Senecio Cineraria

The best-known shrubby member of this very large and varied genus is Senecio greyii, a grey-leaved evergreen about 3 ft. high and becoming considerably broader than this with age. In summer it produces showy clusters of yellow daisy flowers and it is a fine plant for a warm sunny place, though like most shrubby senecios it is not completely hardy. If it does get damaged by winter frost, it can be pruned back to live wood in spring. S. laxifolius is similar and much confused with S. greyii but has narrower, less rounded leaves.

Senecio rotundifolius (also known as S. reinoldit) is useful near the sea since it will withstand salty gales better than most shrubs. It has large round leathery leaves, green above and grey beneath, and it can reach 8 ft. or so but is usually considerably less.

Still widely known, incorrectly, as Cineraria. It is a large-leaved plant with brilliant daisy-like flowers borne in dense heads during winter and spring. The colours cover a very wide range; blue with white centres are the most commonly seen.


Minimum, growing season 12 °C (53 °F)

Soil: A soil-less compost.

Watering requirements: Keep soil moist – never let it dry out. It likes some humidity and in dry weather, mist-spray the leaves. This prevents excessive respiration and stops leaves from wilting.

General care: They are usually bought in flower and feeding is unnecessary. If kept in cool conditions they last very well.

Senecio Cineraria

Rest: They can be over-wintered but are not worth the trouble as they are quite cheap and second year plants seldom equal new young specimens.

When it looks sick:

Flagging leaves hanging limply over the sides of the pot : Check soil condition; if dry, water. Give the leaves a fine spray. If the soil is moist, spray only and move into light shade to recover.

Erect, lack-lustre leaves probably with a blotchy appearance : Possibly aphids.

The mildewy growth of fungus: Dust promptly with a fungicidal powder.

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