The Senecio haworthii succulent plant is more popularly known as the Woolly Senecio. It is a succulent dwarf shrub that usually grows in South Africa. But do you know that you can propagate one in your home garden?
The Woolly Senecio can grow up to 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Its white stem and leaves are felted or hairy in texture—thus, its name. Each leaf also resembles a cocoon.
The Woolly Senecio blends well with other succulents and non-succulent houseplants. However, it is a more ideal partner to other shrub Senecio types like the Senecio barbertonicus, Senecio cephalphorus, Senecio crassissimus, and Senecio decaryi. You can pair it with pale-looking succulents too like the Senecio scaposus (Silver Coral) or Senecio scaposus var addoensis.
The Senecio scaposus can be easily mistaken as the Woolly Senecio because of its white fibrous texture. However, the Silver Coral has an outer layer that appears to peel away.
Another plant that can be confused with the Woolly Senecio is the Senecio scaposus var addoensis. Both have white hairy textures but the latter has flat leaves compared to the fingerlike-leaves of the other.
As mentioned earlier, the Woolly Senecio is native in South Africa, which means that it thrives in a hot climate. Despite its natural habitat, it is a very resilient plant that can withstand temperatures colder than 30 degrees Fahrenheit in certain conditions.
To make it survive in a below 30-degree climate, it should be placed in a succulent container and transferred indoor. The location should get adequate sunlight during the day. Since the USA is in the Northern Hemisphere of the globe, the plant should be on a surface near a southern-facing window to get as much sun as possible.
The Woolly Senecio can be propagated through its leaves or stem. If propagating from a leaf, start by pulling and twisting gently a leaf of the plant. Make sure that all parts of the leaf are acquired. Next, allow it to dry or callus over for a day or two. After that, plant it in loose and well-draining garden soil. See to it that the tray or pot has small holes to drain the excess water from the soil.
The same process should be applied when propagating from the stem. Instead of pulling, cut the stem cleanly using sterilized shears to avoid bacteria from accumulating at the exposed flesh of the plant.
To care for your plant, only water it when the soil has completely dried up. Wait for a few days to pass in between watering. Let it get at least six hours of sunlight as well.
The Woolly Senecio is called “Tontelbos” in the Afrikaans language. The name means “tinderbush” because the hairy coating of the succulent’s leaves is used by the natives of South Africa for starting fires. Therefore, be careful not to put it in places where it can quickly catch fire like in the kitchen. As always, keep it away from the reach of your pets and children.