The Senecio rowleyanus it is a beautiful succulent plant often chosen for its very particular appearance that can become a sort of piece of furniture at home, always taking into account that this plant has its own life and must be cared for with love. Let's get to know its characteristics and needs.
Senecio rowleyanus: description
Belonging to the family of Asteraceae and to the subfamily of Asteroideae, this genus includes plants of different types, over 1,500 including some that do not look alike at all. Our Senecio rowleyanus, also called rosary plant, pearl necklace, owes its name from the Latin term "Senex" which means "old man" because its ripe fruits, called achenes, have a tuft of white hair that resembles an elderly person.
Originally from South Africa but widespread all over the world, this plant is recognizable mainly because of its stems. They are thin and hanging, branchy and creeping, they can measure up to 90 centimeters. Some remind them of rosaries, with the many small leaves that seem beads ringed. Others remind them of pearl necklaces. The evoked image is not very different and is linked to the appearance of branches and leaves, especially the leaves that have a rounded shape.
They look just like balls or beads with a diameter of about 6 millimeters with a longitudinal translucent strip. In winter the leaves take on a more white, duller color while if you find variegated leaves, greens and white or lighter green streaks, it is not a question of the season but we are dealing with a particular variety of the plant.
Similar to Senecio herreanus, which can be distinguished due to the elongated and non-spherical leaves like those of our Senecio, this plant is also capable of flowering if it is put in the conditions to do so. The right season is that between August and October, the flowers that appear at the end of long peduncles are small and white in color and with a scent that can recall that of cinnamon even if there are no relationships between the two plants.
Senecio rowleyanus: cultivation
It is not at all difficult to cultivate this Senecio making it flourish and develop as we wish, a little effort is really enough and everything is possible. It is a rather resistant plant that does not suffer if we forget to wet it because it is used to resisting periods of drought fairly long. It can stand both in the shade and in the sun, due to its drooping posture it is often placed in hanging vases so its branches with green pearls can compose a truly choreographic waterfall.
We often find it in Italian homes, its shape is ideal for creating a roof garden. On a windowsill, a shelf, on a bookcase or hung from a standard lamp. At home it is protected from the cold but we try to be careful not to expose it to temperature changes because they can damage it a lot. In winter, let's never expose it outside and if it already is, let's protect it.
When the Senecio rowleyanus grows fast, it is possible that a repotting is necessary about every two years, always using a soil for succulent plants, or a mixture of soil and sand to ensure optimal drainage. As for irrigation, it is necessary to be very careful not to create water stagnation so even in summer, we only wet if the soil is dry, in winter, we can also avoid doing it.
Senecio rowleyanus: multiplication
The most convenient way to multiply this plant is by cutting. You have to think about it in spring, the right time to pinch the longest stems and form cuttings of about 10 centimeters which must be placed in soil or sand kept constantly humid until completely rooted.
We dedicate the last lines of this article to another Senecio, also called Bloody cineraria. It is a flowering plant that can be safely grown outdoors and forms colorful flower heads: blue, white, yellow and red. It depends on the variety grown. The flowering season is spring. It is a plant native to Europe, Asia and Africa and which loves the sun very much, we must fertilize it abundantly during the summer period and wet it only in case of drought. There is no need to prune it, the best thing is to remove the dry or damaged parts, and the flowers that have passed their time.
In everyday life we find it a decorate flower beds, borders and rock gardens but it also has medical properties. If these plants are picked before flowering, they can be used in homeopathy by obtaining eye drops to treat inflammatory conditions of the cornea or states of eye fatigue.
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