Blue Chalk Sticks

Scientific Name: Senecio Mandraliscae, Senecio Serpens

Common Name: Blue Chalk Sticks

Blue Chalk Sticks care is easy. Being a succulent, this plant requires minimal care and is a great plant for beginning plant parents!

To give this Senecio Mandraliscae the best care, it requires fast-draining sandy soil, dry soil before rewatering, bright light, and a temperature range from 20-85F.

Quick Care Overview

Common NameBlue Chalk Sticks, Blue Fingers
Scientific NameSenecio Serpens, Senecio Mandraliscae
FamilyAsteraceae
OriginSouth Africa
Growth RateSlow
IdentificationChalky grey-blue thin leaves
HeightUp to 18 inches tall
SoilFast draining sandy soil
WaterLet completely dry out before watering
Temperature20-85F
SunlightBright sunlight
Toxic to Cats & DogsYes
Toxic to HumansNo
PestsMealybugs
DiseasesRoot rot

Below we will dive deep into this Blue Chalk Sticks care guide.

Blue Chalk Sticks Care

Blue Chalk Sticks History

Native to South Africa, the succulent known by the name blue fingers, Blue Chalk Sticks, or Senecio Serpens, is often a favorite amongst succulent lovers. Senecio talinoides subs. Mandraliscae is thought to be a hybrid species of Blue Chalk Sticks and was found in Italy. Having powdery blue, almost alien-looking, finger-like leaves, this gorgeous succulent also produces stunning white summer flowers. This beautiful shaggy plant will bring contrast and an excellent focal point to any part of the home. This plant is considered a good choice for beginners. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Identification

This succulent has vertical chalky-looking, greyish-blue leaves that appear to almost look like fingers. Blue fingers may reach up to over a foot in length. Covered in wax and varying in color from grey, blue, to purple, this succulent makes for a gorgeous attention grabber. Blooms of this succulent are white in color. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Growth Facts

This attractive, easy-to-grow plant thrives in a container or outside landscaping, depending on the climate. Often forming dense mats within their growing area, this supple succulent is fun to grow indoors. 

How Big Does a Blue Chalk Sticks Get?

This plant may grow up to 18 inches in height and may spread up to 3 feet when given enough room to grow.

Senecio Mandraliscae Care

Blue Chalk Sticks Care

Considered an excellent plant for beginners, Blue Chalk Sticks care is easy and drought tolerant. 

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Blue Chalk Sticks Soil

This succulent will require a quick-draining, gritty growing medium, such as a commercial cactus and succulent mix. Alternatively, you may create your own growing medium by mixing perlite and coarse sand to potting soil at a 1:1 ratio. Sandy, well-draining soils will be best for Senecio Serpens. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Fertilizer

Blue Chalk Sticks will benefit from receiving a low-nitrogen, succulent plant fertilizer indicated for indoor plants. This succulent should be fertilized biannually or annually during the growing season. Ensure that you follow all label instructions and do not overfertilize. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Watering

Like many succulents, Senecio Serpens will enjoy a sufficient drying period between waterings. Blue Chalk Sticks prefer to stay on the extra dry side. When watering, the soil should be soaked entirely and then allowed to dry completely before watering again. Depending on growing conditions, watering will likely need to be done every 2-3 weeks. Being especially prone to root rot, this plant should never remain sitting in wet soil for more than two days. Ensure that your plant has suitable drainage holes in its container, has a proper growing medium, and is not allowed to sit in excess water within a drainage tray. However, very young plants in their first growing season require more water to become well established and may need to be watered up to once a week or whenever the soil has completely dried. As with many houseplants, you should avoid watering the leaves of this succulent directly. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Light Requirements

This succulent likes ample, bright sunlight and should be placed by a southern facing window with plenty of sunlight. If you cannot provide Senecio Serpens with ample sunlight indoors, you may choose to grow it under grow lights for about 16 hours daily. Lights should remain 6-12 inches above the plant. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Temperature & Humidity

Blue Chalk Sticks like to be kept in warm temperatures but may tolerate lower temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit intermittently. Be careful not to allow your succulent to be kept in cold conditions, however. This succulent will not last long when kept below freezing. Additionally, this plant will tolerate average household humidity and doesn’t mind dry air. 

Repotting Blue Chalk Sticks

This succulent loves to be placed in a breathable ceramic pot. The pot should be large enough for root growth but not so large that water will take a longer time to dry up. Senecio Serpens should be repotted in early spring in a slightly larger container after it has become rootbound. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Maintenance & Pruning

Blue Chalk Sticks may be cut back in late summer if needed. This slow-growing succulent does not require much pruning. However, if your succulent becomes too tall or leggy, it may be pinched off periodically as required. Pruning will encourage bushier branching. Use sterilized shears and remove unwanted stems from the base. Do not water immediately after pruning to prevent fungal disease. 

Growing and Caring for Blue Chalk Sticks

Blue Chalk Sticks Propagation

This succulent can easily be propagated through clumps, stem or leaf cuttings, or from seed. The most efficient way to propagate this plant is through division. As Blue Chalk Sticks grow in a clumping formation, clumps may easily be pulled away from the plant and repotted in their own container. Ensure that you do not damage the fragile roots of this succulent. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Toxicity

The Blue Chalk Sticks are not toxic to humans and not listed on the ASPCA website for toxicity of pets. Don’t consume this plant in any way.

Toxicity to Humans

This plant is not considered toxic to humans. However, this succulent should not be ingested. 

Toxicity to Cats & Dogs

Senecio Serpens is unlisted on the ASPCA database of toxic plants. However, care should be spent not to allow your pet to ingest this plant. If you suspect your cat or dog has consumed any portion of this plant and shows signs of distress, contact your veterinarian or animal poison control immediately. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Problems

Blue Chalk Sticks Leaves Turning Yellow

The most common sign of leaves turning yellow is due to overwatering or from scale. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Leaves Turning Brown

If overwatered, leaves may turn brown due to a disease called root rot. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Diseases

Like many other succulents, Senecio Serpens rarely has issues with disease. However, you should be on the lookout for any issues and treat accordingly. Root rot may occur due to overwatering. 

Blue Chalk Sticks Pests

This succulent rarely has issues with pests; however, it is not entirely immune to infestation. Be sure to be on the lookout for any pest activity. Mealybugs or scale may affect this plant and should be treated with insecticidal soap

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