Kalanchoe tubiflora is a sensational succulent, famed for its ability to produce hundreds of plantlets each year.
This impressive feat makes it a popular choice among beginners and pros alike.
With this guide, you can be sure to produce your own endless supply of baby succulents.
What Is Kalanchoe Tubiflora?
Kalanchoe tubiflora is a flowering succulent native to Madagascar. It is known under several names, such as Kalanchoe delagoensis, Kalanchoe Maternity Plant, and Chandelier Plant. But the name that is most commonly used in the houseplant trade is Mother of Millions.
When cultivated indoors, Kalanchoe tubiflora can grow to a maximum height of 3 feet (90 cm). The plant will produce several long, fleshy stems that grow upright and develop tubular leaves displayed along the length of the main stem. The leaves are usually light green, often with purple accents, and can grow to be up to 5 inches (13 cm) long.
Kalanchoe tubiflora belongs to the Bryophyllum group, which is best known for plants that produce abundant vegetative growth on their leaves. These small plantlets will drop off the main leaves when they’re big enough and root wherever they fall on the ground. They also add a unique touch to the plant’s decorative value.
– Does Kalanchoe Tubiflora Flower?
Yes, it does! The Mother of Millions plant will start blooming in winter, and in the right conditions, it can flower for up to six months. The flowers grow from several stems at the top of the plant and form abundant clusters of orange and coral-colored blooms. These flowers have an elongated, tubular shape, which is where the name ‘tubiflora’ comes from.
– Is Kalanchoe Tubiflora Toxic?
Kalanchoe tubiflora is toxic to animals. This is because the stems and leaves contain bufadienolide cardiac glycosides, which will affect the cardiovascular, neurologic, and gastrointestinal systems. It is best to keep this plant out of reach of pets. Additionally, make sure that children can’t get to it either to avoid any accidents.
Kalanchoe Tubiflora Care Guide
Kalanchoe tubiflora is hardy and adaptable, which makes it a very low-maintenance plant. Compared to the harsh growing conditions in Madagascar, your home should easily provide it with the right environment it requires.
Here’s how you can keep your Mother of Millions thriving indoors.
– Light Requirements
Kalanchoe tubiflora grows best in bright indirect light. A room with eastern or western exposure is ideal. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as this will scorch the leaves. Rotate the pot once a week to ensure the plant receives light evenly, and it doesn’t start bending.
Some sources suggest that this plant can also grow in partial shade. Although it can survive in lower light, it will struggle to thrive and will develop thin, leggy stems as it searches for more sun, a process called etiolation. To keep your Kalanchoe tubiflora happy, make sure that it receives at least four hours of bright indirect light each day.
– Temperature Requirements
The ideal temperature range for Kalanchoe tubiflora is between 60 F and 85 F (15 C to 29 C) but can tolerate temperatures as low as 45 F (7 C). This makes it well suited for both indoor and outdoor gardening.
If you want to grow Kalanchoe tubiflora outdoors, you can do so in USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b. This plant can tolerate a light frost, but to prevent any permanent damage, you should keep it in a container and bring it indoors if temperatures drop below 45 F (7 C) at night.
To encourage blooming, we recommend keeping the indoor temperature in winter to around 60 F (15 C) and provide the plant with plenty of bright indirect light.
– Water Requirements
Kalanchoe tubiflora has low watering requirements. Like all soft succulents and plants in the Kalanchoe genus, it has fleshy leaves that retain water, which gives it some tolerance to drought. This is excellent news if you sometimes forget to water your plants, but it also means that it is very easy to kill this plant if you overwater it.
When growing Kalanchoe tubiflora in containers, allow the soil to completely dry out before watering it again. It can be a bit tricky to tell if the soil is dry enough, which is why we recommend a soil moisture sensor for the job.
There isn’t an exact formula for when to water Kalanchoe tubiflora. This will depend on many factors, such as the time of the year, temperature, humidity, size of the plant, and even the material the container is made of. During summer, you may need to water it once every two weeks, but in winter, you can allow as much as one month between waterings.
– Humidity Requirements
In its native habitat, Kalanchoe tubiflora grows in arid conditions, so it has very low humidity requirements.
– Soil Requirements
Kalanchoe tubiflora needs a very well-draining potting mix. In the wild, this plant is used to alternating monsoons and dry seasons, as well as soils that don’t retain water for too long. As a result, you will need to use plenty of soil amendments to prevent problems caused by overwatering, such as root rot.
Plant your Kalanchoe tubiflora in a mix of two parts cactus soil and one part perlite or pumice. If you want to make your own cactus mix, you can combine equal parts universal potting soil and coarse sand, then add one part perlite to help improve drainage even further.
The right type of soil is just as important as the material the container is made of. For Kalanchoe tubiflora, it’s best that you use ceramic pots rather than plastic. Ceramic and terracotta help wick the moisture from the soil while improving air circulation. This will be a great help if you wish to avoid overwatering your plant and any fungal problems that could follow.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Kalanchoe tubiflora is a very light feeder, so it doesn’t typically need fertilizer applications. If you’ve repotted the plant, you don’t need to provide it with extra nutrients that year. But if you had the plant growing in the same soil for some time, a light nutrient boost will be welcome. Simply apply a succulent fertilizer solution once a month, diluted to half strength.
The Mother of Millions plant will only need fertilizer applications throughout the growing season, from spring until the end of summer. In winter, cut back on fertilizers completely as they can burn the plant’s roots or result in leggy growth.
– Pruning and Maintenance
Kalanchoe tubiflora hardly needs any pruning. As the plant grows, some of the older leaves from the bottom will start to turn yellow, but they usually dry and fall off on their own.
If the Mother of Millions is becoming too tall, you can cut a few inches off the top to bring it to your desired size. Keep the cuttings and use them for propagation. The rest of the stem will develop a callus and start sending out new growth in a few weeks.
– Repotting Kalanchoe Tubiflora
Kalanchoe tubiflora has a fast growth rate but will only need repotting once every two years. Simply move the plant to a container that’s one size larger or two inches (five centimeters) wider than the previous one. Always make sure that the new pot has drainage holes at the bottom.
Kalanchoe Tubiflora Propagation Guide
There are two methods you can use to propagate Kalanchoe tubiflora: propagating through stem cuttings and separating and planting the small buds growing on the edges of the leaves.
Let’s start with the easier method.
– Propagating Kalanchoe Tubiflora Through Buds or Plantlets
It’s called Mother of Millions for a reason: this plant is prolific at vegetative growth and will grow dozens of new plantlets each year. If you use this propagation method, your house will fill with baby Kalanchoe succulents in no time.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll need.
- Throughout the year, the Mother of Millions will produce small buds along the tips of the leaves, each with a set of leaves and roots.
- Wait until these buds (or plantlets) fall off the stem naturally.
- Fill a shallow tray with a mixture of perlite and succulent soil, then use a spray bottle to dampen the soil.
- Collect the buds and pot them in the tray, leaving about two inches between them.
- Place the tray in bright indirect light, water lightly, and cover the plantlets with a transparent plastic wrap to increase humidity.
- The buds don’t take long to start growing more roots and leaves, and after about a month, they should be big enough to plant in separate pots.
– Propagating Kalanchoe Tubiflora Through Stem Cuttings
This method is rarely used for propagating the Mother of Millions plant. However, it’s something worth considering if your plant has grown too tall or if the stem breaks.
Here’s what you need to do.
- Use a sharp, sterilized blade to cut the stem section you wish to propagate.
- Place the cutting in a dry room, away from direct light, and give it a few days until the end develops a callus.
- Plant the cutting in a mix of perlite and succulent soil.
- Water lightly, and keep the pot in bright indirect light.
- After four to six weeks, your cutting should develop enough roots to become established.
– Can You Propagate Kalanchoe Tubiflora Through Seeds?
In theory, you can propagate the Mother of Millions plant from seeds. However, growing most species of succulents from seed can be very difficult. Even if you find Kalanchoe tubiflora seeds for sale, they take many weeks to germinate and many more months to become mature plants.
Given the fact that this Kalanchoe produces so many buds each year, we recommend using the easy method of propagating through plantlets.
Common Pests and Problems
– Leggy Growth
Leggy growth is a common problem for soft succulents growing indoors. If your Kalanchoe tubiflora is displaying leggy growth, the main reason is insufficient light. Move the plant closer to the window, but avoid placing it in direct sun. Also, remember to rotate it once a week to prevent the stem from bending and the leaves from growing unevenly.
– Soft, Mushy Leaves
Having soft, mushy leaves is a clear sign that your Kalanchoe tubiflora is overwatered. In severe cases, the leaves will turn pale and start falling off. Take the plant out of the container, remove the soaked soil, and repot it in a well-draining potting mix.
– Dry, Shriveled Leaves
Your Kalanchoe tubiflora is probably thirsty if it has dry leaves. Although it can tolerate some drought, don’t let the soil stay dry for too long. Water your plant lightly but regularly. If you’re not sure if you need to water it again, consider using a soil moisture sensor.
Kalanchoe tubiflora rarely suffers from any pest infestations. Mealybugs may trouble it occasionally, but they are easy to deal with. Simply rub the infested areas with a neem oil solution once a week until you can’t see any more bugs on the plant.
With the right care, your Mother of Millions plant will be healthy and thriving for many years, producing enough baby plants for all of your friends, family, and literally anyone you know.
Let’s go over the basics:
- Kalanchoe tubiflora is also called Mother of Millions due to the fact that it produces dozens of small buds on the tips of its leaves.
- The plant is easy to propagate by separating the buds from the leaves and planting them separately.
- This low-maintenance plant needs bright indirect light, well-draining soil, and light watering for healthy growth.
- It is resistant to most pests and diseases but is very sensitive to overwatering.
So, if you’re looking for an ever-lasting supply of plants, Kalanchoe tubiflora is a perfect choice!
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