Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri Raym.-Hamet & H. Perrier
Donkey Ears, Giant Kalanchoe, Good Luck Leaf, Leaf of Life, Miracle Leaf, Palm Beachbells, Sprouting Leaf, Sprout-leaf Plant, Tree of Life
Bryophyllum gastonis-bonnieri, Kalanchoe adolphi-engleri, Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri var. ankaizinensis, Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri var. gastonis-bonnieri
Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri is a fast-growing perennial or sometimes biennial succulent that forms basal rosettes of green or gray-green leaves with maroon or dark green blotches. The stems are erect, usually very short, and branched only from the base. Leaves are ovate-lanceolate, up to 20 inches (50 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide, with irregularly scalloped margins and a broad, up to 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) long petiole. They often have small plantlets developing along the margins.
Flowers are cylindrical, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, finely hairy, and yellow-green with red or violet lines. They appear in fall clustered on up to 3 foot (90 cm) tall stalk branching near the top.
Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri is native to northwestern Madagascar. It grows in rocky areas.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °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.
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