Kalanchoe: Details, Photos and Varieties

Native to Madagascar, kalanchoes thrive outdoors in zone 9 (and higher if in dappled shade). Protect from frost.

About Kalanchoes

Kalanchoes are beautiful soft succulents, easy to propagate from cuttings, with showy flowers. It's a highly diverse genus, so to help you make sense of it, I've divided Kalanchoe (kah-lahn-KOH-ee) into these informal categories:

  • Mother of millions. Baby plants frill leaf edges, then drop off and root. Another name for kalanchoes with this characteristic is "bryophyllum."
  • Fuzzies. Covered with short hairs, these often have cute names like "panda plant." Mainly gray with brown. Most are pot plants, but this also includes the only kalanchoe that's a tree (K. beharensis).
  • Paddles. Well known and prized for its oval, bright red leaves, is Kalanchoe luciae.
  • Synsepalas. Hanging plants with arrowhead or enlongated oval leaves send forth pendant, leafless stems tipped with baby plants.
  • Glossy floppies. Large leaves and thick stems make these shrubs lovely...until they flop over.
  • Pretties. These spreaders have pastel leaves and masses of pink or coral flowers.
  • Vining. Not much to look at, so usually overlooked. Thin green leaves.
  • Minis. Collectible pot plants have intriguing, sometimes variegated foliage.
  • Supermarket. Bred for brilliant flower clusters, these are sold and seen everywhere (K. blossfeldiana).

Kalanchoes, mainly from Madagascar, thrive in mild, dry climates. Give them the same care as other soft-leaved succulents (as explained in my books and on this site's Succulent Care Basics page). Most kalanchoes can't handle freezing temperatures or desert heat.

Like aeoniums, kalanchoes are on my list of Succulents for Coastal Southern California Gardens.

Resources

Online Nursery

Mountain Crest Gardens

 

Videos

Kalanchoe synsepala, a Great Succulent for Hanging pots (0:33) Baby plants hang from stems, grow roots, are ready to go!

Ten Terrific Colorful Succulents (9:11) See why Kalanchoe tomentosa is perfect for succulent container gardens.

 

Articles

Supermarket Kalanchoes: Succulents You Grow for Their Flowers. Doubless you've seen and bought these popular indoor plants.

Should You Let Your Flapjack Plants Bloom? I'm saying no, but it's not that cut-and-dried (no pun intended)...

 

My Books

Designing with Succulents (2nd ed) pp. 220-224; Succulents Simplified, pp. 230-233; and Succulent Container Gardens, pp. 107-110

Kalanchoe photo gallery

I've identified and labeled photos for you according to genus and species, and common name if available. If you think I've ID'd any incorrectly, kindly let me know. — Debra Lee Baldwin

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