This plant was first offered by Mr. & Mrs. Hummel of Hummel's Exotic Gardens in their catalog of 1961 as Kalanchoe beharotti and renamed by Johnson Cactus Gardens in his catalog of 1961 as Kalanchoe 'Fern Leaf'. Sometimes it is also referred to as Kalanchoe beharensis 'Fern Leaf'.
Kalanchoe 'Fern Leaf'
Kalanchoe beharotti, Kalanchoe × hummeliae 'Fern Leaf'
This succulent is one of the cultivars selected from Kalanchoe × hummeliae, a hybrid raised at Hummel's Exotic Gardens of Southern California, United States. Kalanchoe × hummeliae results from a cross between Kalanchoe beharensis and Kalanchoe millotii.
Kalanchoe 'Fern Leaf' is a succulent shrub with erect branches fully clothed with intricately divided leaves. The leaves are green to greyish-green and densely covered with tiny whitish hairs, giving them a velvety texture. They remain more or less flat, similar to those of its parent Kalanchoe millotii.
In summer, urn-shaped flowers with hairy sepals the same color as the leaves and nearly white petals with pinkish striations appear in many-flowered clusters on upright stalks. The outside and margins of the petals are also hairy.
This plant is often mistaken for Kalanchoe beharensis 'Oak Leaf'.
How to Grow and Care for Kalanchoe 'Fern Leaf'
Light: Kalanchoe 'Fern Leaf' grows best in full sun. However, it usually appreciates some partial shade during the hot summer days. When growing indoors, place the plant near a window where it can receive indirect sunlight. A lack of light may cause the plant to stretch. If you move the plant outside in the spring, do it gradually and avoid exposing it to intense afternoon sun.
Soil: The plant needs soil that drains well. It does not like "wet feet." You can use a commercial potting mix for succulents or create your own.
Temperature: Kalanchoe 'Fern Leaf' thrives in heat and humidity but cannot handle frost. It grows best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10a to 11b, with average minimum winter temperatures ranging from 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C).
Watering: From spring to fall, water the plant thoroughly, but let the soil dry between watering. Overwatering may cause stem rot. Reduce water during winter and only water the plant just enough to prevent the leaves from shriveling.
Fertilizing: Occasionally fertilize the plant during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half or quarter strength. Apply it every two weeks.
Repotting: The plant thrives better when it is frequently repotted. For optimum growth, repot it every two years in spring. Go up one pot size every time you repot.
Propagation: Kalanchoe 'Fern Leaf' is easily propagated by leaves and stem cuttings. Spring is the best time to take cuttings.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Kalanchoe.
Toxicity of Kalanchoe 'Fern Leaf'
Kalanchoe 'Fern Leaf' is not toxic to people but should be kept away from pets because it may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and heart arrhythmias if consumed.
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