Senecio cephalophorus ‘Blazin’ Glory’

Well, the name’s a little melodramatic. But if you can get over that (what’s in a name?), what’s not to love in this little cutie? I’m always game to try anything that might work indoors. For example, this little number wasn’t really being sold as a houseplant. But why not give it a spin?

When I picked Senecio cephalophorus ‘Blazin’ Glory’ up from Avant Gardens, it was love at first sight, even before the first bud opened. And by the way, there’s nothing wilted in this photo. The buds are naturally nodding, which you find irresistibly endearing, don’t you? And then they straighten up and jut out at odd angles to burst into a paintbrush of tiny orange bristles — each one a flower.

But even if this show didn’t go on for months (which it does) — there’s that foliage to die for. Plump, oval leaves tucked together in a nest. Each leaf chalky bluish-silver. Whole shebang stands no larger than a foot. Are you sold yet?

What if I told you that it’s virtually maintenance-free? Needs no tidying whatsoever because it’s invariably picture perfect. Never pouts. But I’m stingy with the water — it might not like being drowned. So water it sparingly, like you do all succulents. And those orange flowers — they don’t have the typical “old gym socks” senecio smell (thank goodness). In fact, their scent is mildly (very mildly = use your imagination) pleasant.

So go for it. Yes, this little number will need a bright, south window. But can you think of a better way to invest your sunbeams?

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11 Responses to Senecio cephalophorus ‘Blazin’ Glory’

  1. I’m a sucker for any blue/orange combination. Now just to eek an extra few inches of space on that already overcrowded south windowsill…

    • Tovah Martin says:

      Hey Kristen, Let me sing you a song about crowded windowsills…but this one’s worth carving out the space. Plus the care it requires is somewhere between nano and zilch. Others dream of a white Christmas, I’m dreaming of daffodils and Blithewold…

  2. Leafhead says:

    I fell in love with this plant the first time I saw it at a farmer’s market here in Madison, WI. I split it with my best friend and have been very successful c it in my sunny SW window.
    I’m amazed at how much it looks like my Echeverria until it blooms!!
    I’ll try leaf cuttings in the spring:)

    • Tovah Martin says:

      I remember those great farmer’s markets in Madison! They were happening long before it was cool. Let me know if a leaf cutting works — I don’t know if it will on a senecio. But hey, it’s worth a try. Mine is in a west window and it’s getting some browning stems. But then, it’s November. Pretty soon, it will be uphill for sunlight…I’m hoping my little senecio will keep the faith until day lengths increase.

  3. Leafhead says:

    I’m going to try mine outside next Summer as a nectar source for butterflies. I know its relative Senecio “Mexican Flame Vine” works well in So Fla where I lived for most of my life.

    • Tovah Martin says:

      Wow, it’s been a while since I saw what we used to call Senecio confusus, John — the Mexican flame vine! The foliage isn’t really swell, but the flowers are phenomenal. And the fragrance is like perfume. Guess what they’ve renamed it? (Are you ready for this?) Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides. Diabolical, no? I bet you’re right about the butterflies. Keep me posted…

  4. Leafhead says:

    Help! My Senecio is turning yellow….Do they go thru a dormant phase? I water once a mo or so.

    • Tovah Martin says:

      The lower leaves of mine are yellowing also, John, but I figured it was due to too little water — it’s a delicate balance. That’s just the very lowest level, above that is fine. I’ll keep you posted but suggest you water a tad more often. Good luck with it! Mine has lots of fluffy seeds forming but the species isn’t so compact.

  5. Leafhead says:

    Thanx Tovah… I’ll up mine to 2 x wk and see what happens.
    Plus I gave it some Miracle Gro today, c my other plants. I have it in a clay pot, so it probably dries out a lot faster.

    • Tovah Martin says:

      You’re right= it’s hard to place the senecio because it straddles the line between a succulent and a tropical plant. Probably best to eyeball it for dryness rather than putting it on a schedule. And, of course, it all depends on the size of the container that you’re growing it in. Mine is rallying. Keep me posted on yours.

  6. Leafhead says:

    Will do:)

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