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
Kalanchoe beharensis is a succulent shrub that becomes tree-like as it slowly grows up to 12 feet (3.6 m) tall. It has woody stems and large, undulated and folded, olive-green, slightly-triangular leaves covered in sort brown hairs that give the leaves a soft, velvety texture. Each leaf is up to 4 inches (10 cm) long with an equal width. Once mature, it produces small greenish-yellow flowers 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 southern light can burn the tips of the leaves. Place pots in partial sun to light shade areas when growing Kalanchoe plants.
The flowering varieties are highly rewarding for their colorful and long-lasting flowers. They prefer bright, sunny locations, especially in the summer growing season. During the winter, consider a south-facing window. Water moderately throughout the summer and reduce watering in the winter. Let the soil surface dry out between waterings, and in the winter, the plant can almost dry out. Watch the fleshy leaves for signs of water distress. They prefer warmth. Do not let fall below 55ºF (12.7ºC). An ordinary potting soil mix is fine. Feed bi-weekly in the summer with a liquid fertilizer, or use slow-release pellets.
These small plants require repotting every few years. When re-potting, 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. See more at How to Grow and Care for Kalanchoe.
Kalanchoe beharensis is native to Madagascar.
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