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Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri (Donkey Ears)

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Scientific Name

Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri Raym.-Hamet & H. Perrier

Common Names

Donkey Ears, Palm Beachbells

Synonyms

Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri var. gastonis-bonnieri, Kalanchoe adolphi-engleri

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Kalanchoeae
Genus: Kalanchoe

Description

Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri is a fast growing succulent perennial or biennial that grows up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall and wide with ovate-lanceolate leaves that can be enormous, up to 20 inches (50 cm) long. The leaves are bronze-green covered with a waxy white covering to look overall gray-green and splotched with maroon-brown blotches – these leaves often have small plantlets developing along the leaf margin. The terminal inflorescence begins to rise in fall to grow to a up to 3 foot (90 cm) tall stalk that branches near the top with several clusters of pale peach-colored buds that darken and become the calyces holding the darker reddish-salmon petals with flared tips and yellow interior.

How to Grow and Care

Kalanchoes are not particularly hard to grow, and the flowering varieties are highly rewarding for their colorful and long-lasting flowers. Many people discard the plants after the bloom is over, but this isn't really necessary. Simply cut off the flowering head, let the plant rest with reduced water, and resume its normal care. It should flower naturally in spring. Professional growers force Kalanchoes to bloom throughout the year (they are a short-day plant).

The two pendant Kalanchoes make excellent hanging plants. They prefer bright, sunny locations, especially in the summer growing season. During the winter, consider a south-facing window. Water moderately throughout the summer and reduce watering in the winter. Let the soil surface dry out between waterings, and in the winter, the plant can almost dry out. Watch the fleshy leaves for signs of water distress. They prefer warmth. Do not let fall below 55ºF (12.7ºC). Feed bi-weekly in the summer with a liquid fertilizer, or use slow-release pellets.

Many kinds of Kalanchoe will produce tiny plantlets along the leaf margins that can be individually potted up… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Kalanchoe.

Origin

Native to Madagascar.

Links

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