Kalanchoe bracteata Scott-Elliot
Kalanchoe bracteata var. bracteata, Кalanchoe nadyae
Kalanchoe bracteata is a small compact shrubby succulent that grows up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. The ovate leaves are up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, with a slight point at the tip and short petioles. Typical K. bracteata has a silvery pubescence, and there are varieties with smooth leaves. Kalanchoe orgyalis and K. bracteata are similar looking and sometimes mistaken for each other. They are distinguished by their flowers, but the pubescence of K. bracteata can be identified with its 3-angled two-lobed hairs. Kalanchoe hildebrandtii is another close species that can be distinguished by stalkless leaves and small white flowers. The flowers of K. orgyalis are yellow with greenish lobes, while those of K. bracteata are red or orange-red. K. bracteata forms plantlets on the flower stem.
USDA hardiness zones 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.
Native to south-eastern Madagascar.
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