Kalanchoe pumila Baker
Flower Dust Plant
Kalanchoe brevicaulis, Kalanchoe multiceps, Kalanchoe pumila f. venustior
Kalanchoe pumila is an attractive small shrubby succulent with arching stems that bear fleshy leaves with a white powdery covering. It grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. Leaves are obovate, with purple margins toothed in the upper part, 1.6 inches (4 cm) long and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. The white bloom on the leaves is easily rubbed or washed off.
Flowers are erect, red to purple or pink with conspicuous yellow anthers, and appear in few-flowered corymbose panicles from late winter to early spring.
Kalanchoe pumila is native to central Madagascar. It grows in rocky soil at elevations of about 6,560 feet (2,000 m).
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 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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