Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’ is a unique, pink variegated succulent that is a must-have in any collection. It is a variegated form of the cross K. delagoensis x K. daigremontiana, also known as K. x houghtonii. These ‘Mother of Thousands’ plants grow hundreds of new plantlets or “bulbils” along their leaf edges, each of which can fall off and propagate, re-rooting into a whole new plant! The small plantlets of ‘Pink Butterflies’ are especially notable for their tiny leaves and pink pigments, giving them the appearance of a kaleidoscope of butterflies.
A variegated succulent is a type of plant that has leaves with distinct color patterns or variations, often with streaks or patches of white, yellow, or other lighter shades mixed in with the usual green color. These variations can be caused by genetic mutations or other factors, and they can give the plant a unique and decorative appearance.
Variegated succulents can be found in a wide range of species, and they are often prized by collectors and gardeners for their visual appeal. It is important to note that some variegated plants may be more delicate or difficult to care for than their non-variegated counterparts, as the lack of chlorophyll in their variegated areas can make them more sensitive to light and other growing conditions.
Light and Sun Requirements for Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’:
Like other variegated plants, Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’ needs a little extra light. In frost-free weather, it is quite happy outdoors in partial sun. For indoor growing, be sure to keep it on a sunny window sill, with south- and west-facing sills working best in the Northern Hemisphere. This plant also thrives under full spectrum grow lights.
In general, it is best suited for growing in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 11, which correspond to temperatures that do not typically fall below 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degree Celsius). This means that ‘Pink Butterflies’ is best suited for growing in warm, frost-free climates, and it may not survive in areas with colder winters. It is important to protect the plant from frost and freezing temperatures, as exposure to these conditions can damage or kill the plant.
Watering and Soil for Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’:
As with other succulents, ‘Pink Butterflies’ needs deep but infrequent waterings. They can handle a good, thorough drenching, but be sure to only water when the soil is completely dry to avoid overwatering and potential rot. Gritty soil is best for this plant, as it needs a light, well-draining soil with lots of mineral grit.
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Containers for Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’:
To ensure proper drainage, it is important to use a container with a hole in the bottom for ‘Pink Butterflies’. If you have a non-draining pot that you really want to use, you can drill a hole in the bottom with a diamond bit. It is possible to use a non-draining container, but it is more challenging and requires careful watering to avoid rot.
Propagating Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’
Propagating ‘Pink Butterflies’ is relatively simple and can be done in two different ways. One of my favorite ways to propagate ‘Pink Butterflies’ is to let the plant do all the work.
Whenever a plantlet falls off the edge of a leaf, it has the potential to grow roots and become its own plant. Simply ensure the plantlet has space, sun, and regular moisture, and gently transplant it into a separate container. The plantlets that are completely pink will most likely not grow. If you can, choose some with the darker gray/greenish spots.
The second method for propagating Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’ is to take stem cuttings. Using sharp, clean scissors, cut off the top 2 inches or more of the stem. Let the cut dry for 2-3 days, then plant the stem in a new pot. Water deeply and the cutting should grow new roots. In 2-4 weeks, you can gently tug on the stem to see if it has established roots.
Is ‘Pink Butterflies’ Monocarpic?
‘Pink Butterflies’ is a hybrid plant that is created by crossing two species of Kalanchoe: Kalanchoe delagoensis and Kalanchoe daigremontiana. This hybrid plant is also known as Kalanchoe x houghtonii.
Kalanchoe delagoensis, also known as the mother of thousands, is a succulent plant that is not monocarpic. This means that it does not produce seeds and die after flowering, but rather continues to grow and produce flowers over a number of years.
Kalanchoe daigremontiana, also known as the mother of millions or Devil’s Backbone, is a monocarpic succulent plant. This means that it produces seeds and dies after flowering.
It is possible that ‘Pink Butterflies’ may inherit the monocarpic trait from Kalanchoe daigremontiana, but without more information it is difficult to say for certain.
Final Thoughts on Caring for Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’
‘Pink Butterflies’ are a unique and beautiful addition to any succulent collection. However, they do require a little extra care and attention to thrive. Be sure to provide them with plenty of sunlight, infrequent but deep watering, and a well-draining soil mix. With the right care, you can enjoy the stunning pink pigments and delicate plantlets of Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’ for years to come.
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General Information About Kalanchoe Care
Kalanchoe is a genus of tropical, succulent plants that belongs to the Crassulaceae family. It is native to Madagascar and other parts of Africa, but has been widely cultivated and naturalized in other parts of the world. Common names include Flaming Katy, Paddle Plant, and Mexican Hat Plant. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular Kalanchoe species and varieties, as well as cover all the essential information you need to know to care for them properly.
Overview of Popular Kalanchoe Species and Varieties
Some of the most popular species and varieties include: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana: popular for its brightly colored flowers Kalanchoe beharensis: large, fuzzy leaves Kalanchoe tomentosa: small, furry leaves Kalanchoe pinnata: a species known for its medicinal properties
Kalanchoe Care and Maintenance
Kalanchoe is a relatively low maintenance plant, but there are a few things to keep in mind when caring for it.
Kalanchoe plants prefer bright, indirect light but can also tolerate some direct sun.
Temperature and Humidity
Kalanchoe plants prefer warm temperatures and low humidity.
Watering and Fertilizing
Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering. Fertilize occasionally with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season.
How to Propagate Kalanchoe
Kalanchoe can be propagated by taking leaf or stem cuttings and rooting them in a well-draining succulent soil mix.
Pests and Diseases
Kalanchoe is generally pest-free, but can be susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. Overwatering or poor drainage can lead to root rot.
Growing Kalanchoe Indoors
Kalanchoe is a popular houseplant that can be grown in a sunny window or under artificial light.
Outdoor Cultivation in Warm Climates
Kalanchoe is hardy in zones 9-11 and can be grown outdoors in these regions. In cooler climates, it can be grown as an annual or container plant.
Common Uses in Landscaping and Gardening
Kalanchoe is often used as a colorful, low-maintenance groundcover or accent plant in rock gardens or succulent gardens.
What are some adaptations of Kalanchoe?
Here are some other adaptations of Kalanchoe:
• Thick, succulent leaves. Kalanchoe have thick, fleshy leaves that store water. This is an adaptation to arid environments where water is scarce. The succulent leaves allow Kalanchoe to survive periods of drought by using the stored water in its leaves.
• Covered in waxy coating. The leaves and stems of Kalanchoe are coated in a waxy substance that helps reduce water loss. This waxy coating is an adaptation to the hot, dry climates where Kalanchoe originate. It allows the plant to retain moisture that is vital for its survival.
• Closed stomata during the day. Kalanchoe have stomata that are closed during the hot daytime, which reduces water loss through transpiration. The stomata open at night when it is cooler, allowing the plants to take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. This adaptation helps Kalanchoe balance its need for photosynthesis and water conservation.
• Production of offsets. Many Kalanchoe varieties produce plant offsets or “pups” that can be used for propagation. This is a form of asexual reproduction that allows Kalanchoe to propagate and spread effectively. The ability to produce offsets helps the species adapt to a range of conditions and expand its populations. It also makes Kalanchoe popular as houseplants that can be easily propagated.
• Brightly colored flowers. Some Kalanchoe species produce vividly colored flowers. These conspicuous flowers attract pollinators like birds, insects, and bats. By attracting pollinators, the flowers aid in reproduction and the spread of Kalanchoe. The colorful blooms have also made certain Kalanchoe varieties popular flowering houseplants and garden plants.
In conclusion, Kalanchoe is a tropical, succulent plant that is well-suited for warm climates, and can be grown indoors as well. It has a variety of uses in gardening and landscaping. With proper care, Kalanchoe can be a beautiful addition to any garden or home.