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Kalanchoe pumila (Flower Dust Plant)

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Scientific Name

Kalanchoe pumila Baker

Common Names

Flower Dust Plant

Synonyms

Kalanchoe brevicaulis, Kalanchoe multiceps

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Kalanchoe pumila is a dwarf succulent shrub up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. The entire plant is densely covered with 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long rounded leaves that are toothed and covered with soft whitish waxy hairs which give the plant a frosted look. In late winter to early spring appear the clusters of erectly-held 0.25 inch (0.6 cm) long pink-violet flowers with conspicuous yellow anthers.

Photo via tokyo3.org

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.

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