Also known as Velvet Groundsel and Californian Geranium, Roldana petastites (syn. Senecio petasites) is a wonderful foliage plant, large velvety green leaves that hold well through the year unless they are hit by frosts.
Free flowering with large golden yellow flowers from winter through to summer, and its its easy to grow.
So what is the down side of Roldana petastites ?. Its not really a weed, and its not quite a thug in the garden either, however it will spread easily. If you look at propagation notes, they usually say ‘Easy from softwood cuttings’.
So any stem that touches the ground will grow, and it does sucker as well.
However it is easily controlled and very simple to prune so if you have the right spot in the garden it is a wonderful easy care plant.
Although Roldana petastites does prefer a humus rich moist soil, in our experience it is also drought tolerant.
It is best planted in an area where it can spread a little. It will grow reasonably tall if it is forced to search for light, easily to 3 – 4 m. However in the open, and when pruned it can be kept much lower growing.
Due to the rather brittle stems. this is a plant that is best planted away from windy exposed areas. It will grow well in shade, however will become a little lax in habit.
Roldana petastites Propagation
Very easy from softwood cuttings taken in spring through summer. Also easy by division of established clumps.
Problems and Diseases.
Subject to wind damage, also frost damage.