The plant looks like an ivy at a distance, but the flowers are different, thus the common name ‘German Ivy’. It is a native of South America characterized by thin, flexible, twining stems covered by light green and five-point leaves.
|Scientific Name:||Senecio Mikanioides|
|Other Names:||German Ivy, Parlor Ivy, Cape Ivy|
|Growth Season:||Spring to autumn|
|Preferred Temperature:||It does best in temperatures between 21 and 27oC (70-80oC) in the daytime and 13-18oC (55-66oF). Also, it is moderately frost-hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as 1-5oC but not lower.|
|Hardiness Zone:||USDA Zone 9-11|
|Average Mature Height & Width:||It can rise to an average height of one meter and a 40 cm spread.|
|Dormancy:||It goes dormant in winter when the cold causes growth hormones to stop working.|
|Toxicity:||When ingested, every part of this plant is toxic to humans and pets.|
Senecio Mikanioides Physical Characteristics
Though referred to as a German Ivy, it differs from the true ivy in many ways. Its leaves are fleshier, characteristic of a succulent. Also, the leaves have pointy lobes, one leaf can have five to seven lobes. Due to its thin trailing stems, you can use it as a ground-cover plant. The stems run to an average of one meter, and there have been instances where they have reached three meters. The plant flowers in winter and autumn when mature plants produce clusters of yellow flowers.
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German Ivy Care
Like many other succulents, Senecio Mikanioides is drought tolerant. It has special water storage tissue on its leaves and stems thus it stores the water it receives. It only requires to be watered sparingly, not only because it doesn’t need much water but too because too much water in the soil means waterlogging, which can cause root rot. You should water it only during its growing seasons and ensure water from a previous drink is exhausted before watering next. Avoid overhead watering because exposing leaves to water predisposes them to fungal leaf rot.
The substrate on which you grow this plant significantly determines whether your watering endeavor will succeed. It should be pervious, due to its high gravel content. The pot where you grow this succulent should have drainage holes to release excess water. It is advisable to feed this plant regularly during its growing season, at least once per month, with water-soluble fertilizers that contain medium to high hydrogen levels to encourage leaf growth. Such feeding invigorates the plant.
DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>Richard Miller – Succulent City
Senecio Mikanioides Growth
This plant is ideal for growth in succulent, Mediterranean, and container plants. You propagate it cuttings or division since it has multiple stems. The division produces established plants faster than cuttings. Also, its cuttings are relatively easy to grow because the stems root at the nodes when they come into contact with the soil.
Follow the usual steps for propagating succulents using cuttings during the process. If you grow this plant in a pot, it will probably be from a hanging basket. Repotting is necessary every time it doubles in size.
It is vulnerable to mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites. They aren’t a major threat, but you must watch out to avoid infestation.
Richard | Editor-in-chief at Succulent City
Hey everyone! I’m Richard. Welcome to my blog, which is all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, I began my journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, my fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and I gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!