Kalanchoe tomentosa, or Panda Plant, is a native of Madagascar. It is a beautiful succulent plant with dense white felt-like hairs covering the entire leaf. Leaf tips have shallow notches that are marked brown. With great age they will reach about 18 inches (45 cm) in containers and as far as I know they are not poisonous to animals or humans. They are hardy in USDA zones 9-12.
Blooming Time: Although I have never seen one in bloom, the flowers are greenish white.
Culture: Kalanchoe tomentosa need full sun to light shade, or bright indirect lighting in the home. They need a well-drained soil and warm temperatures. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts sand to 1 part loam, with small gravel added to increase drainage. Plants are watered and allow to dry thoroughly before watering again. We fertilize only once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. During the winter months, plants are watered only enough to keep the leaves from shriveling.
Propagation: Kalanchoe tomentosa are propagated by stem cutting or by leaf cuttings. Leaves removed from the plant very carefully will produce small plant in about 4 weeks.
Kalanchoe tomentosa was featured as Plant of the Week October 18-24, 2002.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.