How to Grow Senecio - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Grassy Category   /   2023

Senecio, also known as groundsel, is a genus of flowering plants in the daisy family. Senecio is a large genus, with over 1,000 species of annual, biennial, and perennial herbs, as well as woody shrubs and small trees. The species are native to every continent except Antarctica, and many are common weeds.

How to Grow Senecio - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Senecio plant? Sometimes, the plant may experience small difficulties, but it is easy to take care of on the whole. The plant is native to South Africa, and it is a member of the daisy family. The plant is a succulent, which means that it has thick, fleshy leaves that store water. The plant is easy to grow indoors or outdoors.

Plant Size

How big can it be? The senecio plant can have stems that are up to 1 meter in length. This plant is known for its long, slender leaves that are a deep green in color. The senecio plant is a native of Africa and can be found in many different parts of the continent.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? The Senecio genus includes a wide variety of plant species, from small herbs to large shrubs. Some species grow very quickly, adding up to 20-30 cm per year. Rowley's ragwort, on the contrary, grows very slowly, adding only a few centimeters a year.

Senecio Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Grassy
Family Asteraceae (Compositeae)
Origin Tropical Africa, Namibia, Morocco

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? Since this plant is an annual, it only lives for around 2-3 years. However, it can keep growing for many years if it is properly taken care of. Senecio is a very popular plant and is known for its decoration. Many people grow this plant in their homes and gardens.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? Sometimes, the leaves of the plant fall off when the temperature is high.


What about the humidity? Sometimes, in dry and hot weather, the leaves of the plant may fade and appear to be wilting. However, this is only a temporary phenomenon and is not indicative of any serious problems. It is not necessary to water the plant too often - only in very dry air will a bluish-gray bloom form on the leaves.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Because the plant is a native of Africa, it requires bright light, especially in winter, to maintain its growth. Suitable for growing on a southern window, the plant may require shading only on sunny days. If the plant does not receive enough light, weak shoots are formed, and the leaves are small and fall off immediately.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Senecio? If you want to prepare the soil yourself, mix two parts turf ground with one part each of coarse sand or perlite. Adding a little charcoal to the mix is also recommended. The Senecio rowleyanus, or String of Pearls plant, requires light soil that is a mixture of leaf land, sand, and crushed rubble. Be sure to use a pot with an opening and drainage for this plant.

Watering Time

How much I must water Senecio? Although the plant is a succulent, it does not mean that it can do without water.Watering of the plant should be moderate, in the summer approximately every 4-6 days, the soil should dry before another watering.In the winter it should be kept dry, the plant is practically not watered. Excess water leads to rotting of the roots.At the mite, with a lack of moisture, leaves may wilt, however, the turgor is quickly restored after watering.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. Although it's known to grow rapidly, too much nitrogen based fertilizer will weaken the plant. In the summer, feed the plant once a month with a diluted cactus liquid fertilizer. No fertilizer is needed in the winter.


How to reproduce Senecio? Since it's a succulent, it's really easy to take cuttings and propagate more plants. In late spring or early summer, you can cut 4-5 cm long shoots from the plant and easily root them. Just make the cut directly under the knot, dry the cutting, and remove the 2 lower leaves. Then, plant the cutting in a pot with a mixture of peat and sand. Rooting will take about a week. You can also propagate Senecio by seed, but the seeds must be fresh, as they quickly lose their germination.


Why Senecio won't bloom? Eventually, the plant will produce small yellow flowers that will blossom into white and pink baskets. The smell of the flowers is very strong, and can be caught a whiff of from far away. This plant is unique in that it only blooms for adults.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Senecio? Since the Senecio Crimson is a young plant, it is transferred twice a year into a pot that is only slightly larger. For adult plants, they are transferred once a year in the spring. You have to be careful when transferring the plant not to damage the fragile leaves.

Caring The Senecio

How to care the plant? Since it's a succulent, the plant doesn't need too much water and can be allowed to dry out some between watering. It's best to give the plant a light watering when the soil has dried out some. When watering, be sure to not get water on the leaves as this can cause them to rot. The plant must be cut in spring, it's timely to remove the discolored baskets. Suitable for hanging baskets, the mite swine can be grown with a support. In summer, Rowley's ragweed is useful to take out on the balcony.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Senecio plant? Because it is very susceptible to various diseases and pests. It is affected by mealybug, aphids and mealybug and spider mites. A botrytis fungus can develop in a cold, shady moist place. Leaves turn pale, shallow, stems stretch out when there is a lack of light. The leaves turn yellow, brown spots appear on them from too bright light. The lower leaves grow brown and die with the aging of the ragwort, this is a natural process. The leaves wilt when the soil is wet due to excessive watering at low temperatures and lack of light. RowleyÂ’s gooseberry leaves turn yellow and wrinkle from intense heat. The growth of the plant ceases, the lower leaves, fade and fall, the bases of the stems rot from the water-logging of the soil. In this case, it is necessary to cut and re-grow healthy shoots.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Senecio poisonous? The plant is popular as an ornamental houseplant and sometimes used in gardens. All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the leaves and stems are the most toxic. The toxins are saponins, which are a type of glycoside. Saponins are glycosides that are soap-like and produce foam when mixed with water. They are found in many plants, including Senecio.