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KALANCHOE thyrsiflora

Image of Kalanchoe thyrsiflora

James Burghardt

Family

Crassulaceae

Botanical Name

KALANCHOE thyrsiflora

Plant Common Name

Desert Cabbage, Paddleplant

General Description

The layered pancake-shaped leaves of this stunning graphic succulent have made it one of the most coveted choices for container gardens indoors and out. Its impressive fleshy foliage is soft blue-green in color with irregular edges of orange-purple-red. A native of the Cape region of South Africa, paddleplant thrives in the moist maritime air during the long, dry season. Like all succulents, it requires fast-draining, porous soil.

While technically a perennial, the plant can be short-lived. The original cluster of leaves bolt in the second season bearing a tall stalk topped with a cluster of powdery silver and yellow bell-shaped flowers. After bolting, many design-savvy, perfectionisto gardeners simply toss the old plants and replant with new. However, if the spent flower stalk is cut off, the parent will produce many new offsets in an irregular fashion. These can be severed and easily rooted in sand to create new, tidy clusters for the following year.

Paddleplant should receive full sun to encourage the leaf edges to turn bright orange-purple-red. It can be grown anywhere indoors or as a container plant, but if given too much shade or grown indoors it will remain blue green.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Lemon Yellow, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Blue, Purple, Orange, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Red, Purple, Orange, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Purple, Orange, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Red, Blue, Purple, Orange, Blue Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No