Woolly Senecio (Senecio haworthii)

Cacti and succulents are becoming increasingly popular for their lowmaintenance care requirements, which make them perfect for bringing life to your terrarium.

If you‘re looking for a unique addition to your green sanctuary, then you should consider the Woolly Senecio, also known as Senecio haworthii.

This unusual and exotic succulent is native to Southern Africa, yet it‘s surprisingly hardy and can easily thrive in a variety of terrarium environments with proper care and maintenance.

Read on to learn more about the Woolly Senecio and how you can use it to create a beautiful terrarium of your very own!

Quick Stats:
Scientific Name Senecio haworthii
Common Name Wooly Senecio, White Moss, Woolly Senecio, Cocoon plant
Family Name Asteraceae
Habitat Hot deserts of South Africa
Temperature 60°F to 80°F
Height 2 to 6 inches
pH 6.0 to 8.0
Lighting Low to medium

What is Woolly Senecio?

Senecio haworthii is a unique succulent species with a unique texture. From afar, it appears to be like a woolly mossy.

Its tiny white/silver leaves are arranged in a scattering pattern to create a “furry” looking texture.

This type of succulent is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a plant that stands out. Its uniqueness adds character to any enclosure.

Senecio haworthii "Wooly Senecio" Care Guide | Terrarium Succulents

Woolly Senecio Facts

Woolly Senecio is a plant genus found in the deserts of South Africa.

This succulent is sometimes referred to as white moss due to its fuzzy, white wool-like foliage.

While its most common use is as a vivarium accent plant, it can also be used as a ground cover or rock garden specimen.


Senecio haworthii, more commonly known as woolly senecio, grows in a mound of delicate leaves that form a lush and soft texture.

This typical succulent is small in size, with a sparse growth pattern that reaches no more than 6 inches in height.

It has small, white/silver leaves that curl away from each other giving it its unique woolly texture. 


woolly senecio is native to the rocky dry deserts of South Africa.

It is a common, and hearty succulent found in arid climates and prefers a moderate soil environment.

It doesn’t typically require much maintenance.

pH Preference

Woolly senecio enjoys a pH range between slightly acidic and alkaline conditions.

6.0 to 8.0 neutral pH levels seem to work best with these plants and as long as the water has not been treated with harsh chemicals such as chloramine or chlorine, it should be safe for the plant.

Vivarium Type

The Woolly senecio is quite an easy-going species.

With that in mind, it will not be too complicated when it comes to choosing the type of enclosure it is grown in.

It is best to try and replicate the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible.

Doing so will make it easier to provide this succulent plant with its basic needs.

The proper setup and theme of the enclosure will make a big difference to the overall look and health of the plant.

Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

    • Terrariums – Fully terrain-based enclosures with little to no aquatic features.

Vivarium Placement

Whether you choose to plant this plant into a substrate, or on the surface of a rock setup, it is best to place woolly senecio in the center or foreground of any terrarium.

Because this plant is a succulent, too much exposure to humidity or water can lead to rotting and mold.

If using this plant as a foreground accent, more moderate moisture and watering routines should be used.


Woolly senecio prefers a well-draining and slightly acidic substrate.

Terrarium soil for succulents is best and should be mixed with an equal amount of perlite, or some kind of porous inorganic material to keep the soil from compressing and becoming too dense.

If planting on the surface, you can add a thin layer of the substrate underneath the plant to keep the roots around the plant’s base moist.


Woolly senecio grows best in indirect sunlight. This is usually easy to provide in most terrariums, especially closed enclosures.

But you might want to consider adding UV to the setup to ensure the lamp’s radiation is linked with the plant’s photosynthesis needs.

Buy Woolly Senecio

When it comes to buying woolly senecio, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Making sure the plant is healthy when purchased is essential for its success in a vivarium.

Vegetation that is already in poor conditions will have a very hard time adjusting to new environments.

Click the image below to find out more about the current price and other relative info about this plant.

Woolly Senecio Care and Propagation

Senecio haworthii is a passionate succulent that needs very little maintenance.

Every 2 to 3 weeks the soil should be monitored and watered only when the top inch or so of the soil becomes dry.

Leaves from the plant can also be propagated using the offset method.

How to Grow

One of the easiest ways to propagate Senecio haworthii is by using the offset method.

Find a baby off-set that has formed near the base of the plant, release it from the soil, dip the roots end in a humidity dome containing moisture, and place it in the soil.

For optimal results, use a succulent plant potting mix.

Cover the soil with sand or pebbles for additional insulation, keep the cutting in indirect light, and mist it once or twice a week.


It is important to not over-water woolly senecio. As a rule of caution, water the plant only when it appears dry.

A watering frequency of once a week or every other week should be enough to keep it thriving in a vivarium setting.

Plants Similar to Woolly Senecio

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup.

Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same environment.

Furthermore, if for some reason you find the woolly senecio is hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this plant…

Here are other plants you might find will do well with or in the place of Senecio haworthii:

Sempervivum tectorum "Hens and Chicks" Terrarium Care Guide
Sedum Spp. "Stonecrop" Care Guide | Terrarium Succulents
Kalanchoe tomentosa "Panda Plant" Care Guide | Terrarium Succulents


Senecio haworthii is an ideal candidate for low-maintenance vivariums and will be a great addition to any enclosure.

These terrarium plants are easy to care for and can handle minimal watering.

It’s recommended to water them once or twice a week and to keep their soil slightly moist at all times.

Woolly senecio is also a great option for those looking for a unique and eye-catching accent for their enclosure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Senecio haworthii is an easycare succulent with fuzzy, bluegreen leaves. To care for this plant, place it in an area with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight and water it deeply when the soil feels dry. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Woolly Senecio can be fertilized lightly once a month during the growing season. If the plant becomes leggy, it can be pruned back to encourage new growth.

Yes, Senecio plants need full sun in order to thrive. When planted in a sunny spot, they will produce an abundance of bright yellow flowers. They also require welldraining soil and regular watering.

There are several possible causes for your cocoon plant to be shriveling. It could be due to underwatering, overwatering, not enough sunlight, too much fertilizer, or pests or disease. To find out the exact cause, it‘s best to examine the plant closely and look for signs of root rot, fungal infection, or pest infestation. If the problem persists, it‘s also a good idea to consult a professional for help.

Yes, you can propagate a cocoon plant. The best way to do it is to take a cutting from an existing plant and place it in a pot with moist soil. The cutting should have several nodes. Keep the soil moist and in a few weeks, roots should begin to form. Once the roots have developed, the cutting can be transplanted into its own pot.

Yes, Senecio can be a great houseplant! It is easy to care for and requires minimal maintenance, making it a perfect choice for both novice and experienced plantlovers. Senecio can tolerate a variety of light levels, from indirect sunlight to bright, indirect light. It prefers regular waterings, but it is important not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. With the proper care, Senecio can be a beautiful addition to any home or terrarium!

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