Kalanchoe synsepala Baker
Walking Kalanchoe, Cup Kalanchoe
Kalanchoe gentyi, Kalanchoe trichantha, Kalanchoe 'Gremlin'
Kalanchoe synsepala is an attractive succulent plant that grows up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. It is very variable in shape and size. The more common form has fleshy, very thick, grey-green leaves with pink-purple margins with rigid teeth. The leaves are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) wide. Flowers are small, tubular, pale pink to reddish, and appear in dense terminal cymes in mid-fall. It produces baby plants at the ends of long stems, which eventually bend down to the ground and take root, giving rise to its common name.
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.
Kalanchoe synsepala is native to Madagascar.
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