Planting and caring for silver leaf Senecio

Silver leaf Senecio is very popular as a structure plant because of the interesting leaf color and the low maintenance requirements. The silver leaf comes into its own particularly well when it is planted in conjunction with colorful balcony plants. Combinations of green-white-silver also look very classy and appealing. With its silvery appearance, the species, also known as white-colored scurvy, provides that special something in borders, on the balcony, in beds, on graves or in bowls and containers. As a loosening up between grasses, heather, gentian and chrysanthemums, the Senecio blends in well in autumn and loosens up the plantings. According to its origin, the silver leaf is not hardy. In climatically favorable regions, however, the bushy growing species can also be perennial. In the second year, Senecio delights with inconspicuous yellow flowers. The currently valid name for the silver leaf is Jacobaea maritima, but Senecio maritima or Senecio cineraria is mainly used. The silver leaf Senecio should not be confused with Lunaria, which is also known as moon violet, silver thaler or Judas penny.

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Interesting facts about silver leaf

Botanical name: Senecio cineraria, Senecio maritima, Jacobaea maritima
Other names: silver leaf, Senecio, white felty scurvy, silver scurvy, silver-colored scurvy, ash plant
Use: structural plant, for balcony boxes, bowls, borders, for grave planting, bedding plant, ornamental leaf plant, structural plant
Origin: Mediterranean
area Flowers: yellow, daisy; plays a minor role; only appears in the 2nd year when the plant has survived the winter
Color of leaves: silvery; Top is felty and soft
Special features:The silver-colored Senecio is mostly used as an annual structure plant. After a mild winter, it can delight with inconspicuous flowers in the 2nd year in early summer. The silver leaf Senecio is extremely decorative and grows bushy without much care. The silver leaf is available in different leaf shapes (tapered, arrow-shaped, round).

In which location does the silver leaf feel most comfortable?

The structure plant prefers a sunny and warm place in the garden or on the balcony. Senecio Silberblatt do not grow as well in a semi-shady location, but light semi-shade is possible. According to its origin, the white tomentose gerbil needs light soil. Waterlogging will not be tolerated. Planting in balcony boxes and containers is possible. Here it is important that the planting soil is never waterlogged and that the structural plant is combined with species that have similar site requirements.

Our gardening tip: planted in the garden, silver leaf is not considered hardy. Moisture and low temperatures are usually responsible for the structural plant dying. However, you can leave the plant in the garden in the fall and protect it with some foliage in the winter.

How do I plant my silverleaf in the garden?

Silverleaf can be planted as a decorative foliage plant from June to October. Make sure that the soil is loosened well and weeds are removed before planting. Heavy clay soils need to be improved with sand for drainage. With sufficient moisture and warmth, the plant grows quickly and enriches any planting with its appearance. The leafy plant is a feast for the eyes until the first frost and is very decorative with a growth height of up to 50 cm.

Plant silver leaf in 3 steps:

  1. Dig a planting hole twice the size of the root ball.
  2. Water the structure plant thoroughly before planting out.
  3. For planting, put some Kölle organic planting soil in the planting hole. Our gardening tip: Adding Kölle organic natural fertilizer when planting gives the silver leaf a good start. Avoid using mineral fertilizers.

    How do I properly care for and water my silver leaf?

    Ensure an even water supply immediately after planting. It is important that there is never waterlogging, as the roots are sensitive to it. However, the balcony box, the bed or the planter must not dry out completely. The annual plant is frugal, but due to the special leaves it is often the case that watering is forgotten and the lack of water only becomes apparent when there are signs of wilting. A cut is not necessary with Senecio, as the leafy plant naturally has a bushy and compact habit. However, you can shorten long shoots without any problems.

    How do I plant my silver leaf in a pot?

    If you would like to have Senecio as a container plant on the terrace or balcony, repotting is advisable. The original culture pot is rooted and maintenance is difficult. You should therefore repot or plant out silver leaf after purchase. Use structurally stable potting soil for planting and add a layer of expanded clay to the bottom of the pot for drainage. Make sure that you only use containers that have a water drainage hole. The foliage plant is particularly beautiful when planted with other species. Silver leaf in the bucket can be overwintered. To do this, place the vessel from the end of Octoberin a bright and frost-free place with temperatures between 8 and 10 °C. Make sure that your silver leaf only needs to be watered moderately during the winter.

    What pests and diseases can the silver leaf get?

    Silverleaf is hardy and not susceptible to pests and diseases. Problems can arise from a place that is too damp and incorrect care. Partly it comes to infestation by aphids on Senecio.


    The fresh shoots are usually attacked by aphids. The black or light green harmful insects, which can be up to 2 mm in size, sit close to the shoots. They damage the silver leaf through their sucking activity, sometimes crippling the leaves. Flush the structural plants with water at the first infestation. A treatment with organic plant treatment strengthens the plants and reduces the spread of pests. Chemical treatment is usually not necessary.

    Are you looking for more information about pests and diseases or do you have questions about a plant problem? Our plant doctors will be happy to help you – in person and online!

    FAQ — Frequently asked questions about Silverleaf

    What is suitable for the combination?

    All classic summer flowers in the field of bedding and balcony plants or autumn plants that are used for bowls and boxes such as e.g. B. heather, chrysanthemum, outdoor cyclamen, grasses or horned violet.

    The structural plants can also be combined with hardy plants or evergreen plants. In this way, a magical and autumnal balcony can be designed in no time at all.

    How is silver leaf propagated?

    Senecio is mainly propagated by seed. Obtaining head cuttings is also a way of propagating the silver leaf.

    When does the silver leaf flower?

    Silver leaves usually flower in the second year. Planted in the bed you will rarely have flowering specimens. Yellow daisy flowers only appear on the ornamental foliage plants after frost-free wintering.

    Are Silverleaf plants poisonous?

    All parts of the plant contain alkaloids, which are toxic and can cause skin irritation.

    Are there different types of silver leaf?

    In addition to the classic species with leaves that are 8 to 10 cm long, there is Senecio cineraria ‘Angel Wings ‘. This peculiarity grows in a rosette, has large ovate, hairy leaves with a wavy edge and reaches a size of 30 to 50 cm and a width of 30 to 40 cm. The location and care requirements of Senecio cineraria ‘Angel Wings’ are identical to those of the small-leaved species.

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