Kalanchoe tomentosa (Panda Plant)
Common Names: “Panda Plant”; “Pussy Ears”
Note: ‘Chocolate Soldier’ is a cultivar of this plant, and it is sometimes confused as a common name.
Species: K. tomentosa
Native To: Grows wild on the islands of Madagascar.
- Appearance: Kalanchoe tomentosa is a hardy succulent, perennial shrub with light green, furry leaves up to 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, covered with white hair and some brown spots on the leaf margins and tips. It grows about 1-3 ft. tall and 2-3 ft. wide. Makes a great groundcover.
- Flowering: Tends to flower only in the climate of origin. If it does flower, it will do so outside in the summer, and the blooms will be clusters of yellow-green flowers with dark brown petal tips.
- Hardiness: It is cold hardy to 30 degrees F.
Care Requirements: Prefers full sun, but will also grow in part shade. It needs well-draining soil that drys out between waterings.
Propagation: It can be easily propagated by leaf cuttings. Air propagating individual leaves is my preferred method. Check out this post here for tips.
Toxicity: Species from the Kalanchoe genus are toxic to pets. Check out my Pet Safety Guide for more information.
Xylem Rising’s Observations: The leaves are beautiful! They are soft and velvety, mimicking the fur of a panda (hence the name). It does prefer full sun, but it will also tolerate part shade. The brighter the location, the more vibrant the brown leaf margins and tips will be. It will lose a lot of the contrast in color if it remains in part-shade for a long amount of time. If it is relocated to full-sun, the intensity of the brown margins will return. It does need some protection from hot, summer direct sun.
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