Kalanchoe tomentosa, commonly known as Panda Plant, is a succulent that makes an interesting addition to the houseplants you grow indoors. Often a favorite of children, a growing Panda Plant is 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, it has a woody base and reaches several feet in height. However, as an indoor plant, its growth is limited by the container's size, usually reaching only 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) in height and about 2 feet (60 cm) wide. Blooms are rare when growing Panda Plant indoors.
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 and the white-silvery hairs are similar to the fur of a panda bear. The specific epithet "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, the soil should be allowed to dry between waterings. Watering is a limited part of Panda Plant care. When you do water, do so completely while giving the plant the infrequent drink.
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 from spring to fall, but protect it from the hot afternoon sun. During these months, fertilize with a balanced houseplant food at half strength as a part of Panda Plant care.
When growing Panda Plants, you will likely find more home areas that would benefit from one of these plants. Propagation of the Panda Plant is an easy and inexpensive way to get more plants.
Root leaves of the plant in spring or summer in 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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