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Kalanchoe laetivirens (Mother of Thousands)

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Scientific Name

Kalanchoe laetivirens Descoings

Common Names

Mother of Thousands, Mother of Millions

Synonyms

Bryophyllum laetivirens

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Kalanchoe laetivirens is a very unusual succulent with large, up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide, bluish-green leaves with baby plantlets all around the serrated edges, giving them a dainty, unique appearance. It often send up a tall spike of bell-shaped, pinkish flowers in early spring.

Photo via lapshin.org

Hardiness

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. Strong southern light can burn the tips of the leaves. Place pots in partial sun to light shade areas when growing Kalachoes.

The flowering varieties are highly rewarding for their colorful and long-lasting flowers. 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. Don't let fall below 55 ºF (13 ºC). An ordinary potting soil mix is fine. Feed bi-weekly in the summer 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.

Origin

Kalanchoe laetivirens is native to Madagascar.

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