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Senecio radicans: All you need to know about String of Bananas plant

The Senecio radicans (string of bananas) plant is a succulent. It is a member of the Asteraceae family and the Senecio genus. 

Senecio radicans
Altman Plants

This succulent plant is known for its fast growth rate and unique foliage.  They feature green foliage that takes the shape of tiny bananas. These leaves grow on long, slender tendrils that can be compared to strings.

Senecio radicans plant is native to tropical South African regions. They can be grown as indoor vining plants in hanging baskets. Or outdoors in warm succulent gardens.

Botanical NameSenecio radicans 
Common NamesString of Bananas
OriginSouth Africa
Plant TypePerennial vine plant
Full SizeRanges from 34 inches to 37 inches long
Sun ExposureBright direct sunlight to partial shade
Soil TypeSucculent soil, well-draining
ToxicityToxic to people and pets 

Senecio Radicans Care

String of bananas (Senecio radicans) are often regarded as low-maintenance. They have simple light, water, and temperature requirements. Meeting these needs would guarantee a healthy plant. 

Senecio Radicans Light Requirement  

The best light condition for these vining plants in direct sunlight. They would need at least 6 hours of it every day to stay healthy. 

They can also grow under filtered sunlight. Although, you must make sure it is bright and sufficient. If they get too little light, they start to look leggy. 

You can keep them in a room near a south or east-facing window. There, they get access to as much sunlight needed for their growth. 

Scorched leaves aren’t common with the string of banana foliage. But after it has had its dose of direct sunlight, provide little shade. 

Using a light curtain to filter the sunlight intensity could work. Or you can move the plant a little further from the window.

Watering Requirement for the Senecio Radicans

Watering Requirement for the Senecio Radicans
Click & Plant

Frequent watering would not be needed for this succulent. This is because they tolerate  drought with low watering needs. However, they do require moist soil to grow well

The goal of watering is to allow the soil to dry out a little before watering.  This can be achieved with a moisture meter. Use it to check the soil moisture level before watering it.

You can also try feeling the topmost part of the soil with your fingers.  Ensure it is a little dry before watering. 

Overwatering can cause rot on the plant’s roots. This is due to the build up of fungi from the excess moisture. 

Use tepid dechlorinated water for watering. Cold Tap water has harmful chemicals which are bad for the Senecio radicans.

Senecio Radicans Soil Requirements  

Always use a well-draining soil mix for the exotic plant. Ensure the pot has enough holes at the base for water to pass with ease.

Using a succulent soil mix like the cactus mix is always the best choice. But you can make yours using some perlite, sand or pumice, and regular potting soil. Try adding some compost to make it a little rich.

Try to keep the soil between acidic and neutral. A suitable pH range should be between 6.6 and 7.5.  

Temperature and Humidity Requirements for String of Bananas plant

While growing Senecio radicans indoors. You would need moderate levels of humidity and temperature.

A humidity level of 30% to 40% is okay. Try not to mist them often as this might lead to the build up of fungi. 

For temperature, keep it between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Try keeping them away from vents or Air conditions.

During the winter, ensure they stay snuggled indoors. This would mean keeping them away from cold windows. 

Senecio Radicans Fertilizer Requirements 

Aside from the little compost added to the mix. They don’t need frequent fertilizing to grow well. If you must use fertilizers, then use them in small quantities.

A liquid or organic-based fertilizer would be ideal. But ensure it has been diluted to more than half of its initial strength.

Do this during the growing seasons when the plant is most active. Avoid using fertilizers in the winter seasons. 

Senecio Radicans Propagation 

Senecio Radicans Propagation 
Fat And Prickly

You can propagate a String of bananas plant through stem cuttings. Be sure to sterilize the tools before using them. Also, be careful so you don’t damage the plant.

Pruning Senecio Radicans 

 As a fast-growing vine plant, pruning is needed. This would help control its growth indoors and promote a fresh look. 

Trim all dead leaves at the base of the buds. Ensure you sterilize the scissors or snips before use and do it with caution.

Common Health Problems of Senecio Radicans 

  • Spider mites
  • Root rot 
  • Scale
  • Mealy bugs
  • Aphids
  • Brown leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Senecio radicans form a caudex?

No, the roots of the String of banana plant do not form caudex.

Are Senecio radicans poisonous to cats?

Yes, they can be harmful to pets and people when eaten. So be careful when growing them at home. 

Can my String of Bananas grow upwards?

You can train them to grow upwards. For this, you would need a stake or moss pole.

Does Senecio radicans flower?

They do produce tiny flowers which bloom in spring. These flowers vary from white to yellow.

How do I treat infested Senecio radicans?

Depending on what’s causing the infestation, use neem oil.