Blue Chalk Sticks Propagation & Care Guide

Blue chalk sticks is the perfect succulent for adding color to the garden. Today we analyze blue chalk sticks propagation, their care, how to prune them, and their uses in landscaping.

blue chalk sticks propagation
“Senecio mandraliscae” by Frank Vincentz is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Senecio mandraliscae

  • Common Name: Blue chalk sticks, Blue Senecio
  • Scientific name: Senecio mandraliscae
  • Synonyms: Kleinia mandraliscae, S. talinoides mandraliscae
  • Minimum temperature: 25°F (−4°C)
  • Origin: South Africa
  • Flower Color: White
  • Flowering time: Summer
  • Growing season: Winter
  • Height: 1-2 feet (60 cm)
  • Width: 2 feet
  • Lighting: Full sun
  • Drought resistance: Excellent
  • Can be poisonous: Yes

Senecio mandraliscae : Care Guide

Senecio mandraliscae or blue chalk sticks is one of my favorite succulents in landscapes. Without a doubt, the most striking thing about this plant is its blue color. It can be used as a cover and to add texture to the garden. Combine it with any orange plant to bring out the contrast of colors.

How to Water Blue Chalk Sticks

Senecio mandraliscae tolerates drought quite well, so it does not require a large amount of water. Using too much water can lead to root rot and pest problems.

Generally, watering once a week is sufficient. Check that the soil is not damp before watering.

If you grow it in pots, allow the substrate to dry completely between watering sessions. Pour water until it flows out from the drain holes.

Reduce watering during the winter. Just water enough to prevent your succulent from wilting.

Location and Soil

Blue chalk sticks thrives best in full sun. They are happy to receive direct light for 6 to 8 hours. You can also grow it in partial shade, although it won’t do as well.

Cold temperatures can cause damage or even death to the plant. You can keep it alive during the colder months by moving it indoors or by covering it with a layer of mulch.

Like all succulents, Senecio mandraliscae requires well-drained soil that is not very rich in organic matter.

How to Fertilize Blue Chalk Sticks

Fertilize 3 to 4 times in its growing season (early spring to fall). When fertilizing, use half the recommended dose.

How to Prune Blue Chalk Sticks

Blue chalk sticks grows up to 18 to 24 inches. You can prune your succulent to make it look dense. Do it in late summer.

I know that at first it will look a bit ugly, but you will notice how soon new shoots will emerge. Do not throw the cuttings from the stem, they can be put in the ground, where they will take root and grow into new plants. As needed, remove the bottom leaves from the stems you want to propagate so the stems can be inserted properly into the ground or containers.

Do not water for several days after pruning to avoid the formation of fungus.

Blue Chalk Sticks Propagation

You can propagate blue chalk sticks using leaf or stem cuttings. Read the following on how to propagate blue chalk sticks:

  • Cut a leaf or stem to a length of 6 inches. In most cases it is not necessary to immerse the leaf or stem in rooting hormone. But, if you want you can do it.
  • Plant it in soil for cacti and succulents and place the pot in a place where it receives filtered light, but not direct sun.
  • Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
  • In 6 to 8 weeks you will see the roots.
  • Plant the established succulent outdoors or in a larger container.

Senecio mandraliscae vs serpens

The Senecio serpens is the dwarf version of the blue chalk sticks (Senecio mandraliscae). This succulent is ideal for planters and pots. Let’s learn more about it.

Senecio serpens

  • Common name: Dwarf blue chalk sticks
  • Scientific name: Senecio serpens
  • Origin: South Africa (Africa)
  • Flower Color: White
  • Flowering time: Summer
  • Synonyms: Kleinia repens, Senecio phycoides
  • Height: 1 foot
  • Width: 2 feet
  • Lighting: Full sun
  • Drought tolerance: Excellent
  • Minimum temperature: 20°F (-6ºC)
  • Salt tolerance: Good
  • Can be poisonous: Yes

Dwarf Blue Chalk Sticks : Landscape Value

This little blue succulent demands attention. The foliage consists of short cylindrical stems. It typically reaches 6-8 inches tall and can spread up to 1-2 feet wide. Use Senecio serpens around rocks or in a pot in combination with other plants. This succulent requires a well-draining substrate and full sun. When exposed to a lot of sun and heat, the tips of this plant turn purple.

The dwarf blue chalk sticks is ideal for:

  • Xeriscape gardens
  • Stone gardens
  • Mediterranean gardens
  • Flowerpots and potscaping

The care is the same as Senecio mandraliscae mentioned above.