Copper Spoons, Shoe Leather Kalanchoe, Cinnamon Bear
Kalanchoe orgyalis Baker is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Copper Spoons. It was named and described by John Gilbert Baker in the Journal of Botany in 1882.
The genus, Kalanchoe Adans., was named and described as such by Michel Adanson in Familles des Plantes in 1763.
Plants of the World Online lists 155 species in the Kalanchoe genus (as of 2-1-21 when I last updated this page). It is a member of the plant family Crassulaceae with 36 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING.
I found several Kalanchoe orgyalis at Masts’ Greenhouse while plant shopping with my sister and brother-in-law on June 7, 2018. There are many species of Kalanchoe and I am always glad when I find a new one I have never seen before. I looked the plants over and found one to bring home.
Several Kalanchoe species have fuzzy leaves, but this one really caught my eye. The leaves are fairly small and kind of the color of cardboard.
Origin: Native to Madagascar
Zones: USDA Zones 9b-11 (25 to 40° F)
Size: To 24”
*Light: Sun to part shade
**Soil: Well-drained. Good quality potting soil amended with pumice (50/50) or additional perlite and chicken grit (2-1-1).
***Water: Average during the ground season, barely during the winter.
Flowers: Produces yellow flowers from late winter to early spring.
*Even though information online says this species does well in full sun to part shade, I have never grown mine in full sun during the summer. Prior to 2018, my cactus and succulents were on tables under a Chinese Elm Tree. After the first Japanese Beetle invasion in 2018, I moved the cactus to the deck at the back of the house and the succulents to the covered front porch (facing west). The succulents get light shade throughout most of the day with periods of direct sun. During the winter, all the Kalanchoe are on a shelf in a cool bedroom on a shelf in a south-facing window.
**Finding the sweet spot when it comes to cactus and succulent soil can be tricky. There are a lot of recipes online, but I had been using 2 parts Miracle Grow Potting Soil amended with an additional 1 part perlite and 1 part chicken grit. Many cactus and succulent enthusiasts recommend using pumice instead of perlite, so I switched in 2018. Now I use a 50/50 mix of Miracle Grow Potting Soil and pumice I ordered online from General Pumice. They also say a loam-based potting soil is better than peat-based, but finding a loam-based potting mix is impossible locally. I may have to experiment with the topsoil from the garden… 🙂 After I move the cactus and succulents inside for the winter and stop watering, the potting soil can get very hard. SO, I started re-potting them with fresh mix during the fall and winter so their soil will be nice and loose.
***I water my cactus and succulents on a regular basis during the summer when they are outside. Normally, the cactus on the back porch get enough rain, but the succulents on the front porch are under a roof. Sometimes I get busy during the summer and they get neglected, but they always do just fine. During the winter, I hardly ever water the Kalanchoe unless their leaves start to shrivel or get wrinkly…
I moved the plant tables and most of the potted plants to the front porch on July 4 because of the Japanese Beetle invasion. They changed the light to partly shady area to mostly sunny. That was to much sun for many of the plants. Now, they are happy on the front porch.
Kalanchoe orgyalis is a slow-growing, small, multi-branched succulent shrub that can reach up to 6’ or more in the wild but are usually smaller. The awesome leaves fold upward from the middle and the upper surface is covered with fine brownish colored hair that kind of feels like felt. The underside of the leaves are bronze to grey, and with age, the surface will turn the same color.
Now it has two new side branches…
The Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website says, “Kalanchoe orgyalis is slow-growing, but eventually becomes a stately plant. It is noted for its bronze-colored, fine sandpaper-like pubescence covering the leaves. In time, the lower leaves fade to silver, creating a nice contrast with the new coppery leaves.”
I moved the plants into the house for the winter on October 10. We are all anxiously waiting for spring already.
Finally, the evening temps warmed up enough to put the potted plants back outside on the porches. The Kalanchoe orgyalis had no problems over the winter in a south-facing window in a cool bedroom.
You must admit this is a beautiful plant…
I just keep taking photos even though the plant looks the same as before.
It continues to grow taller…
I had to move the potted plants inside for the winter on October 11 because an “F was in the forecast. I always take the plant’s photos as I move them inside and measure the cactus and some of the succulents. The Kalanchoe orgyalis measured 18 1/2″ tall x 10″ wide.
I had to move the potted plants inside for the winter on October 15 (2020) because an “F” was in the forecast. As always, I took photos and measurements and the Kalanchoe orgyalis measured 25″ tall. That’s 6 1/2″ taller than it was last October when I moved the plants inside.
I really enjoy this Kalanchoe as a companion and it has done very well.
I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by. There isn’t much online about this species yet but hopefully, someday there will be more.
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.