Thursday, September 12, 2013

Senecio mandraliscae, my favorite plant in the garden this week…

“Blue Chalk Sticks”…isn’t that the best common name ever? I bet even if you had no idea what the plant looked like you’d conjure up a mental image that came pretty close.

Like many of the plants I yearn for Senecio mandraliscae isn’t hardy in my zone 8 garden. However that doesn’t stop me from enjoying these eye-popping blue sticks. I bought a couple of plants a few years ago and have kept them going via fall cuttings, it’s easy!

Of course I would really rather have a permanent sea of blue like I saw in Venice, CA

Or at the Huntington Gardens.

But since that isn’t possible I simply cut them back in the fall (crop 2012 shown here), let them dry up a bit (the cut ends need to callus over)…

And then stick them in some soil to over winter.

Easy peasy…anyone can do it! Just a single plant for $3.99 and you’re set for life. Come spring I stick them in the ground (soil and roots or just roots, depending on what comes out of the container) and off they go!

The stats…
  • Succulent in the Asteraceae (Sunflowers) family, from South Africa
  • Winter hardy in zones 10 and 11
  • Eventual size in the ground 1-2ft tall, 3 ft wide
  • Drought tolerant, likes full sun to only partial shade

What’s your favorite plant in the garden this week? Please share it with us in a comments…

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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