Kalanchoe laxiflora Baker
Milky Widow's Thrill
Bryophyllum laxiflorum, Kalanchoe laxiflora subsp. laxiflora, Kitchingia laxiflora
Kalanchoe laxiflora is native to central Madagascar. It grows on rocks.
Kalanchoe laxiflora is a succulent shrub with erect woody stems and fleshy, green to bluish-green leaves, generally red-edged and sometimes with brown or red spots. It grows up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall, branching from the base. Flowering stems are initially prostrate at the base and rooting, then ascending. Leaves are egg-shaped, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long and 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide, with conspicuously crenate margins and up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long petiole.
The flowers are pendent, tubular, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, with a yellow-green to orange-red or violet calyx and reddish-purple, red, rose, orange-red, and orange-yellow to pale yellow petals. They appear in dense clusters on up to 20 inches (50 cm) long stalks in spring.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °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 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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