Paddle Plant

Botanical Name: Kalanchoe thyrsiflora

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Paddle Plant is an unusual-looking succulent that grows in a rosette of flat, round leaves.

The gray-green leaves grow to about 6 in (15 cm) long and will become tinged in red when exposed to sun. Mature plants may produce a spike of fragrant, yellow flowers in spring.

These South African succulents belong to the Crassulaceae family, an extremely varied group.

Shed some light. Like most succulents, this plant grows best in bright light. It will even enjoy some direct sun. Move it outside for the summer, if you want. Just make the move a gradual one to avoid scorching its leaves. Be sure to bring it back indoors if the temperature drops below 50°F/10°C.

Careful with that water!

Avoid getting the leaves wet to prevent rot. Water the potting mix or water from the bottom.

Remember to always use room-temperature water when watering your plants.

Keep it on the dry side. Paddle Plant is easy to grow in average room conditions, tolerating the dry air of heated homes well. The one thing it doesn't like is soggy soil, so I'd recommend potting it in a terra cotta pot with drainage holes and using a sandy medium, such as cactus potting mix for fast drainage.

Repot in spring when it becomes crowded -- but don't over-pot. Use a container that's only slightly larger.

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Paddle Plant Care Tips

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Origin: South Africa

Height: To 24 in (60 cm)

Light: Bright light to full sun.

Water: Water thoroughly, then allow top 2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Don't allow soil to get soggy or the roots may rot.

Humidity: Average room humidity.

Temperature: Average room temperatures 60-75°F/16-24°C

Soil: Cactus potting mix. Or mix 2 parts potting mix with 1 part sand.

Fertilizer: Feed quarterly with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.

Propagation: Take leaf cuttings in spring or summer and pot in moist cactus potting mix.

Buying Tip

You'll find these succulents for sale by many names: Paddle Plant, Desert Cabbage and Flapjack Plant are the most common.

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Display Idea

Paddle Plant adds bold texture and form to a succulent dish garden.