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How to Grow and Care for a Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana)


Kalanchoe daigremontiana, commonly known as Mother of Thousands, is one of the easiest succulents to grow. It is perfect for beginners. The common name comes from the little plantlets that form along the edge of the leaves of this plant. While these plantlets make propagating this plant easy, they also cause it to be an invasive species in some parts of the world. For this reason, most gardeners find growing this plant works best in a container.  Its other common names include Alligator Plant, Mexican Hat Plant, and Devil's Backbone.

When growing Mother of Thousands as an outdoor plant in USDA plant hardiness zones 9b to 11b, it may bloom with small, grayish pink flowers in late winter. The mother plant then dies.

Growing Conditions and General Care

This succulent loves to receive a good dose of the direct morning sun. It can take any amount of humidity, but the one thing it cannot take is soggy soil. To prevent this, only plant Mother of Thousands in a soil mix for succulents or create your own. Also, only plant your Mother of Thousands in a terracotta pot that has a drainage hole. This will reduce the chances of overwatering. As far as watering this plant goes, water until moisture comes out the bottom of the pot and then do not water until the first 2 inches (5 cm) of soil is dry.

Grow and Care Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana)

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In the spring, begin to take your plant outside to harden off. This succulent loves the warm weather of summer, but not gradually exposing your plant to the outdoors will cause scorching of the leaves.

Before the first frost of the year, bring your Mother of Thousands indoors but do this gradually. A drastic move from the outside in will cause plant stress.

Feeding this plant should occur every three months and should consist of a balanced liquid fertilizer that has been cut in half.


Propagating Mother of Thousands is very easy. You can just let the plantlets fall where they may. If you look at them while they are on the plant, you will notice that the plantlets have little roots that easily root where ever they fall. While this makes it easy for the gardener, it does have its downfall. Allowing the offspring to the root where ever they may cause plants to pop up in undesired places, which includes out in the yard and inside other pots. A better approach for those who do not want the Mother of Thousands everywhere is to handpick off the plantlets before they fall off. Using this approach allows the gardener to plant the plantlets in the proper soil and in locations that they are desired.



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