Senecio fulgens, commonly known as Orange Thistle, is a small shrub native to KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It grows to a height of 2-5ft and thrives in full sun and dry conditions. Its ornamental foliage and brilliant yellow and orange flowers make it a valued garden plant, and it also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. The best time to sow seed is in autumn or winter, and it can successfully be grown in USDA zones 9-11.
When grown in a pot in colder areas, Senecio fulgens needs to be kept in a sunny spot and watered sparingly. For best results, choose a pot with drainage holes and use a well-draining soil mix. Water only when the surface of the soil feels dry to touch, as overwatering can cause root rot and other health issues. During the winter months, it may go dormant and lose its leaves. This is normal and no additional water is needed during this time.
Fertilizing can be done in the spring, using an all-purpose fertilizer. To encourage bushier growth, prune Senecio fulgens throughout the growing season. During the dormant winter period, it can be trimmed down to the desired shape.
Senecio fulgens is a stunning addition to any garden and is surprisingly easy to care for. By following the proper care and planting guidelines, you can have a beautiful shrub that not only provides vibrant colors throughout the season but also attracts wildlife.