Watering Senecio

The string of pearls and other varieties of senecio are some of the lowest maintenance houseplants for beginner and experienced gardeners to enjoy. They do not need large amounts of water or fertilizer and are fairly self-sufficient. Watering these succulent plants properly is the key to their overall health and ability to thrive. Senecio also tolerates the lower humidity levels during the winter months better than most houseplants and is not apt to drop leaves when moved from one location to another. 


How To Tell If Senecio Needs Water

Senecio will show signs when it is ready to be watered. Here are the most common signs to watch for: the pot feels lighter than normal, stems appear droopy or thin, leaves are shrinking or appear wrinkly, and the oldest leaves are starting to yellow. Senecio likes to dry out in between watering sessions, but if the plant dries out for too long, it will begin to suffer. Make sure the potting medium drains well and allows plenty of aeration around the roots. If Senecio’s stems and leaves start to turn brown or black, the plant could be suffering from either severe dehydration or rot due to overwatering. 

Senecio does not need as much water during the fall and winter as it does during the spring and summer, when it is actively growing. In the spring and summer, water your plant approximately every 7-10 days depending on the amount of humidity surrounding your plant. In the fall and winter when growth slows, water once every 2 weeks to a month. Adjust the watering frequency according to the amount of humidity and sunlight the plant receives.


How To Water Senecio

Water Senecio when most of the soil in the pot has dried. The easiest way to check for this is to lift the pot. If the pot or hanging basket feels much lighter in weight than expected, the plant is ready to be watered. A good method for watering senecio is to place the pot in the sink, thoroughly soak the soil, and allow the excess water to drain for at least 15 minutes. After the pot has finished draining, place the pot in its growing position on a saucer or in a cache pot to catch any further drainage. Do not allow the plant to sit in a cache pot of standing water for more than an hour or two. Use filtered tap water or water left to stand overnight in an open container so that any chlorine can dissipate and the water can come to room temperature. 

Senecio Watering Tips

  • As a succulent, Senecio is sensitive to overwatering and will rot in damp soil.
  • Less supplemental watering is needed if humidity levels in the room are high.
  • Only water when most of the soil in the pot has dried.
  • Water the pot in a sink where the excess liquid can fully drain without damaging other room furnishings. 
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Author Robbin Small - Published 12-21-2023