Senecio barbertonicus: main characteristics and care

Cacti and succulents have the advantage of being hardier plants that don’t die easily if well cared for (or left to their own devices). Such is the case with Senecio barbertonicus, also known as succulent bush senecio. You know how it is?

Below you will learn about the main characteristics of this plant, and we will give you the care that you must provide so that it succeeds and lasts for many years. Go for it?

How is the Senecio barbertonicus

succulent bush

The Senecio barbertonicus is a succulent that you can keep all year round. Originally from South Africa, you can find it in its natural habitat in the subtropical forest.

It is characterized by having a shrub shape (reaches a meter and a half in height) with very thick, finger-shaped leaves. These are usually found near the stem and the color depends on the amount of light it gives it. In fact, it can go from bright green to olive green. These leaves are more or less large, because the minimum they reach is 5 centimeters (the maximum is 10). In addition, they also have a diameter ranging from 5 to 10 mm.

One thing that differs from other succulents is that this plant never goes dormant. In fact, it is in winter that the plant will flower. The flowers are in clusters and they contrast a lot because they are golden yellow. (Some liken them to daisies). If you ever see it, you should know that they are very aromatic, and the perfume they exhale is quite pleasant. After these comes the fruit that is usually small (3 to 5 mm) and cylindrical in shape.

Senecio barbertonicus care

details of this succulent bush

After learning a little more about Senecio barbertonicus, do you dare to have it at home? Keep in mind that it is not as showy as other succulentssuch as echeverias, but it has its charm and the fact that it blooms in winter makes many appreciate it.

Now, to achieve this it is necessary before having had special care so that it is in good health for it. Here we leave you the most important.

location and temperature

Like any other succulent, Senecio barbertonicus needs to be outdoors and in full sun. However, unlike others, it does appreciate staying in the shade during the hours of greatest incidence because the rays can burn the stems.

We do not recommend that you keep it indoors because it is more likely to suffer from etiolation, that is, that it the plant will grow in a certain way making it very unattractive, as well as weakening it to the maximum.

As for the temperature, the range of resistance is quite high, since it can go from -2ºC to more than 32ºC. Yes indeed, If you want to provide an ideal temperature then this is between 18 and 26ºC. One piece of advice that many professionals give is that the soil is completely dry if temperatures start to drop below 10ºC.

And in case the temperatures drop beyond those two negative degrees, it is best to protect it, either by taking it inside (always away from drafts or heating), or put a mesh on it so that the cold does not penetrate it.


The Senecio barbertonicus is not demanding regarding the soil to use for its pot. As long as it has good drainage it adapts to anything.

But if what you want is for it to be very healthy, then we recommend a mixture of universal substrate, worm humus and drainage to get ahead.

This land It is the same one that you should use whether you have this senecio in the garden or in a pot. The only difference will be that it will be more constrained and may need somewhat more regular watering.


As we have told you, the leaves of Senecio barbertonicus are quite thick and that causes water to accumulate in them. It is for this reason that yes, it must be watered, but only and exclusively when the earth is completely dry.

In autumn and winter, irrigation must be controlled very well since low temperatures and high humidity can be enough for the plant to rot.


potted succulent plant

The subscriber in the succulents is not something obligatory; but it is true that from time to time, a mineral fertilizer is added to the irrigation water. However, It is only added to the irrigation water once a year, right at the end of summer (preparing it to flower and to get ahead).


As with the subscriber, the Senecio barbertonicus can also be pruned. In fact, it is something that many usually do when they have adult specimens because, in this way, they manage to give them a more careful and not so wild appearance.

In addition, it is a way to get cuttings to multiply it.

Plagues and diseases

In general, succulents are not plants that have to deal with many pests and diseases. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have.

The most common are aphids and mealybugs. If at any time you see them, you will have to clean all the leaves of the senecio to remove them and repeat the process again at least one more time to make sure the plague has passed.

Regarding diseases, the most common have to do with excess water, which in turn causes the appearance of pests and root rot. If it happens to you, and you catch it in time, you can always try transplanting it into a dry substrate to save it.


Finally, you have several methods of propagating your Senecio barbertonicus. We explain which ones:

  • with leaves. Uprooting one of the main stem (it comes out complete), and letting it dry 2-3 days before putting it on the ground so that it can thrive. You’ll have to keep the soil moist until it’s rooted, and then it’s almost like a full-grown plant.
  • By the stem. For example, cutting a stem with leaves, letting it dry those 2-3 days and then planting it. This is the most common and also the fastest, because you don’t have to start from scratch like you do with sheets.

Do you dare to have a Senecio barbertonicus at home?

Senecio barbertonicus: main characteristics and care

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