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Senecio ‘Angel Wings’

If there’s one plant that seems to have gone off like a rocket in 2018 it’s Senecio ‘Angel Wings’. We first saw it at the International trade show in Essen, Germany, back in January (see photo below) and since then it seems to have caught on everywhere. It has already won multiple awards and looks set to continue.

With its huge, silky, silvery-white leaves, it’s certainly eye-catching and it will act as either a centrepiece or a filler, depending how you use it. As a staple for the floral artist, it is going to be unrivalled as the leaves are so much larger than previous favourites like Stachys lanata (lamb’s ear).

So how do you look after it? The first thing to note is that in places like the Falkland Islands, it grows like a weed, but only around the coasts where the temperatures remain slightly higher and there is less chance of frost. It will tolerate full sun and partial shade, drought and temperatures down to around -5C, but it won’t survive waterlogging or excessive winter wet.

It is a clump-forming perennial plant and although it remains about 40cm high, it can spread slowly to form a large clump. You can grow it on the patio in a container, either alone or in combination with other plants, or in a well-drained, sheltered border. It is ideal for coastal and sensory gardens, where the tactile, downy leaves are perfect for stroking. It can also be used as an indoor plant, especially in a cooler area like a porch or unheated conservatory.

Strictly between us, it roots easily from tip cuttings too, so you can increase your plants quite quickly once they are established.

Look out for this stunning plant at your local garden centre.

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