The Kalanchoe Genus
Kalanchoe Adams. is the accepted scientific name for this genus of flowering plants in the plant family Crassulaceae. The genus was named and described by Michel Adanson in Familles des Plantes in 1763.
As of 11-18-21 when this page was last updated, The Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 165 species in the Kalanchoe genus. It is a member of the plant family Crassulaceae with 36 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
The species of Kalanchoe are tropical, succulent flowering plants, most of which are considered shrubs or herbaceous perennials. Some, however, are annual or biennial. For more information, you can click on the links below.
I have grown several species of Kalanchoe and plan on growing many more. They are fairly easy to grow, but as with most succulents, you have to follow a few basic rules.
I have added pages for all the Kalanchoe species I have grown with lots of photos and my experience with them. You can click on the names under the photos to go to their pages. I will continue adding more photos and pages as I grow more.
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FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE
CLEMSON UNIVERSITY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
GARDENING KNOW HOW
JOY US GARDEN
PLANT CARE TODAY
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
I brought my first Kalanchoe beharensis (Velvet Elephant Ear, ETC.) home from Lowe’s in 2012 while living in Mississippi. I gave it to a friend when I moved back to the family farm in Missouri in February 2013. I hadn’t found another one locally and a reader kindly sent me a rooted cutting from her plant in April 2021. It is doing great!
I brought my first Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Fang’ home in 2012 when I lived in Mississippi and my second I found at a local greenhouse in 2021. These are interesting plants…
I finally found a “real” Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Alligator Plant, Mother of Thousands, ETC.) at Wagler’s Greenhouse in May of 2022. I had been calling the Kalanchoe laetivirens by this name for several years because of misinformation online. This species is one of several in the genus that are monocarpic, which means the mother plant will die sometime after flowering. It is supposed to produce offsets from the stem (besides the plantlets from its phylloclades (modified leaves). That’s what the Kalanchoe laetivirens has done and they seemed much better than the plantlets.
I had wanted a Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri (Donkey Ears, ETC.) for a while and I was surprised to find one at a local greenhouse on March 29 in 2021. It was AWESOME and measured 5″ tall x 13 3/4″ wide. When the above photo was taken on September 18, it had grown to 12″ tall x 22″ wide. It started growing offsets on its lower leaves which also grew roots… The roots on the offsets were PINK… It has many common names including Donkey Ears, Life Plant, Palm Beachballs, Velvet Ear Kalanchoe, Sprouting Leaf, Sprouting Leaf Plant, Miracle Leaf, Good Luck Leaf, Giant Kalanchoe, Tree of Life, and possibly others. Some of the common names are shared by other species… This is a really neat plant for sure!
I brought my first Kalanchoe laetivirens (Mother of Thousands) home from a local greenhouse in 2014. Despite its birth control issues, these are great plants if you know how to grow them properly. If you do, this species is a great-looking plant. As these plants grow taller, their leaves will become smaller and the whole plant will just get weird. You have to cut the stem in half (at least), remove the lower leaves and stick the stem in the potting soil down to its leaves to re-grow the plant. Then, it will be beautiful once again. The plants in the above photo are actually offsets from a plant that flowered in February 2020. Once it was finished, it died because they are monocarpic… I always remove the plantlets along the phylloclades (modified leaves otherwise they fall off in every pot around it and take root. GEEZ!
OH, this is the species I originally thought was Kalanchoe daigremontiana… That species has maroon markings on its leaves and the Kalanchoe x laetivirens has green leaves. It is believed to be a natural hybrid found in the wild of Madagascar between Kalanchoe daigremontiana and Kalanchoe laxiflora…
I really like the Kalanchoe luciae (Flapjacks, ETC.). They are great plants that produce plenty of offsets but not an overwhelming amount. Once in a while, you may have to cut a stem in half to regrow the plant but that is easily done. There are five pots with 16 plants in the above photo. They seem to like it that way. In more light their leaves turn a reddish orange which distinguishes this species from Kalanchoe thyrsiflora. It has many common names including Flap Jack, Red Pancakes, Paddle Kalanchoe, Northern White Lady, Pancake Kalanchoe, Flipping flapjacks, White Lady, Flapjacks, Dog Tongue Plant, Paddle Plant, Paddle Leaf, Desert Cabbage, and maybe more…
This one… GEEZ! The Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) and I have had our ups and downs for sure. But, I am determined for us to get along one way or another. I have just not found out what it likes… I think it wants to get along as well since neither the main plant nor the offset has died… They are hanging in there until I figure them out. The smaller of the two, its offset, had a growth spurt in October 2021, so I decided to take its photo. It had never looked that good. Of course, once I brought the plants inside for the winter, it lost most of its leaves. GEEZ!!!
I brought this Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) home from a local greenhouse in 2018 when it was MUCH smaller (I forgot to measure it). It had grown to 25″ tall by October 15 in 2021 when the abobe photo was taken. I really like this plant, but at that hight it was difficult to find a spot my plant shelf during the winter. Also, a plant that tall falls over easily when it is on the plant table during the summer. SO, in 2021, I decided to take some stem and leaf cuttings. A few died but a few FINALLY rooted and started growing. WHEW! I am not sure I will do that again with this species… Common names include Copper Spoons, Shoe Leather Kalanchoe, Cinnamon Bear, and possibly others.
That’s all I have for the Kalanchoe genus at the moment until I find more to bring home.