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Botanical name: Senecio radicans
Synonmy: Curio radicans
Common names: String of Bananas Plant, String of Fishhooks Plant, Fishhooks Senecio
Senecio radicans commonly called String of Bananas Plant, String of Fishhooks Plant or Fishhooks Senecio is a unique plant which bears pendant thread-like stems on which are tiny leaves shaped like small green bananas.
The odd shaped leaves in String of Bananas Plant is an adaptation to arid conditions and allows for the storage of water while exposing minimum surface area to the dry desert air which greatly reduces water loss.
String of Bananas Plant fleshy leaves and stems store water, which allows the plant to go for a considerably long period without being watered.
String of Fishhooks Plant leaves bear a translucent window that runs the length of the leaf which allows light to reach into interior of the leaf where photosynthesis takes place.
Fishhooks Senecio in its natural habitat, grows as a trailer, with stems trailing on the ground, rooting where they touch and forming dense mats.
This growth habit makes the String of Bananas Plant perfect for a hanging basket, a pedestal or a top a table or shelf where the stems can beautifully cascade downwards.
String of Bananas Plant is closely related to Senecio hallianus (String of Beans or Chain of Blue Beans), whose foliage is blue-green.
Senecio radicans also called Curio radicans is a creeping, perennial, succulent vine native to the drier parts of Southwest Africa where it is found growing in the shaded conditions under other plants and rocks.
String of Bananas Plants are readily available online at Etsy. Buy String of Bananas Plants (Senecio radicans) online from Etsy.
Photo Credit: Pinterest
String of Bananas Plant (Senecio radicans) thrives in bright light with some direct sunlight, average warmth and moderately moist, rich, well drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Curio radicans requires pruning to keep the plant neat, to reduce pest and disease infestations and rejuvenate growth. Repotting is only needed when the plant has become root-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
String of Bananas Plant grows best in bright light with at least 6 hours of morning or late afternoon sunlight per day.
Inadequate light for String of Fishhooks Plant will result in a leggy plant and the banana-like leaves will be sparsely spaced.
String of Fishhooks Plant can also grow under a grow light where natural light is not sufficient.
Water String of Bananas Plant liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moderately moist.
Cut down on watering during the cold period to maintain the soil barely moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely as it can lead to wilting and leaf drop.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole inorder to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead in rotting and eventual death of the plant.
Average warmth between 20-270C during the growing season is ideal for String of Bananas Plant. A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for this plant.
Keep the Fishhooks Senecio away from draughts as it does not like sudden changes in the temperature.
String of Bananas Plant has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for the plant. Ensure that there is good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases infestation.
Feed Senecio radicans monthly during the growing season with a Cactus and Succulents Fertilizer. This plant is not a heavy feeder so be careful when feeding.
Withhold fertilizer during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.
String of Bananas Plant has a small root system so frequent repotting is not necessary. Repot it at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes crowded in its current pot.
Use a pot that is only 1 size larger than the current one and one that has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.
Use a shallow pot and be careful not to bury the stems of the String of Fishhooks Plant to prevent rotting.
The best soil for String of Bananas Plant should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.
Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal as they drain easily. Purchase quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for String of Bananas Plant online from Etsy.
Pruning Curio radicans involves removal of any dead leaves and stems to keep the plant neat and also discourage pest and disease infestations. Trim the stems if they become too long or straggly to rejuvenate growth.
String of Bananas Plant (Senecio radicans) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings.
Take 3-5 in. stem cuttings from a healthy String of Bananas Plant and allow the cuttings to dry (callus) for about 7 days.
Lay the stems on moist free-draining soil and lightly press the stems into the soil at the nodes.
Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until the stems are rooted.
Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new Curio radicans after which routine care can begin.
Photo Credit: ebay
String of Bananas Plant (Senecio radicans) problems indoors include leaf drop, leggy growth, leaf spots, rotting, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.
There are two possible causes on sudden leaf drop in String of Bananas Plant. One possible cause is watering with very cold water.
Being a tropical plant where temperatures are warm, watering with too cold water will shock the plant.
Use water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant.
The second possible cause of sudden leaf drop in String of Bananas Plant is underwatering.
Water the Fishhooks Senecio moderately and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.
Rotting plant base and stems collapse in String of Bananas Plant is an indication of basal stem rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.
Use the upper healthy stems to propagate new plants and discard the infected parts to reduce spread to the rest of the plant.
Thereafter, water the Fishhooks Senecio liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of the soil to dry out between waterings.
Significantly reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time.
Brown dry spots in String of Bananas Plant are due to underwatering resulting in too little moisture in the soil.
Water the Fishhooks Senecio moderately during the hot season while while allowing the top 2-3 in. of the soil to dry out between waterings.
Significantly lessen watering during the cold period to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is reduced at this time.
Leggy growth (elongated stems) in String of Bananas plant during the cold season is due to too much water (overwatering) or soggy soil.
Cut down on watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.
If leggy growth (elongated stems) in String of Bananas Plant happens during the growing season, then the cause is too little light as it grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight of at least 4-6 hours.
Too little light will cause the Fishhooks Senecio to grow weak, elongated stems in an attempt to reach the light source.
Move the plant to a brighter spot and ensure it receives bright light with some direct sunlight of at least 4-6 hours or instal a grow light if the natural light is inadequate.
Also, regularly turn the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.
Wilted and discolored leaves in String of Bananas Plant are caused by overwatering during the cold period. Reduce watering during the cold season and maintain the soil barely moist.
Brown, soft leaf spots in String of Bananas Plant are an indication of leaf spot disease. Avoid wetting the leaves and improve air circulation to prevent disease infestations. Read more on how to treat leaf spot disease in houseplants.
Besides leaf spot disease, String of Bananas Plant is also prone to powdery mildew. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the diseases.
The common pests in String of Bananas Plant are Spider Mites, Scale Insects and Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.
String of Bananas Plant (Senecio radicans) like other Senecio species is toxic to humans and pets as outlined by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
If ingested, it can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.
Contact with the plant sap may cause skin irritation or skin rash in sensitive skin therefore, always wear gloves when handling the Plant.
Keep the String of Fishhooks Plant away from the reach of children and pets to avoid mishaps.