Kalanchoe daigremontiana Raym.-Hamet & H. Perrier
Alligator Plant, Devil's Backbone, Mexican Hat Plant, Mother of Thousands
Bryophyllum daigremontianum, Kalanchoe daigremontianum
Kalanchoe daigremontiana, also known as Bryophyllum daigremontianum, is a short-lived monocarpic succulent with simple, erect or decumbent, brownish stems that grow up to 3 feet (1 m) tall. The leaves are very variable in size, color, and shape. They are dark green, pink-green to purplish-green with brown-red spots, held on up to 2 inches (5 cm) long petioles, up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide, with numerous bulbils on the teeth. The plant has an umbrella-like terminal inflorescence of grayish pink or sometimes reddish to purple, bell-shaped, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long flowers. Indoor plants begin flowering in early winter.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
This succulent loves to receive a good dose of the direct morning sun. It can take any amount of humidity, but the one thing it cannot take is soggy soil. To prevent this, only plant Mother of Thousands in a soil mix for succulents or create your own. Also, only plant this succulent in a terracotta pot that has a drainage hole. This will reduce the chances of overwatering. As far as watering this plant goes, water until moisture comes out the bottom of the pot and then do not water until the first 2 inches (5 cm) of soil is dry.
In the spring, begin to take your plant outside to harden off. This succulent loves the warm weather of summer but not gradually exposing your plant to the outdoors will cause scorching of the leaves.
Before the first frost of the year, bring your Mother of Thousands indoors but do this gradually. A drastic move from the outside in will cause plant stress.
Kalanchoe daigremontiana is native to the Fiherenana River valley and Androhibolava mountains in southwest Madagascar.
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