Kalanchoe marmorata-Penwiper Plant, Etc.

Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) on 4-13-18, #425-28.

Penwiper Plant, Pen Wiper Plant, Spotted Kalanchoe, Penwiper, Baby Penwiper 

Kalanchoe marmorata

kal-un-KOH-ee  mar-mor-RAY-tuh


Kalanchoe marmorata Baker is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Kalanchoe. It was named and described by John Gilbert Baker in Gardener’s Chronicle & Agricultural Gazette in 1892.


Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) on 4-13-18, #425-27.

I bought this nice Kalanchoe marmorata from Elizabeth Li through the Facebook group Cheap Cactus and Succulents on April 6, 2018. I had selected a Sedum spathulifolium subsp. pruinosum ‘Cape Blanco’ and she said she had other plants. Most of what she had were really nice Echeveria. Since I have problems with some Echeveria species during the winter, I chose this Kalanchoe marmorata. She shipped the plants from California on Monday the 9th and they arrived on Friday the 13th. Both plants arrived safe and sound and were well-rooted.

The Kalanchoe marmorata has very thick leaves, kind of rubbery, with brownish-purple blotches. The leaves have a weird sticky feeling that is hard to explain. Common names include Penwiper Plant, Pen Wiper Plant, Spotted Kalanchoe, Penwiper, and Baby Penwiper. They are native to West and Central Africa where they grow up to 48″ tall but in pots, they normally grow to about 16″. 


Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) on 4-13-18, #425-29.


Family: Crassulaceae
Origin: Central and West Africa
Zones: USDA Zones 10B-11 (35 TO 40° F)
Size: 16” tall
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Well-drained soil. Potting soil amended with extra grit, pumice or perlite.
Water: Average water needs during the growing period, sparse in winter.

Since I just bought this plant I don’t have any personal experiences to share. I went to the Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website for more information. 

Llifle says, “This is a very healthy plant and easy to grow. It needs a fast draining mix. Keep it where it is bright, sunny, warm and airy but protect from mid-day sun. Water well during the summer with dry periods between watering. During the winter, keep them rather dry, not completely. The leaves become redder with the cool nights of the winter, but will need protection from the cold during hard freezes.” Somewhat edited…

They also say the Kalanchoe marmorata produces starry white, four-petalled flowers, sometimes tinged with pink, “profusely from the end of winter to early spring.” They are short day plants blooming when they have less than 12 hours of light per day.


Kalanchoe marmorata on 5-17-18, #443-56.

By the time warmer temperatures arrived and stayed, I moved all the potted plants outside for the summer. By that time, most of the leaves had fallen off of the Kalanchoe marmorata. I knew it would be OK, though, because it had two new leaves and an offset.


Kalanchoe marmorata on 7-30-18, #488-13.

On July 4 I moved most of my potted plants to the front and back porch. I had a Japanese Beetle invasion which completely changed the light where the plant tables had been (under a Chinese Elm Tree the beetles loved).


Kalanchoe marmorata on 8-29-18, #501-1.

The Kalanchoe marmorata definitely seems to be out of the woods now. It is doing much better and had 12 leaves when the above photo was taken on August 29. The leaves grow in groups of four.


Kalanchoe marmorata on 10-10-18, #519-40.

I moved the plants inside where the succulents are enjoying the winter. Spring will soon be here and they can go back outside.

At some point, I will cut the main stem off a few inches below the lower leaves and re-root it and put the offset in its own pot. I may wait until next spring because I think I better leave well enough alone for now. As long as it is happy and doing well…

I will continue adding more photos and information as long as it likes me.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


4 comments on “Kalanchoe marmorata-Penwiper Plant, Etc.

  1. I find this so strange that I have to share it with you. My mother in law gave me a piece of cactus that was given to her. It reproduces by a single section falling onto the dirt. The strange part is I live in Ohio and we get temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit! I have no idea how these survive our harsh winters.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary Umbaugh says:

    The leaves keep falling off and drying up on my pen wiper plant. I have it in front of a South facing window. I have tried spase watering and a little heavier watering. Please help me to figure this plant out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Mary! My plant looked great when it arrived then it soon went to crap. But, it didn’t die. This past summer it grew and I cut the stem off to regrow it. You have to do that with Kalanchoe (and other succulents sometime) but you should do it in the spring. I don’t know how long you have had your plant, but little roots will form along the stems at the leaf nodes. To regrow, cut the stem, let it callous over for a week, then put the stem in the soil about up to where the leaves are growing. Don’t discard the old plant and new leaves/stems will grow from then eventually you can make more plants from them as well. This is a neat species but maybe a little finicky. Some are not picky about their potting soil but it always needs to drain very well (water draining almost as fast as you pour it in). No matter what kind of potting soil you use, I recommend mixing it 50/50 with pumice. You can buy small batches on Ebay or get a big bag from General Pumice online. That’s where I bought mine. During the summer you can water fairly normally but rarely in the winter. Only water if the leaves look wrinkly because overwatering during the winter is fatal. A south-facing window is OK during the winter or even an east window. Kalanchoes are supposedly summer dormant but that doesn’t mean they actively grow in the winter and need the same watering schedule. If you want, you can send photos of your plant to me at thebelmontrooster@yahoo.com. That way maybe I can give better advice. If you notice, I haven’t taken many photos of this plant for the blog because it has its ups and downs. Iam going to update this page soon. Thanks for the comment and I hope I have helped. Let me know your progress.


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