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’.
Caring for ‘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.
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.
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Ideal Soil for ‘Trailing Jade’
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.
Fertilizer is not really necessary for Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ 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.
Succulent fertilizer available to purchase on Etsy.
What are some signs that my Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is not receiving enough nutrients?
If your Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is not receiving enough nutrients, you may notice several signs of nutrient deficiency. Here are a few common signs to look out for:
- Stunted growth: If your Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is not growing as quickly or vigorously as usual, it may be a sign that it is not receiving enough nutrients. The plant may appear smaller than it should be or may not produce as many leaves or stems as it normally would.
- Pale or yellow leaves: If the leaves of your Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ start to turn pale or yellow, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency. This can be caused by a lack of nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for plant growth and development.
- Brown or black spots on leaves: If your Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ leaves start to develop brown or black spots, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency. This can be caused by a lack of calcium or magnesium, which are important nutrients for plant health.
- Leaf drop: If your Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ starts to drop leaves, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency. This can be caused by a lack of any number of essential nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium.
If you suspect that your ‘Trailing Jade’ is not receiving enough nutrients, you may want to consider fertilizing the plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Remember to dilute the fertilizer to half strength and apply it to moist soil. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package carefully and avoid over-fertilizing, which can cause its own set of problems.
With proper care and attention, your ‘Trailing Jade’ will continue to thrive and produce beautiful cascading stems and vibrant green leaves.
How to 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.
Ideal Light Conditions
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.
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.
Maintenance and Pruning
To keep a tidy appearance, the flower stems can be removed once they bloom and dry out. Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ 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. You might like: The Best Way to Water Succulents
Propagating ‘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.
What to look for to ensure that your Trailing Jade is healthy
- Vibrant green leaves: The leaves of your Trailing Jade should be a bright, vibrant green color. If the leaves start to turn yellow or brown, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency, overwatering, or other issues.
- Cascading stems: Trailing Jade is known for its long, cascading stems that can grow up to several feet in length. If your Trailing Jade’s stems appear stunted or are not growing as quickly as they should be, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency, insufficient light, or other problems.
- No signs of pests or disease: Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is generally a hardy plant that is not prone to pests or disease. However, it is important to inspect the plant regularly for any signs of infestation or infection, such as mealybugs, spider mites, or fungal growth.
- Healthy roots: The roots of your Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ should be firm and white. If the roots appear soft, mushy, or discolored, it may be a sign of root rot or other issues.
- New growth: Finally, healthy Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ plants will continue to produce new growth and develop new leaves and stems over time. If your plant appears stagnant or is not producing any new growth, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency, insufficient light, or other problems.
By monitoring your Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ regularly and addressing any issues promptly, you can help ensure that your plant remains healthy and continues to thrive for years to come.
Is Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ one of the succulents you need to check off of your wish list?
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