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Kalanchoe thyrsiflora (Paddle Plant)

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Scientific Name

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora Harv.

Common Names

Paddle Plant, White Lady, Bird's Brandy, Flapjacks, Yellow Flapjacks, Ice Sculpture Kalanchoe

Synonyms

Kalanchoe alternans

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora is a succulent plant often confused with Kalanchoe luciae. It forms a basal rosette of large, rounded, fleshy, stalkless leaves. The are grayish-green with margins often tinged red and covered with a white powdery bloom. The inflorescence is erect, up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall and with densely clustered, thyrse-like panicles. The fragrant flowers are cylindrical, brilliant yellow and appear from mid summer to mid winter. The plant commonly distributed under name K. thyrsiflora is in fact the related K. luciae.

Photo via davesgarden.com

Hardiness

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. 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Kalanchoe

Origin

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora is native to Botswana and South Africa.

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