Kalanchoe beharensis Drake
Felt Bush, Felt Plant, Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe, Velvet Elephant Ear, Velvet Leaf, Velvet Leaf Kalanchoe, Napoleon's Hat, Maltese Cross, Teddy Bear
This species is native to Madagascar.
Kalanchoe beharensis is a succulent shrub with a stout, erect stem, simple below with resinous bark and branched above with short soft brownish hair and conspicuous leave scars. It slowly grows up to 12 feet (3.6 m) tall, becoming tree-like. The long-stalked leaves are covered with soft hairs, brownish on the upper side and greyish beneath, giving the leaves a velvety texture. They are triangular, irregularly lobed, undulated and folded, up to 16 inches (40 cm) long and 12 inches (30 cm) wide. Once mature, the plant produces numerous small, urn-shaped, greenish-pink to green-yellow flowers arranged in loose branching clusters on up to 12 inches (30 cm) long stalks in winter.
USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Kalanchoe care is minimal but be cautious about light levels. Intense sunlight can burn the tips of the leaves. Place pots in partial sun to light shade areas when growing Kalanchoes.
The flowering varieties are highly rewarding for their colorful and long-lasting flowers. They prefer bright, sunny locations, especially in the growing season. Water moderately from fall to winter when the growth is most active. Reduce watering during the hottest summer months when the plants are mostly dormant and winter when the growth slows down significantly. Let the soil surface dry out between waterings. Watch the fleshy leaves for signs of water distress. An ordinary potting soil mix is fine. Feed bi-weekly during the growing season with a liquid fertilizer, or use slow-release pellets.
These small plants require repotting every few years. When repotting, take additional care in handling as the leaves are somewhat brittle and can snap easily. Clay pots work exceptionally well for planting Kalanchoes. Ensure pots can drain well and saucers can empty easily.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Kalanchoe.
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