If you are looking for bright, colorful flowers or gorgeous foliage to beautify your area, then Kalanchoe is what you need as it will add stunning color to your space and signify love and prosperity.
Kalanchoe is one of the most popular plants on the planet. It is a low-maintenance specie that you can grow to beautify your home. However, you may need help to narrow down what kalanchoe variety is best for your indoor space.
In other words, wide varieties exist with different colors and hybrids. In this article, we will highlight some of the best types of Kalanchoe plants for your home or as gifts to your loved ones.
Let’s get started!
What Is Kalanchoe?
Kalanchoe is a succulent plant native to the old world, including Asia, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar, etc. It is a genus that consists of more than 125 types. Even though not every kalanchoe genus possesses a place in cultivation, they still exist in gardens worldwide.
Apart from just one variety native to the Americas, all other species of this plant come from the Eastern Hemisphere. Thanks to their easy maintenance and stunning flowers, they are increasingly becoming standard features in every home.
Their easy growing and care make them the favorite of many experienced and beginners gardeners.
The kalanchoe species feature fantastic leaf shapes and are primarily available in nurseries and landscapes in various colors ranging from green and red to pink. This specie still has the accolade as one of the first plants sent into the world.
It was feasible to ease the study of the growth patterns of plants and how the environment affects their growing stages.
Meanwhile, the kalanchoe plant needs a lower temperature than several other plants and can grow long green leaves or giant flowers, depending on the types you prefer to grow.
As we mentioned earlier, several varieties are available, but we’ll be looking at the most common types of Kalanchoe!
See Also: Miniature Plants For Fairy Gardens
Different Types Of Kalanchoe Plants
1. Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
The panda plant is one of the most popular types of Kalanchoe that can beautify your space. It is an excellent plant that thrives best indoors and is a succulent, which makes it a great option for beginner gardeners.
The reason why it is common among beginners is because of its easy-maintenance nature.
Meanwhile, the Kalanchoe tomentosa, as scientifically called, features green, oval-shaped leaves full of liquid membranes, hence, sharing some traits with a cactus plant.
Again, a close look at this plant will reveal some brown spots at the edge of its leaves, but there’s no cause for alarm, as it is only natural.
Panda plants are relatively easy to propagate; however, you must ensure the leaves do not break awkwardly when pulling them apart. Suppose you don’t find this plant in the market; you can choose its closest pal, Chocolate Soldier.
2. Flower Dust Plant (Kalanchoe pumila)
There is a reason why the flower dust kalanchoe variety is closer to the top of our list. This plant is the perfect indoor plant to beautify our space thanks to its oblong-shaped long leaves with waxy hairs all over them, giving it a dusty look.
This kalanchoe variety is a sprawling dwarf succulent that is great for hanging in a basket.
Kalanchoe pumila is a succulent that develops a clumping nature when growing, giving it a bushy look. This plant can grow up to 1 foot tall, making it great for indoor decors, as it brings a vibrant feel to a dull room.
Once it matures, the flower dust plant will start growing little pink-violet flowers featuring yellow anthers between late winter to spring.
3. Paddle Plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora)
The Kalanchoe thyrsiflora is not as difficult to grow as its name. It is a unique variety that shares identical leaf features with the cactus plant and bok choy in terms of looks. However, it has stayed soft and fuzzy to the touch.
The paddle plant can grow as tall as 5 feet and emits a sweet scent all through two years, thus, adding a lovely scent to your garden. This feature makes it an excellent prospect for your indoor space, especially in the kitchen, where it will emit a glorious aroma.
4. Felt Bush (Kalanchoe beharensis)
Felt Bush is another popular kalanchoe species on our list. It is an evergreen shrub, growing about 3 to 5 feet (1 to 2 meters) tall. It produces leaves with brown hair that blackens along the edges of the teeth.
However, it also features more tender leaves, stems, and leaf stalks, consisting of golden-bronze or white hair.
A closer look will reveal its hairy olive green leaves well-arranged decussately, thus giving a brown dwarf an attractive appearance. At maturity, the felt bush develops little urn-shaped clustered red-orange or greenish-yellow blooms during the spring and summer.
Are you looking for golden bronze leaves? The best place to plant them is outdoors. However, you can quickly grow them indoors, but the leaves will not have the tint or produce white or silver color.
Add this kalanchoe variety to your indoor space to give it a new look.
5. Common Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe rotundifolia)
One of the gorgeous kalanchoe types you will ever find is the common Kalanchoe, featuring fleshy rounded or lobed leaves and upright stems. This plant features leaves that have orange behind and measure 2.5 cm large, forming clusters at the base of the branches.
Don’t be deceived by its scientific name, Kalanchoe rotundifolia, as its leaves are not as round as it sounds.
Generally, the plant can grow as tall as 4 feet and thrives best indoors. Its long tiny stems produce yellow or orange blooms from fall to early winter. During the maturity of the flowers, they change to red and start curling.
6. Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana)
Of the numerous kalanchoe varieties on our list, including the five bufadienolides, the mother of thousands is the most dangerous and poisonous steroid. It might sound scary, but they are less harmful to grow in your house if you don’t consume them.
Meanwhile, the Kalanchoe daigremontiana is an offspring of the bryophyllum specie, which is why it is called Mother of Thousands.
The bryophyllum has 30 varieties, of which the aforementioned is one of them alongside other popular types like the mother of millions, lavender scallops, cathedral bells, and mariner’s Kalanchoe, amongst others.
However, while these varieties love lower temperatures and thrive best under little watering, other features of the plants are a source of concern for potential gardeners, which sometimes stops them from growing them in their homes.
7. Elephant Ear Plant
Even though it is less popular than the others before it on our list, the Kalanchoe Beharensis is still a type of Kalanchoe. It is popularly considered an evergreen shrub featuring a long stem in the middle.
It is called an elephant ear plant because of the long green leaves that wrap themselves in the center, making them look like an elephant’s ear.
Meanwhile, despite this feature, it still has a partial brown spot across the edges, which you don’t have to worry about, as it is natural. Thanks to its defense mechanism, this kalanchoe variety will look spiky and rough with maturity.
8. Kalanchoe luciae (Kalanchoe oricula)
Out of the wide kalanchoe varieties mentioned above, the oricula stands out since it is a mutant of Kalanchoe luciae. It comes with paddle-shaped, grey-greenish leaves that form a rosette. Meanwhile, its leaves gradually turn red around the edges, mainly during winter.
Kalanchoe oricula can reach about 60 cm tall and features a powdery white coating, protecting it from too much exposure to sunlight. However, you must provide it with a few hours of direct morning sunlight and afternoon shade if you are growing indoors.
9. Mealy Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe scapigera)
The mealy Kalanchoe is a variety featuring round-shaped leaves that reaches about 45 cm (18 inches) tall. This plant features light pink tips on fleshy green leaves that produce salmon-red circular flowers.
It would be best to keep the mealy plants as a center décor in your room to liven up any dull area of the house thanks to its branched cylindrical and stout stalk.
However, the Kalanchoe scapigera is not easy to find; hence, making it one of the most expensive varieties on our list. Fortunately, the mealy variety features a coating of a white powdery substance, which protects it from excessive sunlight.
10. Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana)
Native to Madagascar, the flaming Katy is a succulent species commonly known by names including Christmas Kalanchoe, Mother Plant, and Florist Kalanchoe.
This variety produces flowers during the early spring featuring bright pink blooms that are eye-catching to everyone around the planet.
However, the flaming Katy can wilt too quickly despite its stunning looks and exciting features. But if you give them the proper care they desire, you will discover they can be more durable than you have ever imagined while staying healthy.
11. Penwiper Plant (Kalanchoe marmorata)
Also known as spotted Kalanchoe, the penwiper plant is a gorgeous succulent popular for its unique grey-green foliage covered with irregular purple spots. It grows star-shaped blooms from winter to early spring and adapts well to outdoor conditions.
Kalanchoe marmorata, scientifically called, is best when you plant it close to a southern or western-facing window to receive adequate lighting, significantly if you are growing it indoors.
Furthermore, this plant can also serve as an ornamental tool for indoor décor, including offices, to provide an air of freshness. However, you must cut down the daylight hours and prune back dead flowers to help them produce again.
12. Copper Spoon (Kalanchoe orgyalis)
The name ‘orgyalis’ was gotten from the Greek word ‘orgya,’ which represents a classic measurement of 6 feet of space as a symbol of the plant’s size and growth.
In other words, the kalanchoe orgyalis can reach up to 6 feet (6 inches) tall when you plant it in well-draining soil with good fertilizer. It doesn’t require much hassle in maintenance.
Commonly known as a copper spoon, the orgyalis grows cinnamon-colored leaves at the top and bronze-gray underneath, making it one of the most beautiful kalanchoe varieties.
Aside from its gorgeous foliage, it also produces bright yellow clustered blooms that blossom from late winter to late spring. The copper spoon variety is an ideal plant for outdoors and indoors.
13. Coral Bells (Kalanchoe uniflora)
Coral bells are a succulent kalanchoe variety with trailing or climbing stems, making them an excellent option to grow in hanging baskets. It produces vibrant bell-shaped flowers alongside fleshy leaves, making it the favorite of many gardeners.
Its flowers come in many colors, including pink, purple-red, red-violet, etc.
In the same way, it produces tiny and upright stems that root when it touches the soil and under the right conditions. The coral bells enjoy the sun, but not too much, as it could damage the flowers and foliage.
Hence, they prefer an area where they can get enough indirect light with a few hours of morning or afternoon shelter.
How Do You Identify A Kalanchoe?
It is not an easy task to identify a kalanchoe plant because they are surprisingly diverse. Several kalanchoe varieties are very different from each other and others, so you’ll hardly imagine if they come from the same family.
Again, you will hardly find one size that fits every solution as long as Kalanchoe is concerned since what holds for one variety will scarcely hold for others. For this reason, we have to share the plant’s species into informal groups with some identical features.
Plants that are in one group may not share every feature. Still, they share traits that make grouping them together a sensible feat, enabling us to assign some standard identifiers to one group.
How to Care for Kalanchoe Plants
Kalanchoe varieties come from the stonecrop family of the Crassulaceae and are native to Madagascar and tropical Africa. Hardy in USDA zones nine and above, the plants require some adequate care to produce the optimum result you desire.
Below are the essential care tips for the kalanchoe plants;
- The best place to grow Kalanchoe is a western or southern-facing window with enough sunlight.
- To protect from high-intensity sunlight, draw light curtains that block direct light.
- Avoid keeping your Kalanchoe varieties near cold, drafty vents or heating vents, as it can lead to temperature fluctuation.
- The best potting mix for them is a fast-draining mix to ensure adequate structure and pore space to avoid soggy roots.
- Fertilize your Kalanchoe using all-purpose liquid fertilizer, balanced NKP fertilizer (20-20-20), or any organic fertilizer twice or thrice a year in the summer and spring.
- Maintain 30-50% humidity around the plant through a humidifier or grouping all the houseplants.
- Your plants need frequent watering at least twice a week in the summer, reducing it to twice a month in the winter. Before watering, check the dryness of the soil to avoid overwatering.
- Since water droplet on the leaves harbors pests, avoid misting the plant regularly.
- Cut back your kalanchoe plants to enhance plant growth right after they bloom. Trimming the branches annually helps to develop more blossoms.
- Consider repotting the plant once it outgrows the pot, or a sign of rootbound (root peeking out of the drain hole, low water retention, and droopy plant) appears.
Kalanchoe plants often provide selection dilemmas owing to the numerous varieties available. But we have made everything easier for you by listing the best types of Kalanchoe to enable you to choose the one that best suits your growing environment.
However, if they must yield optimum results, you must provide them with the right conditions. Happy Gardening!