Propagating Senecio

Senecio is one of the easiest houseplants to propagate. Cuttings from this plant will root by air layering and cuttings. Few tools are needed to propagate senecios by cuttings. The best time of year to multiply your senecio plants is in the spring or summer during the plant's active growing period. The cuttings will root quickly within a matter of weeks, and by the fall, you will have more plants to add to your collection. 


Methods To Propagate Senecio

The easiest method for propagating senecio is to root cut stems in potting mix or water. This can be done to fill in an existing pot with more plants or to create a new stand-alone senecio. Layering the stems directly on the soil is also a fast way to create new plants. This is called air layering and works best on plants that have flexible stems such as most types of senecio.  

Best Rooting Media To Propagate Senecio

Senecio cuttings will root in either a glass of water or a lightweight potting mix formulated for succulents and cacti. To propagate cuttings in water, use a glass or narrow vase where the cutting can hang over the side while at least two-thirds of the stem is submerged in water. The potting mix should be lightweight with excellent drainage and no added fertilizers. If you do not have succulent-specific soil, you can mix perlite at a ratio of 1:1 with potting mix.  

Steps To Propagate Senecio

Step 1 - Take a cutting of at least 6 inches from a healthy plant, making the cut just below a leaf node.

Step 2 - You can choose to air layer or place the cutting in water or soil until it forms roots.

Air layering: place the whole cutting on pre-moistened potting mix, ensuring the stems are in indirect contact with the soil. Regularly mist the cutting to keep the soil slightly damp but not too wet.

Rooting in soil: carefully remove the leaves from the lower 3 inches of the stem, and place the cutting out of direct sunlight for up to 48 hours so the cut end calluses over. After the cutting has callused over, plant it in a 2-3 inch pot filled with moist potting mix.

Rooting in water: Carefully remove the leaves from the bottom 3 inches of the stem and place the cutting in a glass of water, submerging only the bare stem. When the cutting begins to grow roots, plant it in a small 2-3 inch pot with potting mix.

Caring For Senecio Cuttings

Cuttings will require a warm spot in indirect, bright light to root successfully. After 3-4 weeks, new growth will indicate that a root system has developed. Even though senecio does not require high humidity, lightly misting the soil of the cuttings on a daily basis will help the new plants to root. For cuttings started in water, refresh the water if it appears cloudy or has a yellow tint. Keep the water level topped off so the root nodes remain constantly submerged. 

Transplanting Senecio Cuttings

Once the plants are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted into their own containers. Pot them in small pots filled with succulent potting mix, and water them thoroughly after planting. Place the new plants in bright, indirect light and water them when the soil dries out. Fertilize new plants on the same schedule as older plants, applying a liquid feed once in the spring. 

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 Author Robbin Small - Published 12-21-2023