Kalanchoe delagoensis "Mother of Thousands"
This plant gets a lot of attention from visitors for its
archetectural accents, its willingness to grow nearly anywhere, and the
ease with which the babies can be pulled or scooped away where not
wanted. They have to be fairly large to bloom, and a large potful of
them in bloom can be spectacular.
"Mother of Thousands" reproduces
via "plantlets" on that grow on the ends of each leaf & drop off....
they fall into the dirt and grow from there.
everywhere, don't need dirt, they grow, among the spines of cacti, in
orchid bark, between the leaves of bromeliads, in leaf litter on a
cement patio, as well as in every pot within 15 m of the mother plant.
Good thing they don't have nasty roots- they pull up out of the ground
easily. The plant's capability for vegetative reproduction, its
resistance to drought, and its popularity as a garden plant, have
allowed the plant to become an invasive weed in places such as eastern
Australia and many Pacific islands. In optimal conditions it grows as an
annual/biannual and typically grows to about 1 m before blooming in the
winter. Plants die back after blooming and new shoots can arise from the
Leaves: Waxy with a rubber/plastic appearance, mottled
with violet-brown leopard spots and frilled with plantlets, the leaves
ray out in a snowflake shape from an upright central stem. Leaf width
varies a lot, with plants in moist shade having wider, flat leaves and
those in dry sand having the narrowest and most "tubular" leaves. The
margins is entire except at their apices where there are five to seven
Flowers: Produces umbels of trumpet-shaped 2-3 cm long salmon to
scarlet flowers that dangle in clusters from the top of the plant. They
are very beautiful but hard to see.
Blooming season: Due to intense vegetative reproduction, this
plant rarely blooms. But well grown larger specimens can flower
profusely in winter, even with little or no water. The flowers last
about 5 weeks so it is well worthwhile trying to get some.
Cultivation: This plant is almost indestructible, does not require
any care... no care at all, it will grow. Sure it like water, but it is
very drought tolerant... ... throw it on the trash piles and it just
keeps growing and flowering.
K. delagoensis isn't hardy to severe freeze, but seem to tolerate
everything else. Be careful with this species in outdoor culture, once
it gets into a planting bed it is almost impossible to get rid of it, a
few tiny plantlets seem to survive any attempt to weeding them out every
time, and then they reproduce like crazy again.
These are very
easy pot plants due to their drought tolerance, and in fact will grow in
pretty deep shade without much trouble. Good thing they don't have nasty
roots- they can be pulled or scooped away where not wanted. It need to
be covered at least and housed in cold climates.
They are absolutely gorgeous as a cut flower in a tall stemmed green
vase. However the flowers are produced only by healthy plants grown on
1. It is best to grow them outside over the summer in an oversized pot
so they grow large quickly with the extra fertilizing.
2. Repot them in Autumn and left outside in a bright but cool and dry
location until first frost.
3. The cool temperature along with the shorter days at the back of the
Solarium where the light levels are relatively low stimulate the
production of abundant flower buds.
Reproduction: This succulent produces its offspring at the tips
of its tubular leaves but every part of it will root and grow new