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 olive-green, undulated and folded, slightly triangular leaves covered in sort brown hairs that give the leaves a soft velvety texture. The leaves are up to 4 inches (10 cm) long with an equal width. Once mature, the plant 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 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.
This species is native to Madagascar.
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