Senecio jacobsenii: The Fascinating Trailing ‘Jade Succulent’

Senecio jacobsenii care senecio jacobsenii

Senecio jacobsenii, also known as ‘Trailing Jade’, is a unique and attractive succulent that is native to the highlands of Tanzania and Kenya. With thick stems that can drape up to 4 feet long and green, oval shaped fleshy leaves that blush an interesting purple color when stressed in the winter, this plant makes a great groundcover or hanging basket specimen. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to care for and propagate Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’.

How do I care for? Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’?

‘Trailing Jade’ is easy to grow and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, making it a great option for both novice and experienced gardeners. It prefers full sun and can survive the cold down to 32°F. When planted next to a wall or in a container, the stems will drape downwards, creating a beautiful cascading effect. The leaves and flowers stand upright from the stems, adding even more visual interest to the plant.

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Because of its spreading habit and high resistance to drought, Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is also a great option for preventing soil erosion on steep banks. However, it does not tolerate extremely shady or cold, moist conditions.

Trailing jade succulent care senecio jacobsenii

What kind of soil does Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ need?

This plant prefers a very well-draining soil that is similar to what is used for cacti and other succulents.

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What kind of soil is best for Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’?

Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ prefers well-draining pots and gritty soil with at least 50% inorganic material, such as coarse sand, perlite, or pumice. This type of soil will help prevent water from sitting around the roots and causing root rot. It is tolerant of a wide range of pH levels, from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline. However, it is not tolerant of poorly-draining soils which is the same as most other succulents.

Variegated senecio jacobsenii trailing jade plant senecio jacobsenii

Is fertilization necessary for Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’?

Fertilizer is not really necessary as it is used to growing in rocky and desolate conditions in its natural habitat. As with fertilizing other succulents, if you choose to do so, dilute the fertilizer at half strength only during the time it is growing.

How often do I water Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’?

Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is a drought-tolerant plant, which means it doesn’t require a lot of water. It is important to allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues. A good rule of thumb is to water deeply enough for water to run out the drainage hole, but do not re-water until the soil has completely dried.

Variegated trailing jade care senecio jacobsenii

What are the ideal light conditions for Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’?

Senecio Jacobsenii thrives in full sun to light shade. It is important to note that too much shade can cause the leaves to turn a pale green color and may also inhibit flowering. On the other hand, too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to turn yellow and dry out.

How cold hardy is Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’?

Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is hardy to 20-25°F, which makes it suitable for gardens in USDA hardiness zones 10 and above. It can tolerate some frost, but prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can damage or kill the plant. Mine have been victims to frost occasionally and the leaves turn translucent yellow and eventually dry up and fall off if the whole plant wasn’t afflicted.

What kind of maintenance does Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ require?

To keep a tidy appearance, the flower stems can be removed once they bloom and dry out. This plant can also get leggy, particularly when grown in pots, and may need to be trimmed back only because they are really heavy when they get big and trail over hanging pots. I usually let mine fully bloom because the bright orange flowers are such a gorgeous contrast against the green leaves. The long bloom stalks end up drying out and are easy to pull off without damaging the plant.

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How do I propagate Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’?

Propagating Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is easy and can be done by taking cuttings from the stem. Simply cut a stem with a few leaves on it and allow the cutting to dry for a few days. Once the cutting has callused over, you can plant it in a well-draining pot with gritty soil and wait for new roots to form. This plant tolerates pruning well and the cuttings can re-root and be transplanted.


In summary, Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is an attractive and unique succulent that is easy to care for and propagate. It can be used as a groundcover, hanging basket, or window box specimen, and is well suited for growing in full sun and hot climates. Just remember to keep it well-drained and avoid shady, moist conditions.

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Learn how to propagate succulents and share them with your friends

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Senecio Succulents: The Perfect Plant for Novice Gardeners and Hobbyist Collectors

Senecio succulents are a popular type of succulent plant that are known for their unique and interesting foliage. They are native to South Africa and are part of the Asteraceae family, which includes daisies and sunflowers. They are relatively easy to care for and are a great option for those new to succulent gardening. They can be grown in a variety of settings, including indoor and outdoor gardens, patio containers, and hanging baskets.

Types of Senecio Succulents

There are several types of Senecio succulents that are commonly grown as houseplants or in outdoor gardens. These include:

  • Senecio rowleyanus, also known as String of Pearls, is a trailing succulent with small, round leaves that resemble pearls. It is a popular choice for hanging baskets and can grow up to 3 feet long.

  • Senecio mandraliscae, also known as Blue Chalksticks, is a compact succulent that forms dense clusters of blue-gray, finger-like leaves. It is a great option for rock gardens and groundcover.

  • Senecio serpens, also known as Blue Chalksticks, is similar to Senecio mandraliscae but has a more prostrate and spreading habit. Its leaves are typically blue-green in color.

  • Senecio haworthii, also known as Hotdog Cactus, is a rare and unusual succulent that has elongated, sausage-shaped leaves that are green to blue-green in color. It is a slow-growing plant that can reach up to 2 feet in height.

  • Senecio tamoides, also known as Cushion Bush, is a compact, shrubby succulent that forms dense mounds of blue-green leaves. It is a great option for rock gardens and container gardens.

Care and Maintenance

Caring for Senecio succulents is relatively easy, and with proper care, they can thrive for many years. Here are some tips for caring for your Senecio succulents:

  • Light requirements: Senecio succulents prefer bright, indirect light but can tolerate some shade. They can be grown in full sun in cooler climates.

  • Watering and humidity: Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot.

  • Soil and potting: Senecio succulents prefer well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes. They can be planted in a cactus or succulent mix or a standard potting soil mixed with sand or grit.

  • Fertilization: Fertilization is not necessary, but if desired, can be done during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

  • Pruning and grooming: Pruning and grooming can be done to shape and control the size of the plant. Dead leaves should be removed as they occur.

  • Propagation: Propagation can be done by taking stem or leaf cuttings, or by dividing offsets.

Pests and Diseases

Despite their hardy nature, Senecio succulents are still susceptible to pests and diseases. Some common issues include:

  • Mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects: These can be treated with a solution of water and mild dish soap or with a specific insecticide.

  • Root rot: This can occur if the plant is overwatered or planted in poorly-draining soil. To prevent root rot, make sure the soil is well-draining and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.


Senecio succulents are a great option for novice gardeners and hobbyist collectors. They are easy to care for, with unique and interesting foliage that adds a touch of interest to any garden or collection. With proper care and maintenance, they can be enjoyed for many years. If you’re interested in adding a Senecio succulent to your collection, be sure to research the specific care requirements of the variety you choose. As with any plant, the key to success is providing the right growing conditions and paying attention to the needs of your plants. Happy gardening!

senecio jacobsenii trailing jade

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