Succulent Gardening: The Art of Nature

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Kalanchoes ~ Dormant Spring/Summer

Click on photographs for enlargements and plant growing information

Kalanchoes are a genus that has a variety of colors, textures and flowers. Some say they are grown primarily for their clusters of small flowers, available in many colors. I find their ability to start plants from a leaf to be very exciting. The flowers bloom in the winter. With good care, the flowers will last two to three months, after which the plant continues to grow. Place in full sun, or direct sunlight, if moderate light is all you have no problem. Water Kalanchoes sparingly. Allow to dry out between waterings. In San Diego, I water once a week from April through September. During the winter about every two weeks or less if we have a lot of rain. Clay pots help to keep the soil dry. Remove dead blooms to encourage more flowers and to keep the plant looking good. These are fun plants! Kalanchoes are a very diverse group with many unusual specimens. They are tough and durable, but attractively unique. Kalanchoes usually grow and flower during our winter and spring months in the Northern Hemisphere, and appreciate a warm, light position during this time. They are easily propagated and like adequate water.

Kalanchoe beharensis

This is a mature plant whose top was cut off forcing it to branch out fully. You can do this also. Your plant will be a smaller one stem plant. Kalanchoe beharensis, native to Madagscar, is a form of the well-known "Felt Plant". The small, intricately lobed leaves are oak-leaf shaped and covered with a dense reddish felt. Great patio plant, 3'-5' tall. Prefers bright light to full sun for best color. Porous soil with adequate drainage. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost.

Kalanchoe daigremontiana

The Kalanchoe daigremontiana are from Madascar. Their leaves bear plantlets along their margins. You can detach them and start new plants. Their share is similar to Kalanchoe daigremontiana but the leaves are blue green. They tolerate morning sun and intense but like most succulents, no frost. For quite some time i had this mistakenly listed as Kalanchoe marmorata. that was incorrect. Sorry

Kalanchoe eriophylla

Kalanchoe eriophylla, native to Madagascar, has the appearance of a snow-white "Panda Plant" with a slightly less upright habit. Fleshy tapered leaves are densely covered with white hairs and have brown tips. One of the woolliest of all succulents. Flowers are violet, and very similar to those of Kalanchoe pumila. A very pettable plant! Porous soil with adequate drainage. Bright light for woolliest appearance. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Drought tolerant. Protect from frost. Color will vary based on sun exposure and cold.

Kalanchoe thrysifolia

Kalanchoe thrysifolia variagated is a winter grower with green, yellow and red colors. Some have only red and green leaves

Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi

Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi, also considered Bryophyllum fedtschenkoi, forms bluish lavender leaves with lighter scalloped margins. Forms candelabra of beautiful soft orange bell shaped flowers in spring. Nice for borders or in rock gardens. Porous soil with adequate drainage. Bright light to full sun. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost. Grows approx. 2' tall spreading about 1' wide. Beautiful color this winter.

Kalanchoe Fedtschenkoi
‘Aurora Borealis'

Kalanchoe Fedtschenkoi Marginata "Aurora Borealis". The name of this plant is a real mouthful. The scalloped purple leaves of the Fedtschenkoi take on bright ivory, cream, colored edges. These cream edges cast a soft pink band when exposed to higher light. Aurora Borealis produces gorgeous winter blooms of dangling pink flowers. The cultivar is native to Madagascar and the name ‘Fedtschenkoi’ honors either Olga Fedtschenko, a Russian botanist, or her son Boris. Growing to 10” high as a low growing succulent shrub, this variety does well near walkways, or where some soft height is desired.

Kalanchoe humilis

I began growing Kalanchoe humilis with just 1, 4" plant. when it was big enough i put it into a 6" pot . When the branches became large enough I cut them and put them into 4" pots and when they became big enough into 6" pots. So now one year later, I have a number of 6" plants and some 4" plants. I am also propagating with leaves. If you click photo, you will see photo of leaves I have propagated to create new plants.

Kalanchoe hybrid
var pink butterflies

Drought tolerant when established. This is an incredibly colorful variegated form of an old hybrid that was hard to track down its heritage. The original hybrid was known as ‘Houghton’s Hybrid’, and was a cross between K. diagremontiana and K. delagoensis (a.k.a. K. tubiflora). At some point a variegated sport of this hybrid appeared and ‘Pink Butterflies’ came to be. ‘Pink Butterflies’ is not only uniquely colored but also has an advantage over the original cross. Both parents of the original hybrid are “viviparous”, producing hundreds of tiny plantlets on their leaves that readily fall from the parents root with little to no effort.

Kalanchoe longiflora

Kalanchoe longiflora coccinea, native to Natal, forms subshrubs with scalloped oval leaves. Leaves turn crimson in response to drought, cold or full sun. Canary yellow flowers on tall spikes appear during late spring and summer months. Porous soil with ample airflow. Bright light to morning sun. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost. Most plants are more red.

Kalanchoe marmorata

Kalanchoe marmorata, native to Ethiopia, has oval, scalloped silvery blue green leaves with large purplish spots. Forms a small silvery shrub in time. Can be used as a patio plant or in the landscape. Prune occasionally to preserve compact form. Attractive white, star-shaped flowers in the spring. Requires porous soil. Bright light will assure attractive leaf color. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost.

Kalanchoe marnieriana

Kalanchoe marnieriana (Marnier's Kalanchoe) - A gray leafed succulent subshrub that grows to 12 to 18 inches tall by 2 to 3 feet feet wide with flat blue-green rounded leaves that are arranged oppositely and flatten together facing toward the branch tips like pages in a book and turn to a pink color in the winter. The rose-pink to red flowers emerge and dangle off reddish stalks at the end of the branches throughout the year - a particularly nice combination in winter when flowers are present above the pink foliage. Photo 12/12/18

Kalanchoe millottii

Kalanchoe millotii, native to Madagascar, forms a branching shrub to 12" in height with frosty green scalloped leaves densely covered with white felt. Requires porous soil. Bright light will assure attractive leaf color. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost.

Kalanchoe nyikae The color is generally more purple than appears in this photo.
we grew this plant for many years. We have none left and no one else growing them to get more from to product more stock. We are sorry to see them go.

Kalanchoe orgyalis

Kalanchoe orgyalis, native to Madagascar, forms a subshrub with coppery felted leaves, which become more intensely coppery in bright light. In time, lower leaves fade to silver, creating a nice contrast with the newer coppery leaves. Yellow flowers in late winter to early spring. Porous soil with ample airflow. Bright light to morning sun. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost. click photo for more photos and information

Kalanchoe prolifica
Kalanchoe pumila

Kalanchoe pumila, native to Madagscar, has serrated silvery leaves on cascading stems, making it an excellent subject for hanging baskets. Masses of reddish violet flowers from February through April make this a strking floral basket. Very easy to grow. Porous soil with adequate drainage. Bright light to morning sun. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost. Flower winter/spring

Kalanchoe rhombopilosa

Kalanchoe rhombopilosa is from southwestern Madagascar. The plants have small, slightly woolly leaves on sprawling, woody branches. The flowers are red. Easily propagated by a single leaf. Place a healthy leaf on top of the soil and watch it grow. This plant loses its leaves easily but starts new plants just as easily. Kalanchoe rhombopilosa is a slow grower. Worth the wait! They are very fragile but do not despair each leave that may fall will start a new plant. I started this variety with 2 small plants and now.... They produce well from stem cuttings also

Kalanchoe synsepala

Kalanchoe synsepala are from Madagascar. It is a beautiful but very variable species that offer a huge diversity of shapes and sizes, the more common form has wide, grey-green, plastic-leaf form with bright green coloration and pink-purple margins. It produces annually 2 to 4 long stolons (like strawberry) with baby plants at the ends of long stems, which eventually trail attractively over the containers edge and bend down to the ground and take root, giving rise to its common name of "walking kalanchoe". The stolons produce themselves other stolons and forms large carpets of rosettes of various ages and sizes.shoots with small plants at the end. We cut off the baby plants when they are 2-3" wide. We root them and begin new plants. Please click photo for complete information.

  Kalanchoe synsepala
Var. Dissecta
'Walking Kalanchoe'


Kalanchoe synsepala var. Dissecta is a wonderfully shaped kalanchoe. Unique narrow dissected leaves, green with purple edges. Produces plantlets on arching runners. Creamy white flowers early spring through summer. Drought tolerant. Needs good drainage. Excellent in rock gardens and containers. Will not tolerate frost. Kalanchoe synsepala are not frost tolerant.

Kalanchoe thrysifolia / luciae

Often mistaken as Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, this plant is now known to be the closely related Kalanchoe luciae (the true thyrsiflora does not blush with the lovely rose tones). Kalanchoe luciae has pale aqua, rounded to oval leaves that grow to 6" diameter. These leaves are highly pruinose (densely covered with white powder which protects from excess light) and blush red on the margins. The color is especially intense in the cooler winter months, and the blush extends to cover nearly all of the leaf. The leaves emerge from a basal central point, like stacked "platters" giving the plant a very dramatic architectural form. Click photograph for more information.

Kalanchoe tomentosa

Kalanchoe tomentosa is from Madagascar. Forms a shrubby plant with long oval shaped leaves that are densely covered in fuzzy felt. There are many cultivars (color variants), but the "true type" has dove gray leaves with reddish-chocolate margins and tips. Flowers are small, but are a quite attractive and unique furry bell-shape with yellow and brown predominating. Prefers bright light to full sun. Can be planted in patio plantings or even in garden beds in areas with temperate climes. Prefers a porous soil with adequate drainage. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost. Lay a clean healthy leave on top of the soil and you will in a short time get a new plant with roots.

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