Do you love growing and caring for succulents and the Cocoon Plant is missing from your collection? Read on to learn more about this fascinating succulent!
Senecio haworthii, commonly known as the Cocoon Plant or Wooly Senecio, is a unique-looking and lovely succulent. It has frosty gray leaves that make it a perfect addition to any succulent arrangement or collection of plants you may already have in your home.
While it is not as commonly found as other popular succulents and cacti, Senecio Haworthii is a favorite for many succulent growers, and for a good reason. Cocoon succulents are very forgiving plants, resistant to drought, and easy to care for.
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About Cocoon Plant
- Part of the Asteraceae family and Senecio genus, Senecio Haworthii is native to South Africa and can typically be found at elevations of around 900 m to 1200 m.
- Senecio haworthii has a long history in cultivation. It was first mentioned and described in 1803 by Adrian Hardy Haworth in his work called Miscellanea Naturalia.
- The succulent was originally called Cacalia Tomentosa. Now, it is known by many names, including Ashweed, Cocoon Plant, and Woolly Senecio.
- Thanks to its unique appearance, Senecio Haworthii is a very suitable succulent for arrangements and can be a great ornamental plant in both indoor and outdoor environments.
- It can be planted next to its relative Blue Senecio for an attractive contrasting combination. Cocoon Plant also pairs well with Senecio Barbertonicus “Himalaya.”
- Since it is resistant to drought and has pretty basic growing requirements, this succulent is perfect for a beginner plant grower.
- Like most succulents, Senecio Haworthii loves sunny spots. It requires full sun to thrive and bloom.
- While the Cocoon Plant needs a lot of sunlight, it doesn’t like the scorching sun. We recommend placing your succulent in a sunny spot of your home or garden where it will get a few hours of full sunlight every day but partial shade in the afternoon.
- This Senecio succulent thrives in warm conditions, and it is not cold hardy. It prefers warm temperatures, and the minimum temperature it can survive to is 30 ° F (-1.1 ° C). If you live in a climate colder than that, it’s best to keep your Cocoon Plant indoors or bring it inside during the cold months.
- Like most succulents, Senecio Cocoon Plant is very sensitive to overwatering. In fact, it’s better to water it less than to water it too much. This succulent doesn’t like wet feet and it is prone to root rot.
- Like most succulents, Senecio Haworthii is very sensitive to overwatering. It also requires well-draining soil that allows excess water to pass through it. We recommend using a sandy or light potting mix that ensures good drainage.
- Senecio haworthii has few pests but is particularly vulnerable to mealybugs and scale pests. To get rid of these infestations, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe off the insects.
- Cocoon Plant is toxic to humans and animals. Whether you grow your succulent indoors or outdoors, make sure you place it somewhere out of your kids’ or pets’ reach.
Cocoon Plant Features: An Overview
- Senecio haworthii is a small shrub-like succulent plant. When mature, it can reach up to 12 inches (30.5) tall and up to 24 inches (61 cm) wide.
- The slight grey to green fleshy leaves of the Cocoon Plant has given this succulent its name. If you take a close look at this plant, you’ll notice that it kinda resembles moth cocoons.
- The leaves of Senecio Haworthii succulents grow from woody stems and form little shrubs. They feature white looking hairs that give this plant a unique aspect.
- Through winter and summer, Cocoon Plant produces multiple bright yellow flowers.
- The flowers produced by Senecio Haworthii grow in clusters at the end of slender, unbranched stems that can reach up to 3-4 inches (7-10 cm).
Growing Cocoon Plant
While it can be difficult to find this succulent on the market, growing it is, in fact, really easy. This unique-looking succulent is very forgiving, drought-tolerant, and has pretty much the same basic growing requirements as most other succulent species. So, whether you are an experienced succulent grower or a novice, caring for a Cocoon Plant shouldn’t give you a hard time.
First, you need to pay attention to this succulent’s lighting requirements. As mentioned above, Senecio Haworthii loves sunny spots where it receives full sun. If required, however, it can also adapt to partial light.
We recommend placing your Senecio Hworthii in a spot of your home or garden where it will get at least 4-6 hours of bright light a day but partial shade in the afternoon. It’s best to keep it away from direct sunlight in the afternoon. That’s because, like most succulents, Cocoon Plant is prone to sunburn. If it’s not possible to provide your succulent with enough sunlight, we recommend adding an artificial light for this plant.
When it comes to fertilizing a Cocoon Plant, you should do it annually, but lightly. Why? Because while the succulent may benefit from the extra nutrition found in fertilizer, too much of it can cause a lot of leggy growth.
Cocoon Plant also requires pruning to keep its upright posture. The weight of new stems and leaves can make it floppy, so it’s best to remove them from the main stem.
Planting Senecio Haworthii
Planting a Cocoon Plant is as easy as it is to care for it. The only important thing during this process is to take its basic needs into consideration. By doing so, your Senecio Haworthii will thrive in your garden or home. You should keep in mind the succulent’s need for a lot of sunlight, its preference for warm temperatures, and its need for soil that provides good drainage.
First, as mentioned above, Senecio Haworthii needs a lot of direct sunlight a day to thrive. When deciding where to plant your succulent, look for a sunny spot where it will get a few hours of sunlight but also partial shade in the afternoon.
Next, remember that overwatering is Senecio Haworthii’s biggest threat. Therefore, it needs well-draining soil to make sure that excess water won’t sit there and make its root rot. Like most succulents, Senecio Haworthii hates wet feet and is susceptible to root rot if you provide it with too much water. So, to protect it from overwatering, use soil that provides good drainage. We recommend using a fast-draining potting soil mix, which you should combine with sand or pebbles to improve water drainage.
Besides that, it is important to consider your Cocoon Plant’s need for warm temperatures. This succulent is not cold hardy, so you must protect it from cold weather or temperatures lower than 30 ° F (-1.1 ° C). For this reason, if you live in a climate where temperatures drop really low during the cold season, it’s best to plant your Senecio Haworthii in a container that you can bring indoors during the winter months.
Watering Cocoon Plant
One of the most common causes of death of the Cocoon Plant is overwatering. Like it is for most succulents, overwatering leads to root rot, meaning that your Cocoon Plant will die.
This succulent is drought tolerant, meaning that it can go long periods of time without being watered. That being said, underwatering is definitely more preferable to overwatering.
How do you make sure you are not overwatering your Senecio Haworthii to death? We recommend using the “soak and dry” watering method. More precisely, you should allow the top few inches of the soil to dry out completely before watering your Cocoon Plant again.
Another way to determine if your succulent needs to be watered is to squeeze a leaf gently. If it is firm, it means that it is holding adequate water, and you should not pour any more water into the plant.
If, by mistake, you pour too much water into your Cocoon Plant’s container, do not let the plant sit in it. Leave it there for a few minutes until the succulent gets as much water as it needs, and then pour off any excess water.
Propagating Cocoon Plant
Want more Cocoon Plants in your home or garden? Don’t worry! It’s really easy to propagate your mature Senecio haworthii. Cocoon Plant propagates via leaves and cuttings.
Propagate your Cocoon Plant using leaves is really easy! Like with any other succulent, allow the leaf to callous over for a few days before planting it in well-draining soil.
Propagating your mature Cocoon Plant from cuttings involves a pretty similar process. Use a sterile and sharp knife to remove the stem. After a few days, after the cutting has healed, plant it in well-draining soil and care for it just like you care for the main plant.
Cocoon Plant is definitely a must-have plant in any grower’s succulent collection. While it may be a bit more challenging to find this succulent, it is an amazing addition to your home or garden.
Growing and caring for Cocoon Plant is incredibly easy. The only thing you really need to pay attention to is adequate watering. Other than that, whether you are an experienced or a novice grower, you shouldn’t find caring for Senecio Haworthii difficult.
Are you a fan of Senecio succulents? Let us know what your favorites are in the comments below!