Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cool colour

One of the things I love about so many plants is the way they change colours throughout the seasons. Many succulents throw on their glad rags during winter, colouring up in all sorts of ways you'd never expect while they're surviving another long summer in their basic green outfits. Right now, one of my favourite succulents is giving just a flush of winter colour, and that's because we've had a very warm, dry winter here this year, and the chills have been few and barely caused a shiver.

This is Senecio jacobensii, a trailing succulent
that puts on a pinky-purple glow in winter. This
plant was given to me by a good friend, the Herald's
gardening writer, Cheryl Maddocks, who worked
with me at Burke's Backyard for a number of years.
Cheryl is an absolute whizz with succulents. It's so nice
to have plants which remind you of friends, and the
little cutting Cheryl gave me about six years ago has
turned into a pair of very healthy plants.

A hanging basket is the ideal spot for this trailing
plant, but it will also sprawl over a low mound
(and that's what Plant Number Two is doing over
in my succulent patch right now).
If I lived up in the Blue Mountains, or in Tassie perhaps, where frosts are common in winter, the colouring of the leaves would be much more pronounced. As our winter has been mild the colouring is only mild this year, but it's still a really lovely looking thing, one of the easiest-care hanging basket plants I have grown.


Helen Johnstone said...

That is a lovely blue glow. I enjoy seeing how plants change with the seasons and consider it more and more when choosing plants

Anonymous said...

I have never seen this plant before but it looks stunning ! I love succulents !

Lanie at Edible Urban Garden said...

They look gorgeous. Cheryl Maddock's daughter was a neighbour of ours for a long time. You are much better with succulents than me Jamie. Veggies and fruit, no probs. But my succulents never really do much. I must be doing something wrong.