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Bush senecio

Senecio barbertonicus or Kleinia barbertonica

  • ​Common Name: Bush senecio (other common names: Finger-leaved Senecio, Barberton Groundsel, Barberton Coltsfoot, Succulent Bush Senecio, Barberton Senecio, Lemon Bean Bush)
  • Scientific Name: Senecio barbertonicus or Kleinia barbertonica
  • Family Name: Asteraceae
  • Origin: South Africa
  • Height: 3’ – 5’
  • Width: 3’ – 5’
  • Growth: slow - moderate
  • Zone: 9B – 11B
  • Light Needs: Full sun to Partial shade (4 – 6 hours of sun every day).
  • Salt Tolerance:  unknown
  • Soil/PH/Texture: grows in sandy, well-draining soil, but it needs to be fed with fertilizer to ensure it does not lack its essential nutrients (an ideal growing medium is a mixture of soil, compost, and sand). Only fertilize annually because otherwise too much fertilizer will make it leggy. It can grow in a wide range of pH, slightly acidic to slightly alkaline is best but it can tolerate poor soils.
  • Soil Moisture: low water needs – spring – autumn soil should be moist, but not wet, it cannot survive excessive watering.
  • Drought Tolerance: moderate – high, can survive for long periods without water, once it is established, but does not tolerate frost.
  • Pests/Diseases: isn’t prone to pests, but can occasionally get affected by scales and mealybugs or rot root.
  • Growing Conditions: easy to grow and low maintenance
  • Characteristics: this evergreen succulent has leaves that are around 2” – 4” in length, parallel to the stem, directed upwards on stems that are soft and green (stems get woody and brown in maturity). The showy and sweet fragranced blooms are golden-yellow, tubular in shape, 1” – 3” in length and appear in late winter, seeds produced have a thick tuft of grey bristles/hairs.
  • Propagation: by softwood stem cuttings, leaf cuttings or by plant division. Let the stem cuttings dry out for one to two weeks before planting them, if taking a leaf cutting let it dry for one day then place it on the surface of well-drained and light growing medium.
  • Wildlife: attracts bees and butterflies (painted lady butterflies in particular). 
  • Facts: senecio comes from the Latin word senex, which means old man, which the plant was named in reference to the hairs found on its seed pods.
  • Designer Considerations: use in butterfly gardens, borders, wild, rock, cactus, or succulent gardens, excellent for xeriscaping, as an accent plant, and in well drained containers for your patio.

Bush senecio

Location

Cactus and Succulent Garden