods of cold or moisture – some of these plants can even tolerate as low as 40-degree Fahrenheit. But, prolonged exposure to these conditions can cause them to expand, become soft, and potentially dieing off.
How can I propagate Senecio?
Senecios may be propagated via leaf or stem cuttings since they are the quickest and most convenient method. It is possible to snip off a stem cutting and root it in a container of well-draining or sandy soil to start a new plant during the growing season.
Do Senecio plants spread?
Some Senecio plants are excellent for use as small-scale groundcovers. For example, Senecio serpens is a tiny ground-hugging succulent with little white flowers that bloom in summer. These Senecio plants will spread their roots along the stems of the plant. If you plant them in a sunny location in well-drained soil, you can help the succulent spread.
To sum up, Senecio varieties are a great addition to houseplants.
Most of these varieties can tolerate arid conditions and store water in their leaves.
In addition, they are cold-hardy but remember that they may not survive a heavy frost.
Some of them are shrubs, while some others are trailing plants. The incredible thing about Senecio succulents is their leaves.
The glossy leaves even increase the beauty of these spectacular plants.
-  Hariprasath, L.; Jegadeesh, R. and Raaman, N. 2012. Gastroprotective effect of Senecio candicans DC on experimental ulcer models. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 140: 145-150.
- Mahr, S. String of Pearls, Senecio rowleyanus. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Horticulture, Division of Extension.
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (Eds.). (n.d.). Senecio. Plants of the World Online, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. URL: https://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:325904-2
- About/Mentions: Senecio, String of Pearls, String of Bananas, String of Dolphins, Senecio candicans, Trailing Jade, Senecio kleiniiformis, Wax Ivy, Senecio serpens (Blue Chalksticks)
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.