Kalanchoe tomentosa, commonly known as Panda Plant or Pussy Ears, is a hardy succulent that makes an interesting addition to the houseplants you grow indoors. Often a favorite of children, growing Panda Plants are a good specimen to locate in a child's room as part of the decor.
Panda Plant grows wild on the island of Madagascar. In its native environment, growing Panda Plants have a woody base and reach several feet. As an indoor plant, however, it growth is limited by the size of the container, usually reaching only 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) in height and 2 feet (60 cm) around. Blooms are rare when growing Panda Plants indoors.
Further information on growing Panda Plants says the velvety appearance of the leaves is created by hairs that spring up in trichomes, deflecting light and limiting transpiration. Brownish red markings on leaf edges, along with the white-silvery hairs, are similar to the fur of a panda bear. "Tomentosa" means densely woolly or velvety.
Growing Conditions and General Care
Locate the indoor Panda Plant in medium to bright light. As with most succulents, soil should be allowed to dry between waterings. In fact, watering is a limited part of Panda Plant care. When you do water, do so completely while giving the plant the infrequent drink.
You'll find humidity is not an issue when learning how to grow a Panda Plant successfully. The average room provides enough humidity for this easy-care, furry plant. The indoor Panda Plant can live for many years in these conditions.
Move it outside during spring and summer, if desired, but provide protection from hot afternoon sun. Fertilize during these months with a balanced houseplant food mixed at half strength as a part of Panda Plant care.
When you're growing Panda Plants, you'll likely find more areas in the home that would benefit from one of these plants. Propagation of the Panda Plant is easy and an inexpensive way to get more of the plants.
Root leaves of the plant in spring or summer in a sandy potting soil or a perlite mixture. New roots develop and the plant will grow new leaves, at which time it should be transferred into a new container.
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