Senecio Vitalis (Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks): How To Care and Grow Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks The Right Way

If your lawn and garden need something dainty, lovely to look at, and easy to grow, look no further than Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks. This succulent will fill your yard with green and luscious stems in no time at all.

How to Identify Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks

This succulent can be a little tricky to identify simply because it looks so similar to Senecio Serpen’s‘ Blue Chalksticks’. The best way to identify a Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks is to compare and contrast its key features against the key features of Blue Chalksticks. With this information tucked away, there shouldn’t be any problems determining which is which. Let’s look at those features now.

Key Similarities Between Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks and Blue Chalksticks

  • Both plants produce white blossoms
  • Both plants prefer full sun
  • Both plants are not cold tolerant
  • Both plants are drought tolerant
  • Both plants can be propagated by cuttings and seeds
  • Both plants are gray-green in color
  • Both plants have slender finger-like stalks
  • Both plants are succulents that require the same type of care and resources that are typical of succulents (plenty of sunlight, warm climate, well-draining soil)
  • Both plants can be used for ground cover
  • Both plants are dormant in the summer
  • Both plants are procumbent

Key Differences Between Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks and Blue Chalksticks

  • Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks grows up to 2 feet tall and 5 feet wide; whereas, Blue Chalksticks grows up to 36 inches tall and 36 inches wide
  • Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks remain a gray-green color; whereas, Blue Chalksticks are capable of turning purple when exposed to healthy stressors

Where Does Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Grow

Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks

This succulent is a native of the arid regions in the eastern parts of South Africa.

Uses of Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks

This plant is ideal to use as ground cover in a lawn or garden, but it must be noted that it spreads very easily and can take over outdoor spaces in no time at all. It can also be planted in decorative pots when kept in warm, sunny places.

How to Grow Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks from Seed

Keep in mind that if you grow Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks from seeds, it is a slow and difficult process.  This is why it is best to use cuttings to propagate a new plant.  If, however, you want to have some fun playing in the dirt, follow these simple steps to propagate a plant from seeds.

  • Choose a pot that will drain water well
  • Choose potting soil that will drain water well
  • Fill the pot with potting soil
  • Place the seeds in the potting soil and cover
  • Moisten the potting soil without getting it soggy
  • Place the pot in a warm, sunny area
  • Keep the air temperature warm and the soil moist, but not soggy

Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Growing Conditions

As is the case with most succulents, Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks require a warm climate with plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil.

When to Plant Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks

Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks can be planted from early spring to summer.

How to Plant Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks

These succulents are very easy to plant when you use stem cuttings.  The steps for doing this are:

  • Wear a pair of gloves so you don’t take any chances of getting sap on your hands
  • Cut off a stem from the main plant with a sharp, sterile cutting utensil
  • Let the stem dry and callous for a few weeks
  • Fill a container with succulent potting mix
  • Place the offset into a hole in the potting mix
  • Check that the plant is stable in its new environment
  • Give the new plant a drink
  • Set it in a warm sunny place

Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Water Requirements

Narrow Leaf

The water requirements of Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks are typical of most succulents.  Since this plant is susceptible to root rot, it is best to use the soak and dry method when watering it.  The steps for doing this are as follows:

  • Fill a tray or a sink with a few inches of water.
  • Set the plant container in the tray making sure that the water is not so deep that it will run over the top of the container.  The point of watering in this way is so that the roots will soak up the water and the leaves will not get wet.
  • Let the plant soak in the water for fifteen minutes.  This will allow the root system to soak up water from the bottom of the container.
  • Take the plant container out of the water.
  • Place the plant container in a spot where the excess water can drain from the hole in the bottom.
  • Repeat this only when the soil around the plant is dry.

Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Sun Requirements

This plant will need at least six hours of sunlight each day. It prefers full sun once it is well-established. Since it doesn’t handle cold weather very well, it is not recommended that they be planted in the ground unless it is within USDA Hardiness Zones 10 – 11.

This plant ought to be kept outside as much as possible when it is warm and sunny, but then, brought indoors during cold and rainy seasons.

Best Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Fertilizer

This plant does not need a lot of fertilizing; in fact, too much fertilizer will cause it to grow in an unhealthy manner and it will look leggy. It can, however, be fertilized once a year if it is a light dosage.

Best Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Companion Plantings

Since this plant is not really designed to be the star of the show, but a backdrop or filler plant, it is a good idea to find a companion plant that will allow it to play its role well. Try one of these plants alongside your Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks so that you get the best out of your natural décor.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant

 

This plant can stand its ground against another wild and free-growing succulent such as Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks. Also, Snake Plant is incredibly hassle-free; in fact, they almost seem to do better the more you neglect them.

What Makes Snake Plant an Ideal Companion?

  1. Its Similarities to Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks
  • Both plants only need light fertilizing once a year (try using Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, & Aloe Fertilizer on both of these succulents; it is a no mix, no mess option)
  • Both plants prefer plenty of heat and sunlight
  • Both plants prefer soil that is well-draining
  • Both plants can suffer from root rot if overwatered
  • Both plants are drought-tolerant
  • Both plants are easy to propagate

2. Its Differences from Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks

  • Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks produce flowers; whereas, Snake Plant does not
  • Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks does not grow indoors well; whereas, Snake Plant can thrive indoors

Pros for Snake Plant:

  • It is a very hassle-free plant to own and to care for
  • It can be neglected and still thrive
  • It can help purify the air inside a building

Cons for Snake Plant:

  • It is toxic
  • It can grow up to 12 feet in height

Little Jewel

Little Jewel

This is a cute little succulent that has soft spiky leaves that grow in the shape of a rosette. It lives up to its nickname, Little Jewel when it is placed in full sun and its tips turn bright maroon. This is just another great option to include in a succulent garden.

What Makes Little Jewel an Ideal Companion?

  1. Its Similarities to Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks
  • Both plants prefer plenty of heat and sunlight
  • Both plants prefer soil that is well-draining
  • Both plants can suffer from root rot if overwatered
  • Both plants are drought-tolerant
  • Both plants are easy to propagate
  • Both plants produce blossoms
  • Both plants do not tolerate cold weather
  • Both plants are dormant in the summer
  • Both plants do not grow indoors very well

2. Its Differences from Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks

  • Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks are toxic; whereas, Little Jewel is not
  • Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks grows very large; whereas Little Jewel can only grow up to 6 inches tall and 6 inches wide

Pros for Little Jewel:

  • It is a very hassle-free plant to own and to care for
  • It has dainty and pretty features
  • It can turn colors when exposed to full sun
  • It is easy to propagate
  • It is generally not toxic
  • It is easy to propagate

Cons for Little Jewel:

  • It does not grow indoors well
  • It can be overwatered very easily

Topsy Turvy

Topsy Turvy

 

 

If you’re looking for a monochrome companion for your Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks, this gray-green succulent is perfect.  It also grows in a rosette but with long, curly leaves that seem to twirl next to each other.  It is a fast-growing option that also produces orange and yellow flowers during the months of Autumn.

What Makes Topsy Turvy an Ideal Companion?

  1. Its Similarities to Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks
  • Both plants are not cold tolerant
  • Both plants are drought tolerant
  • Both plants are easy to propagate
  • Both plants do not grow well indoors
  • Both plants can suffer from overwatering

2. Its Differences from Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks

  • Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks are toxic; whereas, Topsy Turvy is not
  • Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks grows very large; whereas Topsy Turvy can only grow up to 6 inches tall and 8 inches wide
  • Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks is summer dormant; whereas Topsy Turvy is winter dormant

Pros for Topsy Turvy:

Water requirements are typical of succulents

  • It is a very tiny plant that only grows up to 6 inches tall and 8 inches wide
  • It is easy to propagate by offsets
  • It is not toxic to humans and animals
  • It grows well in difficult soil
  • It is deer resistant
  • It produces vibrantly colored flowers

Cons for Topsy Turvy:

  • It is very susceptible to overwatering
  • It does not grow well indoors
  • It is not cold hardy (grows outside in USDA hardiness zone 9a)

Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Diseases and Common Problems

Chalksticks

Root rot caused by overwatering is the main problem this type of succulent faces. If you begin to notice brown spots, mushy areas, or that stems are beginning to turn yellow and translucent, you may have root rot settling in. If you want the plant to have any chance of survival, you will need to treat it quickly.

Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Treatments and Maintenance

Dealing with root rot is a very difficult process that doesn’t guarantee success, so it is always best to prevent it from even occurring.  To prevent root rot, take the time to learn how to properly water a succulent. But, if it has already begun, follow these steps to help the plant survive:

Allow the plant to dry out

This technique can be done if the root rot has not spread to the stems.  What it entails is taking the plant out of the soil and letting them layout for a few days so the excess water will evaporate.  Once this has been done, they should be replanted in fresh, clean, and dry soil.

Remove any of the rotten parts of the plant

Trim off any areas of the plant that are rotting, then allow the plant to callous for a few days.  Without letting it callous, the chances of the succulent surviving are very slim.

Add some sulfur

This technique should be done after the plant has been trimmed of all its rotted areas and allowed to callous.  It will require that you dust a little sulfur on its root system to help prevent the spread of microbes.

Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Repotting Instructions

The process for repotting one of these plants is simple.  Here are the steps:

  • Find a container for the plant
  • Find some well-draining succulent potting soil
  • Wear a pair of gloves so you don’t take any chances of getting sap onto your hands
  • Fill a container with succulent potting mix
  • Place the plant into a hole in the potting mix
  • Give it a drink
  • Set it in an area where it can get indirect sunlight

Where to Buy Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Seeds Online

While this succulent can be propagated via seeds, it is more popular to grow it from cuttings. So, because of this, it is a little difficult to procure seeds online. However, these shops are known for selling a wide variety of rare seeds.

Where to Buy Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Plants Online

This type of plant is readily available at many online shops. This is a great way to get the plant you want at a cost-effective price and have it sent directly to your home.

FAQs

Question: Does Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks Produce Blossoms?

Answer: Yes, this plant can produce small white flowers in the springtime.

Question: What Are the Symptoms of Poisoning by Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks?

Answer: Since this plant can be toxic to the touch, it is always recommended that gloves be worn when handling one. The sap will be mildly irritating but should not create an intense level of discomfort.

If ingested, the toxins in this plant may cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and/or vomiting. If you notice these symptoms in a pet or a child, contact your veterinarian or doctor right away.

Question: Can Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks be Pruned?

Answer: Yes, this plant can be pruned. Pruning will keep the plant looking and growing in a healthy manner. Wintertime is the best time to do pruning work on Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks.

Final Thoughts

A plant such as Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks is an excellent addition to any lawn or garden, whether it is kept in-ground or in planters. If you need something that is easy to grow and will fill a lot of space, this plant was made just for you.

Research Citations

Gardenia

About Succulents

Succulents and Sunshine

Plant Care Today

Joy Us Garden

World of Succulents

Pennington

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *