The peasants, practically unknown in our country under their generic name senezio, successfully combine gardening and indoor careers. These herbaceous perennials combine into one group sometimes completely dissimilar plants, which have no similarities even in the shape and type of leaves. But at the same time, individual peasants cannot be called plants that are radically different from each other. For all species without exception: both the most compact and the largest, absolutely the same requirements for growing conditions and care are characteristic. So farmers can be safely called diverse, but surprisingly “cohesive” cultures. And indoor senezios, famous as original succulents, are no exception.
Peasant Rowley (Senecio rowleyanus). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com The Goods
An unmatched variety of ground flowers
At one glance at the flexible, green-dotted shoots of Rowley’s rosewort, the almost needle-like green of the Haworth rosewort and the ivy-shaped greens of the large-tongued rosewort, it is almost impossible to believe that these plants belong to the same genus. They differ not only in the structure of the bush and the form of growth, but also in the type of leaves. But all these plants are really members of one large genus Senezio. It unites both indoor and garden crops of the Asteraceae family, which is easy to guess by the type of inflorescences. In Europe, the housewort is known under the name “a bunch of peas”, and our growers often call the most popular plant of the Senezio genus simply – “a string of pearls”.
Annual and perennial plants that can develop both in the form of compact lianas and form whole shrubs and trees belong to the russes. Significant differences between species are the main feature of Senezio. Even their shoots can be naked, pubescent, drooping or straight, and the variety of leaves, whole or dissected, obovate or elliptical, pinnate, common lobed and fleshy to varying degrees, makes the assortment of russes practically incomplete. And in fact, there is only one common feature. Without exception, all rusters have inflorescences – classic baskets, which can be located one at a time or in inflorescences.
Rustic plants are grown today as garden plants, container plants, pot plants, indoor crops, and even as cut specimens. In nature, there are more than 3000 species of wildflowers. But in room culture, they are represented by a little more than a dozen plants. These are amazing succulents that are rightfully considered special. Senezio can be collected by collecting varieties with completely different appearances.
The most widespread in room culture were such ground plants as:
Rowley’s godson (Senecio rowleyanus) Is one of the most popular types. An evergreen perennial, distinguished by its fast growth and unusual appearance, it produces hanging or creeping, very thin stems that grow up to 60 cm and hang effectively from the edge of the pot. Spherical, green, with a sharp top, leaves up to 1 cm wide most of all resemble peas. Delightful drooping shoots, similar to thin threads and covered with small spherical leaves, look like beads strung on a thread. Even the inflorescences of this groundwort are spherical. A white basket with unusually protruding stamens emits a cinnamon aroma.
Creeping groundwort (Senecio snake) – undersized and completely different in character senezio. This shrub, up to only 10 cm in height, produces thick shoots with linear-lanceolate, fleshy, tongue-shaped leaves about 3-4 cm long, densely located in rosettes along the stem and sticking straight up. The bluish-gray color of the greenery makes an unforgettable impression. And the whole plant looks like an unusual pillow of protruding blue leaves, contrasting very nicely with the mulch made from stone chips. White flowers are collected in a few baskets of inflorescences.
Rooting groundwort (Senecio radicans) – an evergreen succulent with creeping shoots up to half a meter in length, beautifully branching and quite thin, on which rarely, alternately spectacular, up to 2-3 cm in length, rather thick leaves-berries with a pointed top and a dark gray color, are located alternately give not only longitudinal dark stripes, but also a claw-like bend.
Haworth’s Rustic (Senecio haworthii) – bushy plants about 30 cm high with erect, smooth shoots and unusual cylindrical, narrowed at the ends of the leaves, which sit tightly on the stems, arranged in a spiral. On leaves, the entire surface is completely covered with a whitish-silver felt bloom. The maximum length of the leaves is 5 cm. The globular inflorescences are colored yellow or orange. It is a very difficult species to grow and is extremely rare in indoor culture.
Stapeliform groundwort (Senecio stapleiiformis) Is a very spectacular perennial succulent. Forms thick, fleshy, ribbed shoots up to 50 cm in height and up to 2 cm in thickness, branching at the very base and dotted with few, but beautifully looking thorns. Longitudinal dark and light stripes alternate along the stem. This rosemary flaunts with small scaly leaves up to 0,5 cm in length with a grayish color. Red baskets of inflorescences, appearing in bunches at the ends of the stems, only emphasize the beauty of this plant.
Large-reed rootwort (Senecio macroglossus), known under the popular name “Natal ivy” – a species whose relationship with other Senezios is difficult to guess. But despite the outward resemblance to ivy, upon closer examination, it becomes obvious that this creeping plant with thin, weakly branched stems, growing up to 3 m in length, also belongs to crops that can store moisture. Leaves on small cuttings are spear-shaped, up to 8 cm long and divided into 3 to 5 pointed lobes. They sit on the shoots quite densely, resembling ivy from a distance, but differ in their larger size. This groundwort blooms, releasing exquisite pale yellow daisies with rarely sessile ligulate flowers. In addition to the base plant, the Variegatus variety is very popular, decorated with light yellow spots on darker leaves.
Stubby groundwort (Senecio crassissimus) Is a cute succulent, somewhat reminiscent of a fat woman. This is a shrub with a highly branching stem up to 45 cm high, distinguished by a rough surface. The leaves sit on the shoots alternately, oval with a pointed tip, up to 6 cm long.The grayish-green color along the edge of the leaf turns purple. Yellow flowers rise in a beautiful inflorescence on a high peduncle.
Gerrain’s godson or Gerra’s godson (Senecio herreianus) Is an unusual representative of senezio, developing in the form of a low bush of densely branching creeping shoots and very fleshy leaves up to 2 cm long, berry-shaped, slightly resembling gooseberries. The very light base color is complemented by light and dark stripes.
Arrowhead groundwort (Senecio scaposus) – one of the “silvery” succulents. The blue-gray green of this senezio forms a curtain, an original dense root rosette. This plant has two types of leaves – short, flat and round, cylindrical-elongated, similar to green sticks or honeysuckle fruits. The color of the plant gradually changes from a silvery edge in young leaves to light green in old ones. The flower stalks of this wild rose are unusually long, bearing spectacular orange-yellow daisies.
Ever-living godworm (Senecio Sempervivus) is also more similar to fat women in leaf shape. Its tall shoots are dotted with oval-sharp leaves up to 7 cm long, gathering in loose rosettes. A bluish green color with a red reverse side and irregular spots of bright green at the top of the leaf plates gives the plant an extravagance.
Rustic red (Senecio beautiful) Is a perennial succulent, better known as a garden plant, many varieties of which are now actively grown in pots. Shoots up to 1 m high and elongated-lanceolate, with beautiful denticles along the edge, the leaves, forming a beautiful turf at the base of the shoots, emphasize the inflorescences of a bright pink color, towering on high peduncles, located in the shields.
Lemon-shaped groundwort (Senecio citriformis) – outwardly very similar to Rowley’s ragwort. The only difference is that its berry-like leaves do not resemble young peas at all, but miniature limes or lemons, they are oval with a pointed edge on both sides. But on the plant, the berry leaves also look like luxurious beads. In addition, the color of the lemon-shaped rosewort is distinguished by a darker shade of grayish-green, accentuated by a bluish bloom.
Jacobsen’s godson (Senecio Jacobsenii) Is a succulent with a bright green color and creeping, almost non-branching, rather thick shoots. Fleshy, obovate leaves with a rounded tip up to 6 cm long sit on them not densely. On the underside of the leaves there are bunches of aerial roots. The heads of orange inflorescences bloom on long pedicels, giving the already unusual succulent even more originality.
Articulated groundwort (Senecio articulatus) outwardly similar to miniature baobabs. He has bunches of leaves crowned with thick shoots. The shoots of this rootwort consist of oval segments up to 1-2 cm thick, while the leaves are preserved only at the top of the young twigs, and the adult shoots are completely naked. A waxy coating on the surface with a gray-silver tint makes the plant even more attractive. Leaves are small, ivy-shaped or pinnate, often variegated. This plant produces medium-sized yellow daisies collected in shields.
Earlier, the famous Bloody cineraria (Bloody Сineraria), also called Bloody godsome (Senecio cruentus), but today this plant, according to modern research, has been reclassified into the genus Pericalis of the bloody (Pericallis bleeding). This is one of the most spectacular annual flowering plants with soft dark triangular leaves and inflorescences gathered in dense shields, reminiscent of garden daisies, only with a much more variegated color.
Senezio home care
Senezio, like all succulents, is rightfully ranked among the most hardy indoor plants that are not afraid of drought. But to enjoy their beauty, you need to be extremely careful about the watering process. If these plants tolerate overdrying of an earthen coma easily, then the slightest waterlogging can cause death. Watering for peasants should be rare, and the rest of the care is so simple that even inexperienced growers can grow them. The ability to deviate from the preferred cool wintering regime allows you to collect entire collections of these amazing succulents in ordinary “apartment” conditions.
Lighting for senezio
Without exception, all senezios are light-loving plants that tolerate several hours of direct sunlight. For them, they usually select well-lit areas on the east and west windows, or equal to them in terms of the intensity of illumination of the location. Shading negatively affects the beauty of the greenery, the plant stretches. But the diffused bright light is only good for the peasants.
It is much more difficult to choose the conditions of detention according to the temperature parameter for senezio. These plants, despite their mainly southern origin, cannot be classified as heat-loving crops. Rustic plants feel most comfortable in the temperature range from 22 to 26 degrees Celsius. A slight deviation from these indicators will not significantly harm the plant, but it is better to maintain a stable environment.
In winter, when all senezios are at a dormant stage, it is advisable to keep the plants cool. All types of ground plants, regardless of appearance, size, growth form and type of leaves, prefer wintering in a cool place – from 12 to 15 degrees. But at the same time, if you do not have the opportunity to provide a cool wintering for this plant, then the ground flowers adapt well to the usual indoor range. The decorativeness of the plant may decrease slightly, but the attractiveness will not suffer catastrophically. The minimum allowable temperature for the groundwort is considered to be 7 degrees Celsius, while such a lowering is permissible only for a very short period.
Senezio do not like sharp fluctuations in air temperature, but they tolerate drafts well. They prefer frequent ventilation and, with constant access to fresh air, they almost never get sick. Senezio’s love for fresh air allows them to be displayed outdoors during the summer, choosing a place protected from rain and wind on a terrace or balcony. When moving from home and into it, it must be remembered that the groundwort does not tolerate sudden fluctuations in conditions. Plants should be taken out into the fresh air only when the temperature rises to the indicators familiar to the groundwort, and brought back in at the slightest sign of a serious cold snap. The change in conditions should be as gradual as possible, it is advisable to arrange a transitional period for the plant in the so-called buffer zone, like garden tubs.
Watering and air humidity
Maintaining a comfortable minimum humidity for the plant should be given as careful attention as possible. Rustic plants are especially sensitive succulents that do not tolerate too much watering. It is watering that is the most difficult moment in growing plants, since it is necessary to strictly control the degree of soaking of the substrate and carry out procedures, each time checking how dry it is after the previous watering. Even in spring and summer, when kept in hot conditions, the groundwort is watered moderately and with a small amount of water. The following procedure can be carried out only after 2 days have passed after the top layer of the substrate in the pot has dried.
Starting from the first month of autumn, watering should be gradually reduced, increasing the pause between procedures, adapting the groundwort to the practically dry conditions in winter. During the dormant stage, senezios need very rare irrigation with a minimum amount of water, which is carried out only so that the greens do not fade. The potted substrate should dry completely between treatments. If there are no signs of a lack of moisture and loss of leaf turgor, many ground crops can be left without watering at all in winter.
Please note that at any time of the year, you cannot water the groundwort too abundantly. It is better to water more often, but with less water. The quality of the latter also matters: only soft, settled water is suitable for these succulents.
Senezio also does not like high air humidity. He feels good in any dry conditions, in a typical apartment climate. In additional procedures for humidifying the air, and even more so in spraying, the rusks do not need.
Top dressing for ground crops
Despite the fact that the peasants need rather modest watering, fertilizers are applied for them according to the classical strategy. Grounds are fed only from March to August, with a frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks. For these plants, it is advisable to use only special mixtures of fertilizers for cacti or succulents.
Transplant and substrate
For indoor senezios, it is necessary to select neutral in characteristics, very loose and sufficiently nutritious substrates. They feel comfortable in special soil mixtures for succulents and cacti, but they can grow in soils that are more modest in composition. For example, indoor peasants thrive in a soil mixture of two parts of leafy soil and 1 part of sand. Some species prefer cultivation in clay-sandy soil, but at the same time, the circumstance to which substrate the growers are accustomed from a young age is of great importance. When buying, it is better to clarify the composition of the soil or its type.
Senezio is only transplanted as needed. Actively fluttering young cultures can be transplanted annually; for adults, a frequency of procedures of 2-3 years is sufficient. Spring is considered the best time for transplanting. When transplanting, the rootwort is placed at the same depth as usual. At the bottom of the container, it is advisable to lay a high, and not the middle, drainage layer. Rustic plants grow well both in ampels and in ordinary pots.
Diseases and vermin
Senezio is considered one of the most resistant to diseases and pests of indoor crops. But even a slight violation of care causes problems, accompanied not only by the spread of rot or powdery mildew, but also by the activity of spider mites, various species of aphids, and mealybugs. It is advisable to fight pests on plants by correcting care and mechanical treatments, resorting to insecticides only in extremely advanced cases. But with rot and fungal infections, it is necessary to fight by cutting out damaged parts, processing sections and spraying with a fungicide.
Common problems in growing senezio:
- the appearance of brown spots on the leaves, their drying and dying off in too hot conditions, extremely dry air or in the absence of watering;
- the appearance of dry spots on the leaves as a result of direct sunlight;
- the appearance of yellow or brown spots on the leaves when watering is disturbed;
- growth of small leaves, rare arrangement of leaves on shoots and elongation of trunks in shade;
- loss of color in variegated plants with insufficient light or the need for transplantation.
Reproduction of indoor senezio
Rustic plants can be propagated using seeds, cuttings and cuttings. Reproduction from green cuttings is considered the simplest. To do this, cut off the top (8-10 cm) of the shoot, removing 2-3 bottom leaves and drying the sections for several hours. In small containers in sandy soil, cuttings take root quickly if they are placed in a warm and bright place. Usually cuttings are rooted in a dry soil mixture, without moistening the substrate at all or only slightly spraying it. Rooted cuttings are always placed in individual containers of 2-5 pieces for greater decorativeness.
Cuttings can be obtained from all senezios with creeping or drooping shoots. To do this, next to an adult plant, place a small container with a soil mixture suitable for the groundwort. Long shoots are placed on top of the soil in a new container and lightly pressed, fixed on the ground. Gradually, in the place of contact with the soil, the twigs take root and they can be separated from the mother bushes.
The seed method of reproduction for ground plants is used much less often. The thing is that in indoor conditions, most of the peasants do not bear fruit. But if you managed to purchase the seeds of this plant, then make sure of their freshness: the seeds of the wild rose very quickly lose their germination. Seeds must be pre-soaked and germinated before sowing into the substrate. Sprouted seeds are placed in several pieces in one small pot with typical soil for the soil, slightly moisten the crops with a spray bottle. As soon as the seedlings form cotyledons, they are immediately planted one at a time in small individual pots.