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Friday, April 24, 2020

Senecio macroglossus 'Variegata' (Wax Ivy)

When I first got this it was a beautiful established plant but the problem was it doesn't do well in wet and humid areas and so it had slowly succumb to root rot and stem rot. 

I had tried propagating this one in many areas thinking that it would behave as a succulent but as difficult as it seemed it never took root - eventually all of the cuttings dried or rotten away.

All is not lost as some of these had grown accustomed to kokedama balls growth setting and I had placed few cuttings - poking them together with other cascading plants and somehow I still have this species growing but ever so slowly in my garden.

This one can easily mistaken for an ivy. The best part - they have succulent leaves and aerial roots.

One of my challenges and mistake was to cultivate this in shade and it slowly succumb to its death. I would recommend them to plant it where it get generous sunlight but minus the rain water unless they medium is fast draining.

Other than that, it is a lovely plant to cultivate - an alternative to English Ivy if you find growing ivies a challenge.

Here, I trim and just poke them into the kokedama ball, you can notice aerial roots on the with new growth. 

Basic Care & Maintenance of Senecio macroglossus 'Variegata' (Wax Ivy):

This require a fast draining medium - something like orchid medium mix.
It does well with a mixture of perlite, sphagnum moss, cocopeat & bark mix.
Similar for cactus and succulent mix.

It should not be a strong drainage mix where it doesn't hold any moisture at all but it should not be holding water too where the roots and stem can rot too. The balance of both is ideal.

Sometimes the nursery plant them in cocopeat only and when it ages - the root rot takes place and the whole thing succumb - new propagation is required to keep the species going or else it will just matures and dies.
For sometime - it would look cool but eventually it get spend and burned due to lack of root growth and nutrients - making the plant leggy and trying to escape elsewhere.

I water daily and twice during the hot dry days. These can go without water for few days to a week and perhaps you have to take note on how the foliage appearance - if it appears withered or drying than watering is mandatory. The downside of watering will cost the leaves to turn yellow and start rotting - therefore - the right balance is necessary.

This particular senecio is not a totally shade loving plant but you can place them in bright indoors area. I for one had experience where when it is placed in dark areas - they rarely show new growth and appears to be very leggy (the leaves nodes along the stem appear to phase out far apart and it is very unsightly especially when you prefer to have a compact foliage plants)

These are trailing plant and seemed to do well in most unforgiving conditions but at times - just barely surviving and it is indeed a slow growing plant - so don't expect much if you received a small cuttings and looking forward for new growth - It may take many months to actually notice anything.

I for one, just place them in their ideal spot and consider that done there and routinely water them on daily basis and weekly spray flowering fertilizer on them hoping them to bloom. Otherwise, it's another trailing foliage plant that I'm contented with.

Other Factors:

1) Do take effort to foliar fertilizer on them to induce new growth or else it will remain in that same size for months.

2) It's a trailing cascading plant - so do allow space for it to grow and cascade.

3) This plant does produce aerial roots and may start off new shoots hence a new plant from a different location where it had rooted. You can propagate new plants from here when new roots appear.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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