Introducing the captivating Elephant Ear Kalanchoe, also known as the felt plant or felt bush! With its stout, erect stem and velvety leaves, this succulent shrub is sure to add a touch of elegance to any garden or indoor space. Growing up to an impressive 12 feet tall, resembling a tree, the Elephant Ear Kalanchoe, scientifically known as Kalanchoe beharensis, is a remarkable plant that will capture your attention with its unique features.
The leaves of this succulent are a highlight, covered with soft hairs that create a velvety texture. With their triangular shape, irregular lobes, and undulated folds, these leaves are a striking sight, measuring up to 16 inches long and 12 inches wide. As the plant reaches maturity, it blesses us with an array of charming, small urn-shaped flowers in greenish-pink to green-yellow hues. These flowers bloom during the winter, adorning the plant with grace.
Intrigued to learn more about how to care for and propagate the Elephant Ear Kalanchoe? Keep reading to discover the secrets behind nurturing and expanding this stunning succulent. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a novice plant enthusiast, this article will provide you with valuable insights on the best practices for maintaining the health and beauty of this extraordinary plant. So, let’s delve into the world of Elephant Ear Kalanchoe, and unlock the secrets that lie within its velvety leaves and delicate flowers.
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How To Care For Elephant Ear Kalanchoe
The Elephant Ear Kalanchoe is a hardy plant. It does not need too much attention and thrives on minimal care. Here are the detailed requirements of the Felt Plant:
The Elephant Ear Kalanchoe loves the sun. However, direct sunlight might prove harmful, especially if you live in an area with very hot summers.
Place your succulent in lightly shaded locations to protect them from harsh sunlight during the day. If you keep them indoors, opt for window sills that receive plenty of light throughout the day.
You need to be careful while watering Elephant Ear Kalanchoe. They are a drought-resistant plant species, so you need to take care not to overwater them. Always let the soil dry out completely before watering again.
Overwatering will lead to the rotting of the roots and leaves. This can also cause fungal growth, which can quickly take over the entire plant. On the other hand, if you don’t give the plant enough water, the leaves will start drooping and falling off.
Any soil mix meant for succulents will work great for Elephant Ear Kalanchoe. Succulent soil mixes have good draining power, which is exactly what these plants need since they are prone to overwatering.
If you are making a soil mix at home, take sand and a mixture of peat moss and clay. Mix them together in a ratio of 1:1. This will create a fast-draining medium suitable for most succulents. You can lower the amount of sand if you feel that the potting mix is too loose.
The Elephant Ear Kalanchoe does not need fertilizer. It is a hardy plant and does well with the nutrients already present in the soil.
If you want to attempt to make your plant more lush and healthy, you can start adding a slow-release fertilizer every month. Liquid fertilizer also works well for this succulent.
The Elephant Ear Kalanchoe thrives in warm climates. They love the sunlight and bloom during the summer.
They can survive cold temperatures during the winter, but ideally, the temperature should not drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area with extremely cold winters, you need to move your plant indoors to prevent them from freezing.
If you cannot move your Felt Plant indoors, you can cover it with a frost cloth to protect it from the cold.
Pests and Diseases
Elephant Ear Kalanchoe plants are not at risk for many pests or diseases. Like all succulents, they are vulnerable to mealybugs and aphids. You need to stay on the lookout for these pests by regularly inspecting the leaves of the plant.
You can wipe down the leaves with an insecticide to get rid of these pests. If you are looking for an organic solution to these pests, neem oil is a good alternative. Make sure to use a diluted version or you will end up burning the plant.
Propagating Elephant Ear Kalanchoe
Elephant Ear Kalanchoe can be propagated both from its stems and leaves. It is a very straightforward process that even amateur gardeners can complete.
The propagation method is the same whether you choose to propagate with stems or leaves. First of all, take a pair of sterilized gardening shears and snip off a few cuttings of the stems or leaves.
Let the cuttings dry out in a sunny spot. You need to let the wounds heal completely and form calluses before you propagate them. If you get impatient during this stage, you will leave the propagated plant vulnerable to root or stem rot.
Once the cuttings are ready, spread them out on top of a succulent soil mix. Do not water them directly, instead gently mist them with water about 5 times a day. Keep the cuttings away from harsh sunlight.
When the cuttings take root in the soil, you can start watering them. Care for them the same way you would care for a full-grown succulent. When the cuttings are big enough, you can transfer them to individual pots.