Should you let your flapjack plants (Kalanchoe luciae) bloom? I’m recommending no…but it’s not that cut-and-dried (no pun intended).

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Flapjack plant is a succulent that’s popular mainly because of the color of its leaves. (Shown above at Waterwise Botanicals nursery.)

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Like other succulents with overlapping leaves along a single stem, when Kalanchoe luciae blooms, the entire plant elongates. This is how those in my window box looked in March of last year.

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If your goal is to have a lot of new little plants, one option is to let the mother plant bloom. Providing it survives the effort (they usually do, but not always), you’ve hit the jackpot. Harvest each cluster with several inches of stem attached to anchor it, and start it as a cutting. Roots will grow from leaf axils (where leaves are attached to the stem).

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I didn’t want awkwardly tall plants in my window box, so when the flapjacks started to elongate in March, I snipped off the bloom spikes. The mother plants seemed determined to flower regardless, and buds grew from leaf axils beneath the cut. I was just as determined they weren’t going to flower, so I pinched out the buds.

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Within a month, the plants’ topmost leaves turned beige and crisp along the edges. I’m not sure why this happened, but I trimmed them to keep the plants tidy.

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By June, new little leaves concealed the truncated stems, indicating that the plants had been gearing up to produce offsets. When they couldn’t do it along a bloom spike, they did so closer to the core.

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Here’s how one of the plants looked in August.

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And again in October. Other plants in the window box are blue echeverias and Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’.

Update: I wrote the above post two years ago. This is how the same windowbox looks now. It has been wonderfully low-maintenance. The aeoniums have grown more, I’ve pruned the ‘Sticks on Fire’, and I switched out the echeverias. But all I’ve done with the Kalanchoe luciae is to remove dry leaves and any new flower stalks…which I’m about to do right now.

Kalanchoe luciae

 

Related Info on This Site:Kalanchoe luciae

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30 Comments

  1. Cathy Lee Bulich on April 2, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Can you send John Matthews website please. Thanks so much
    Catlee

  2. Emily A. R. on June 29, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I find that the flapjacks stay red when they have generous amounts of light but very little watering. I have dozens across multiple areas at a job site anf those that are in the shade more than half the day and/or get too much water turn green and produce A LOT MORE of the powdery white stem cover.

    • Debra on July 1, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Thanks, Emily, good to know!

  3. Linda Rjabanedelia on July 21, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Hello,

    I purchased a flapjack plant two weeks ago, it’ very healthy and green. I placed it on my porch where it gets plenty of sun.
    How and when will it turn red like the picture above

    Thank You Linda

    • Debra on August 24, 2016 at 8:10 am

      It will likely turn red gradually. If you don’t notice that the edges are reddening, it may be a variety that doesn’t.

  4. Liane on October 2, 2016 at 12:26 am

    I have a number of young fapjack plants and I think the secret to them turning very red is to starve them for water, and let them be in a sunny but cold position. Good luck !

  5. Cynthia on January 23, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Debra, Just read your post on Kalanchoe ‘Flapjack’ — I live in SoCal (plenty of sun and dry air). When our Flapjacks started to bloom, I cut the stem off, and now the baby plants are forming in clusters around the outer base.
    Just out of curiosity, if you leave the Mother plant intact at flowering & let the ‘babies’ remain in place….what happens? Do they fall off and start growing? Just wondering….thanks for the info about how to remove the main stem with plantlets and root them. Great website, thank you!

    • Debra on January 30, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Hi Cynthia — The plantlets will continue to drain the main plant which may keel over, thereby putting its offspring on the ground, where they can root.

  6. Ina S Cohen on February 10, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    I have a Flap Jack that has sent out a large chute. It has a flower stem. What should I do with this? I live in Florida and it has been very dry. Thank you.

    • Debra on February 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Hi Ina, You can enjoy the bloom but risk losing the plant, or sever the spike close to the plant and hope it recovers. Up to you.

    • Djeff on May 29, 2020 at 4:06 pm

      After blooming you will see lots of baby plants where the blooms were

      • Debra Lee Baldwin on June 1, 2020 at 1:42 pm

        Yes, but not always. Have you tried starting those baby plants? I’ve tried to cut the stem apart and use it as an anchor for the offsets, letting the bottom of each rest on soil, but they didn’t take. When I cut off the flower spike, the plant produces lots of babies around its base.

  7. Benny Go on September 10, 2017 at 7:01 am

    How do we get the Flapjack leaves red as shown in the first picture?

  8. Jenny on December 21, 2017 at 6:50 am

    I read somewhere that the paddle plant is monocarpic like agaves and dies after flowering. Not a problem as they produce plenty of offsets to take the place of the old stalk. I have one flowering qt the moment. Not very exciting but my husband walked by the other day and said ‘You do grow some amazing plants” I like that.

    • Debra on December 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Jenny — They’re not monocarpic in the strict sense of the word, which is to say they don’t die after flowering. What happens, though, if you don’t cut them back, is that so much energy goes into the bloom stalk that the plant exhausts itself.

  9. Mary Roberts on January 1, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Hi Debra.

    I wish I would have known this information awhile ago, but am glad to know it now! I’ve misinformed a couple of people on their Kalanchoe Lucias, but will never do it again! Thank you for sharing.

    • Debra on January 1, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Glad I could help! Thanks, Mary.

  10. Teresa Williams on January 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    I have a very large flap jack, paddle plant, that i bought when it was tiny. It now has a stem coming out of it that is about 6 ft tall. Its in a pot on my front porch, when its too cold, i move it indoors. If i had known it was going to die after blooming, i would have cut this off right away but i do not like altering the “natural” cycle of my plants. Thank you so much for your informative site as i had no idea what this plant was, much less what it was doing! She is beautiful, and feels pleasant to the touch which is why i chose her.

    • Debra on January 12, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      You’ve raised an important point, Teresa. Some plants can be enjoyed and admired even though they don’t last. After all, that’s why we plant “annuals.”

  11. Kathy on March 19, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    I was told the more sun they get the redder they will be. I had mine on the main Ann’s it was green ,I put it in the sun and it is a beautiful burgandy

  12. Dave Johnson on June 21, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    more sun

  13. kathleen s nichols on February 15, 2020 at 5:58 am

    My pet plant is Flapjack. He was in the shade and green. I moved him into the sun and almost overnight he turned red/burgandy.
    I want to see how large he will grow so will cut off anything that sprouts out of him. Thanks for info on blooms.

  14. Stel on March 15, 2020 at 10:15 am

    I recently purchased a beautiful flapjack its leaves are large that is what attracted me to it. To keep the leaves large I need to cut the middle bloom as soon as I see it coming up? Do I continue to cut it everytime

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on March 16, 2020 at 7:52 pm

      Yes, when it starts to bloom, pinch out the buds.

  15. S on December 19, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Why do you want your plant to NOT bloom???

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on December 27, 2020 at 10:42 am

      Sorry if I was unclear…blooming takes a lot of energy from a succulent, especially a large flower spike that elongates the entire plant. You can preserve your plants by cutting off flower spikes when they begin to form.

  16. GardenQueen on January 8, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    I have to say, I love to see the different flowers from unusual plants. Im currently enjoying my flap jack flowers. Prior its flowering phase, I had several multipliers from the roots. I seperate and grow so its not too much of a hassle to lose a plant here or there.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on January 8, 2021 at 4:36 pm

      They do look marvelous in bloom. Enjoy them! You may even get baby plants in leaf axils.

  17. Lori on January 17, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Can I cut the stalk off and propagate the stalk I pieces or how is that done? Then bottom of my plant has lots of babies shooting out. Than main plant has a huge (I cut it off today) stalk.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on January 17, 2021 at 7:57 pm

      You can try using stem pieces as cuttings. Insert in potting soil so the leaf junctions (axils) are at soil level. Just know they may not root. That may have to do with the size of the cutting (the larger, the more to subsist on while forming roots), the season or time of year, or numerous other factors. I’d love to have a nurseryman weigh in on this!

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