With wonderful silvery grey foliage and pretty pink flowers, Kalanchoe pumila (see picture right) is a an excellent choice for a hanging basket, container or as a ground cover plant in warmer climates.
This species is from Madagascar and is relatively low growing to around 20cm.
New foliage is a silvery grey turning to a deeper green as it ages, the edges of the foliage and lightly serrated or wavy often marked with red. The amount of sun will determine foliage colour, more sun will lead to more pinks and red in the foliage.
Originally from Madagascar where it grows in very stony ground this is a plant that thrives on good drainage and sun.
Also known as the Flower Dust Plant the flowers appear in masses in late winter and continue to spring.
We have caught the first one to open in our garden. Excellent in a dry rock garden
Growing and Care
Kalanchoe pumila tends to ‘trail’ so a low hanging basket can be an excellent choice.
As with most of the Kalanchoes, this species requires a well drained position in full sun to part shade. In summer water once a week as the soil dries. In winter every 2 – 3 weeks if grown indoors.
It is frost tender, so if you are in frost prone area, try growing in a container so that some protection can be given.
Again do not over water, a dry winter is appreciated. Do not mist or spray foliage as this can cause fungal problems. Low humidity is essential.
Deadhead after flowering, prune back stems that become to long to a leave node. Tip pruning is also effective if you want a more bushy habit.
Use a basic cactus and succulent fertiliser every 2 – 3 months.
These are a plant that like some direct sunlight, in more sun the leaves tend to become more of a ducky pink to red.
You can prune the plant back to maintain a more bushy growth habit if required. The best time to prune is immediately after flowering which will be from spring to early summer.
Kalanchoe pumila can be grown from seed or leaf cuttings, or from offsets