A Kalanchoe daigremontiana
flowering in my garden

     Kalanchoe is a large genus of succulent leaved shrubs found in Africa, Madagscar, Malaysia and India. The species of most interest to gardeners and colectors are found in South Africa and Madagascar. Kalanchoes are very varied with some having smooth leaves and some with leaves covered in fuzz. Many have very attractive patterning on the leaves. Some species, formerly memebers of the genus Bryophyllum, produce plantlets along the edges of the leaves which can be used for propagation.
     Kalanchoes need bright light, some even full sun to maintain compact growth and color. Those with patterning on the leaves will lose the patterning in too little light, especially the variegated forms. They appreciate a considerable amount of water when actively growing, but still require a fast draining mix. Many varieties are somewhat cold hardy and others can take extreme heat, so there are Kalanchoes that can do well in a garden in nearly all temperate zones. Potted and given the right light and care, they are easily raised in any zone.
     Kalanchoes can be propagated by seed or stem and leaf cuttings. Those that produce plantlets can easily be propagated by removing the offsets and placing them on top of the soil in a pot. In a few weeks they will root. Care must be taken with this type of Kalanchoe, especially in the garden. The plantlets break off easily and root wherever they fall, quickly producing a sizable invasive patch of plants. For this reason these species often have the common name, "Mother of Thousands".

I have several species of Kalanchoes
Click on a thumbnail below.

Kalanchoe daigremontiana
"Mother of Thousands"

Kalanchoe tomentosa
"Pussy Ears"

fedtschenkoi variegata

Kalanchoe luciae ssp. luciae
"Flapjack Plant"




All images and text are copyright 2005 to present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.