Senecio rowleyanus groundcover


This is an idea lite on during one of my daydreams. Do not ask how it happened but it came to me one time and the next visit to my mother I took some pearls from her plant. I told her about the plan but she didn’t think it was a Good Idea. Come on Mom, you are 94 years old, image the new and the unexpected.

I took the little strings home and nursed them in a pot before I had enough to put on the bare slope in the yard.

As you may know Senecio rowleyanus is a tender plant and shade is best and it was going to be planted underneath the guava tree. Dappled shade all summer long and some full sun in the winter months when there is no harm. I have been tending the spot for more than two years and the falling green pearls are doing fine.

The spot filled in fast and despite too much sun at its high point it is going to stay.


Plant Yours in a Sheltered Spot

Here is the planting on the slope. It gets shelter from rain due to a gazebo over hang. I think a hard rain might tear up the soil. It also has shade on the east side from the guava tree.  It is the perfect environment.

To the left was kiwi aeonium which became to leggy from not enough sun and I am going to fill the area with more pearls. Even in December their are the white flowers.

closeup of string of pearls as ground cover

Closeup String of Pearls As Ground Cover


The soil is clay with compost added as the top layer. The soils wash away because of the grade of the slope. Adding new soil during the year keeps the small gullies filled.  It gets water once a week during the months of no rain in the summer and fall. As the patch expands I can have plenty for making weird hair style plant sculptures or other creations. Click to see bigger versions of these thumbnails below.


Think About the Pockets of Environment in Your Yard

As you get to know your landscape you will notice that even if you are in Zone 9 there are areas you can consider as a Zone into itself. This spot was created because of the backyard kitchen’s overhang. Other parts of the backyard would not nurture this planting.

Notice the Crinkle Leaf Plant to the right of the string pearls. Several years ago it was planted in an area getting full summer sun.  I was observant enough to see it was getting stressed. I moved all fifty plants to this shadier area and they have thrived since. The patch has grown and produced many extra plants for new creations. The genus name is Adromischus cristatus.

Many succulents will not grow well in the shade but the Crinkle Leaf and String Pearls will work in these pockets. The kiwi aeonium on the left had to be removed because of the lack of sun. Your own garden will evolve with the proper attention and tending to.