How To Propagate Chalk Sticks Succulent

One of my favorite succulents for landscapes is Senecio mandraliscae, sometimes known as blue chalk sticks. The blue color of this plant is without a doubt what attracts the most attention. It can be utilized as a cover and to give the landscape more texture. To emphasize the color contrast, combine it with any orange plant.

How to Water Blue Chalk Sticks

Senecio mandraliscae doesn’t need a lot of water because it can withstand drought pretty well. Root rot and pest issues might result from using excessive water.

In most cases, watering once per week is adequate. Before watering the soil, make sure it is not moist.

Allow the substrate to completely dry between watering sessions if you’re growing it in pots. Pour water into the drain holes until it starts to run out.

Wintertime irrigation should be minimized. Water your succulent just enough to keep it from wilting.

Location and Soil

The blue chalk sticks do best in direct sunlight. They enjoy receiving direct light for six to eight hours. It can also be grown in some shade, but it won’t thrive there.

The plant may suffer harm or possibly pass away in the cold. By bringing it indoors or by mulching it, you can keep it alive during the winter months.

Senecio mandraliscae, like all succulents, needs well-drained soil that is not overly rich in organic matter.

How to Prune Blue Chalk Sticks

A blue chalk stick can reach a height of 18 to 24 inches. Your succulent can be pruned to make it appear dense. Do it in the late summer.

I’m aware that it will initially appear somewhat unsightly, but you’ll see how quickly fresh shoots will appear. Don’t throw away the stem cuttings; instead, plant them in the ground so they can take root and develop into new plants. Remove the bottom leaves from the stems you intend to propagate as necessary so they may be placed correctly in the soil or containers.

Blue Chalk Sticks Propagation

Blue chalk sticks can be multiplied by taking leaf or stem cuttings. Read on for information on how to multiply blue chalk sticks:

  • Trim a leaf or stem to a 6 inch length. The leaf or stem doesn’t typically need to be submerged in rooting hormone. But you can do it if you so choose.
  • Place the pot at a location with filtered light—not direct sun—and plant it in cactus- and succulent-friendly soil.
  • Keep the ground wet but not drenched.
  • The roots will be seen in 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Plant the mature succulent in the open air or in a bigger container.

Blue Chalk Sticks Soil

A quick-draining, grippy growing media, like a commercial cactus and succulent mix, is necessary for this succulent. As an alternative, you can make your own growing media by combining potting soil with perlite and coarse sand in a 1:1 ratio. Senecio Serpens will thrive on sandy, well-draining soils.

Blue Chalk Sticks Fertilizer

Receiving a low-nitrogen, succulent plant fertilizer formulated for indoor plants will be beneficial for Blue Chalk Sticks. During the growing season, this succulent should be fertilized every other year or every two years. Make sure to adhere to all label directions and avoid overfertilizing.

Blue Chalk Sticks Watering

Senecio Serpens, like many succulents, will benefit from a long enough drying interval in between waterings. Blue Chalk Sticks like to keep things extra-dry. When watering, make sure the soil is completely submerged and let it air dry completely before applying more water. Watering will probably need to be done every two to three weeks, depending on the growing environment. This plant should never be left in moist soil for longer than two days as it is particularly susceptible to root rot. Make sure your plant’s container has adequate drainage holes, that it has an appropriate growing media, and that it is not permitted to sit in standing water inside a drainage tray. However, very young plants in their first growing season need more water to establish themselves and may need to be watered as often as once a week or whenever the soil has fully dried out. You should refrain from watering this succulent directly from the leaves, as you should with many indoor plants.

Blue Chalk Sticks Light Requirements

This succulent prefers abundant, strong sunlight, therefore a southern-facing window with abundance of light is where it should be placed. Senecio Serpens can be grown under grow lights for about 16 hours each day if you are unable to give it enough sunlight inside. The lights must continue to be 6–12 inches above the plant.

Blue Chalk Sticks Temperature & Humidity

Blue chalk sticks prefer warm environments but can occasionally withstand temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. But be careful not to store your succulent in a frigid environment. If stored below freezing, this succulent won’t survive for very long. Additionally, this plant like dry air and can withstand typical household humidity.

Repotting Blue Chalk Sticks

This succulent adores being housed in a porous ceramic container. The container should be big enough for roots to grow but not so big that it takes longer for the water to evaporate. After becoming rootbound, Senecio Serpens needs to be replanted in the early spring in a somewhat larger container.

Blue Chalk Sticks Maintenance & Pruning

If necessary, blue chalk sticks can be pruned back in the late summer. It takes little pruning to maintain this slow-growing succulent. However, if your succulent starts to get too long or leggy, you can pinch off a bit of it here and there as needed. Pruning will promote branching that is bushier. Remove undesirable stems from the base using sterile shears. To avoid fungus, avoid watering shortly after pruning.

Quick Tips

  • The optimal conditions for blue chalk stick growth are six to eight hours each day of full, direct sunlight. They can also be grown outside in some shade.
  • Reduce watering and allow dry intervals in between waterings.
  • They don’t require a lot of fertilizer. Use diluted low-nitrogen plant food or a succulent plant food for fertilizing container plants.

Sunlight and Placement

Even while they like 6 to 8 hours every day of full, direct sunlight, you may also grow it outside in little shade. This beautiful, mat-forming groundcover spreads more readily in partial shade. If you can locate it and still have a spot with some dappled sunlight, overhead tree protection is a great place to plant or put containers outside.

Find a sunny area close to your brightest window if you’re thinking about using them indoors. They will stretch and wilt if they don’t receive enough sunshine.


Blue Chalk Sticks can withstand drought once they are established. During the growing season, they hardly ever require water. In the first spring and summer if you have a new one, we advise watering up to once a week.

Every time you water your plant, make sure the soil is absolutely dry. You can space out watering sessions to occur every three to four weeks as the plant reaches maturity. Let the soil to dry out in between waterings as a general rule.

Soil and Drainage

Like with all succulents, put them in a fast-draining, grittier mix whether you’re planting them in the ground or a pot. Clay soils can be problematic, while sandy soils are OK.

The ideal soil will be able to retain enough moisture for Blue Chalk Sticks to absorb while still drying out rapidly enough to prevent root rot. Succulents frequently take in moisture from the surrounding air. The plant will perish if the roots are left in moist soil for an extended period of time.

We advise fertilizing with low-nitrogen plant food when it comes to feeding.

Light & Temperature

Blue Senecios thrive in hot, direct sunlight. They require direct light for at least 4-6 hours. As long as they receive some sunlight near the base of a tree, they can thrive in light shade.

Place your Chalksticks in the brightest south-facing window you have if you’re keeping them indoors. If necessary, supplement with a grow light.

In terms of temperature, your Chalksticks require warmth. It can withstand temperatures as low as 20 F, but it won’t endure prolonged temps below freezing.

Water & Humidity

Use the “soak and dry” procedure with extra “dry” for Senecio serpens. Allow the soil to totally dry out between waterings. Then wait a few days before re-watering the Chalksticks in the dry soil. You will water using this method around every three or four weeks.

Water your Chalk Sticks thoroughly, up to the point where water begins to drain from the drainage hole. To prevent the pot from sitting in water, don’t forget to empty the container tray. Only water your Chalk Sticks in the winter if it appears limp.

Senecio serpens will wilt if underwatered, so if you notice this, simply water more frequently. The plant will get discolored, mushy, and start to shed leaves if it is overwatered. Don’t water it again for a few days after repotting it in dry soil.


For Blue Senecio, use soil that drains well. This plant thrives in specialized soils for cacti and succulents. By combining potting soil with perlite or sand, you can also create your own (1:1 ratio).

The leaves of the chalkstick may fall off or rot if the soil is holding onto water. Remedy this by mixing extra perlite or sand into the soil and testing the drainage.


Fertilizer is required for Blue Chalksticks at least once per year. For an added boost, more can be sprinkled during the growing season. Fertilizer is not required if your Blue Chalksticks are planted in the ground.

Use liquid fertilizer that is diluted or half-strength. As is the case with the majority of specialized fertilizers for succulents, it should have a low nitrogen content.


Repot your Senecio serpens in the early spring if it outgrows its container. Pick a container with room for development and fill it with moist, drained soil. Examine the roots of your succulent while it is out of the ground for any signs of decay or injury. Water your Blue Chalksticks frequently after replanting it until it has taken root.


Senecio serpens is a clump-forming species of plant. Division is made quick and simple in this way. Take your succulent out of the container, then gently separate the bunches. Avoid damaging the roots at all costs. Each clump should be replanted in its own container or area.

Stem and leaf cuttings are another method of propagation for Blue Chalksticks. Be sure to remove a leaf or stem from the plant during the growing season. It might not grow if there are any remaining leaf fragments on the primary stem. After coating the cuttings in rooting powder, allow them to dry for a few days.

When your cuttings are prepared, plant them upright in a damp, soil that drains well. Up until the cutting has roots, keep the soil moist.


Pruning of Senecio serpens is not necessary. However, you can prune a plant for aesthetic purposes if it is:

  • developing rather than leaving
  • becoming larger than desired
  • harmed or sluggish

Cut the undesirable stems off at the base with sterile clippers. Till it calluses over in a few days, keep the area dry. As always, keep watering the chalksticks.

How is thin leaf chalk propagated?

  • Make a cut close to the root of the plant using a sharp knife or pair of scissors.
  • To allow the cut end to callus over, leave the cutting in a warm, protected area with good air circulation for a few days.
  • Put the cutting in a container or other area with drained soil that is kept just moist enough.
  • Within a few weeks, roots ought to start to develop.

General Care for Senecio serpens “Blue Chalksticks

Use blue chalksticks as a ground cover or in container gardens. Summertime brings on little white blossoms.

They should only be watered when the earth is absolutely dry, and they should be planted in well-draining soil. They are resistant to both deer and rabbits.


Make use of a sterile, sharp knife or pair of scissors to grow Chalksticks from cuttings. Take a leaf off the main plant, let it calluse for a few days, and then place it on some soil that drains properly. When the soil is fully dry, add water.


When growing Senecio serpens from seed, make sure the environment is warmer or that a grow lamp and seed warmer are being used. Plant seeds in well-draining soil and water them as needed. Depending on the growth environment, germination may take a few weeks or longer.

How are blue finger plants multiplied?

A mounded succulent bed is located next to our front door, as you are likely aware if you’ve read my blog for any amount of time. It has performed better than we could have ever imagined and is already in its sixth year. But in order to keep a garden bed appearing tidy, regular upkeep is necessary. Looking closely at the first two images will see curious blue fingers scurrying through the plantings.

You’ve probably already identified the offender: blue chalk fingers, also known as Senecio mandraliscae (or, according to some sources, Senecio talinoides var. mandraliscae). There aren’t many, if any, blue flora!

The stems from this South African succulent that spreads produce a ground cover that finally takes the form of quite dense mats. Although it is extremely drought-tolerant, constant irrigation speeds up its growth. Senecio mandraliscae thrives in larger spaces, but it was getting a little out of control in our very little succulent garden. Thankfully, removal is quick and simple. Simply grip and pull to remove the stems; they do so easily.

Here is a comparison of the two states:

After removing two-thirds of the stems, here is a close-up of this region:

I divided the stems I had removed into two piles: The stems, which were primarily leafless, went in the yard waste, but the top portions (on the right in the following shot) were kept as cuttings for propagation.

Senecio mandraliscae is relatively simple to propagate, much like so many succulents. A cutting will start to root in a week if you just bury it in soil that drains well.

My buddy Sue used the clippings you see here for her project at Woodland High School.