All about Senecio haworthii (Cocoon Plant)

Senecio haworthii (Cocoon Plant)

The frosty-white leaves of Senecio haworthii make this essential for every succulent lover. This post contains all you need to know to care for Senecio haworthii, also called Cocoon Plant or Woolley Senecio.

Growing Habits

Native to South Africa, Senecio haworthii grows to about 12 inches tall. The leaves are a tubular shape, growing up and around the stem, looking like a cocoon. The white appearance comes from fine white hairs covering the leaves, making it look as though it’s covered in white felt. Senecio haworthii is a perennial and produces yellow flowers when in bloom.

Cold hardiness

The hardiness of a plant refers to the coldest temperature that particular plant can tolerate. Senecio haworthii is hardy to 25F-30F.


Senecio haworthii is somewhat dormant in the winter. This means that growth might slow down. Water less during these cooler months.

Basic Care

  1. Light: Provide plenty of natural sunlight, preferably in a south- or west-facing window.
  2. Soil: Provide well-draining soil. Meaning, soil amendments must be added. This includes perlite, pumice, or gritty sand.
  3. Water: Senecio haworthii is extremely drought tolerant and can go with little water even in hotter months. Water minimally and less often in winter months. If you see shriveling or wrinkles on the leaves, give it a good drink.

Notable Characteristics

The characteristics below are based on our observations and experience. One thing to note about these traits: They’re natural occurrences and doesn’t mean your plant is in dire straits. As long as the center of your Senecio haworthii stays white, your plant is healthy.

  1. Leaf and stem discoloration. If you see black bottom leaves, don’t panic—this may not be root rot! Like most succulents, new leaves grow from the center. When new center leaves grow on Senecio haworthii, the older bottom leaves turn black or lose hairs, making the leaf green (see photo below). Feel free to remove those discolored leaves or just let them be.
  2. Brownish discoloration on leaf tips. Older leaves tend to have a tinge of brown on the tips as they age. We’ve also noticed a darker brown rusty color on older leaf tips that looks as though it’s bleeding through the white hairs (see photo below). We believe this is the plant’s way of letting water out if it gets too much. This actually a good thing, compared to rotting when overwatered!
Black leaves don’t always mean root rot! Older leaves on Senecio haworthii may turn black (or green). The plant’s root system is strong and healthy.
Leaf tips may turn a brownish around the tips. Depending on the pattern of brown, this could be age or a bit too much water, but the plant is still healthy!

There you have it—everything you need to know about Senecio haworthii! This information is based on our research and experience growing Senecio haworthii.

Categories: Succulent Profiles

1 reply

  1. Now I won’t panic if I see the leaves with a brownish color on them. Thanks for this info!

    Liked by 1 person

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