Today's spotlight goes to the Senecio Blue Chalk Sticks. These are a personal favorite for me because of all the different ways they can be incorporated -Ground cover, gardens, and outdoor or windowsill potted arrangements - it looks great in most places.
Blue Chalk Sticks are native to South Africa and prefer warm temperatures. They love temperatures to stay above 40 degrees. In the spring and summer, they will bloom beautiful yellow flowers (as seen below).
In Southern California, I find they are commonly used as a ground cover, mostly for sloped gardens or sections of the garden that get low traffic.
There are two reasons it makes a great succulent ground cover. One is this succulent tends to sprawl as it grows. Two is the frosty covering you will find on this plant. As tempting as it might be, do not remove this. It's farina, a protective coating your Blue Chalk Stick will produce to help product it from the sunlight.
The blue and green foliage coupled with their upright leaves provide a unique texture and color to potted arrangements. They do well all by themselves in a simple pot, or mix with a bunch of other succulent shapes to create a beautiful arrangement.
If you have them planted in your garden and pots, you will find they grow faster outdoors. The pots constrain their growth, making it a great ornamental succulent. Planted in the ground with all the space, you'll quickly notice they sprawl and grow much faster.
Whether in pots or the ground, you'll need to keep a few things in mind when caring for these.
1.) Water - they are succulents and susceptible to rot if you overwater them. If you plant them in your garden, make sure you limit the amount of water they receive to reduce their risk of root rot.
2.) Soil - they love a fast draining soil, so if you're planting them in a section of your garden, make sure to remove the old soil and replace it with a fast draining soil.
3.) Temperature - they prefer temperatures to stay above 40 degrees. They tend to a tad more forgiving that other succulents to the cold when planted in your garden, especially when they mature. But if weather dips below freezing, be sure to have some frost cloth handy to cover them when needed.
If they are planted in pots, move these indoors when the temperatures get below freezing.
4.) Sunlight - these can handle full sun they are mature and their roots are strong and secure in the ground. But until that happens, make sure you provide them an area that gets early morning sunlight and shade from the hot afternoon sun.
Propagating these plants is easy breezy. They propagate by leaf. While you wait for them to root, make sure you give them a shady area that receives no direct sunlight. Simply stick them in fresh soil and wait a few weeks. Once they root they can be planted into pots or the garden.
If you're interested in testing these plants out in your garden or just looking to add something interesting your garden collection, we carry these in both 2 inch and 4 inch sizes. Both will have established roots.