Red hot Kleinia fulgens

A few years ago Denise gave me some seeds of Kleinia fulgens .  I have sown the fresh seed in seed trays containing a very well-drained potting mixture such palm peat and 50% sharp sand.  I watered lightly and carefully, and then I waited …. They did come up, but I must have been too generous with the watering as they all succumbed to root rot.

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Just before the fire of 2017  my daughter moved house, and low and behold in a crevice I found one Kleinia plant, struggling but alive. I was overjoyed and  needless to say I “rescued” it.  It found a  loving and caring home and it has been thriving since.  The  cuttings I took after the first year  have all developed into strong, sturdy plants which are full in bud at the moment.  The stunning,  grey-leafed plants  with a profusion of scarlet flowers are  ideal for hot, dry spots in the garden, it does equally well in containers. The plant grows to a height of about 600 mm and has a somewhat spreading habit.  The succulent leaves, which are an attractive grey/green with purpling on the underside, give the plant year-round appeal and add a pleasing contrast when planted amongst other succulents or grasses.

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The coral senecio is a succulent  belonging to the Aster family. It  occurs in hot, dry areas of KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The genus is named after the German zoologist, Dr Klein (1685-1759). The species name, fulgens, means shining and refers to the vibrant, scarlet colour of the flowers.