Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri Raym.-Hamet & H. Perrier
Donkey Ears, Palm Beachbells
Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri var. gastonis-bonnieri, Kalanchoe adolphi-engleri
Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri is a fast-growing biennial or short-lived perennial succulent with bronze-green leaves with a waxy white coating, looking overall gray-green and splotched with maroon-brown blotches. It grows up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall with an equal width. Leaves are ovate-lanceolate and up to 20 inches (50 cm) long. They often have small plantlets developing along the margins. Flowers appear in terminal clusters on up to 3 foot (90 cm) tall stalk that branches near the top in fall. The pale peach-colored buds darken and become the calyces holding the darker reddish-salmon petals with flared tips and yellow interior.
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.
This species is native to Madagascar.
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