Panda Plant, Kalanchoe tomentosa – Details, Growing Tips

Panda Plant – Kalanchoe Tomentosa also known as Pussy Ears, Teddy Bear Plant, Donkey Ears, Chocolate Soldier, Cocoon Plant, Velvet Leaf Kalanchoe, Plush Plant, White Lady

Panda Plant – Kalanchoe Tomentosa is great both indoors and out.

The Panda Plant is the first plant you should think about when you start to fill your terrarium with succulents.  It is cute looking and striking at the same time.

Common Names

Panda Plant, Pussy Ears, Teddy Bear Plant, Donkey Ears, Cocoon Plant, Velvet Leaf Kalanchoe, Plush Plant, White Lady

Scientific Binomial Name

Kalanchoe tomentosa (often incorrectly spelled tormentosa)

Description of Panda Plant, Kalanchoe tomentosa

The Panda Plant has puffy leaves with small white hairs that create a soft, velvety look on the leaves.  The leaves look like the hair on a Panda bear.  In Latin tomentosa means wooly or covered with fine, matted hairs.  The leaves are oval shaped and their color is a grayish green with brown spots.  Some varieties have a dark-red band around the edge of the leaves.  Other varieties have a chocolate brown color around the edges.

Max Growth:  Height indoors 1 foot; Outside 1 – 3 feet; Spread about 2 feet.

Outside Spacing: 8 – 24”

Lifespan:  Many years under good conditions.

Pot Size:  The maximum pot size you need is only 5”.

Uses:  Great in landscapes as an accent or a groundcover.  It is drought-tolerant and suitable for xeriscaping.  These thrive as indoor houseplants and in terrariums.  Since the branches can also grow below the pot they can be used as hanging plants.

Growing Conditions for Panda Plant, Kalanchoe tomentosa

Light:  Does best with bright light including some sunshine.  They do well with a combination of shade, direct and indirect light.

Temperature:  Between 60-75 F (15-23 C)

Humidity:  Normal to dry room humidity.

Soil:  Mixture of cacti and potting soil mix, well-drained.

Growing Season:  Spring through the end of summer.

Flowers:  Small tubular bell-shaped flowers at the end of the branches that bloom in summer.  Flowers are yellow-green and have dark brown on the tips of the petals.  It is rare to see these plants bloom indoors.

Outside Hardiness Zones:  9, 10, 11, 12; Will not tolerate frost.  These will not do well in high rainfall areas.

General Care for Panda Plant, Kalanchoe tomentosa

Water:  Water only when the soil is dry to the touch.  Make sure the water drains well and do not leave water standing in the tray.  Water them much less in the fall and winter.  Try to avoid getting the leaves wet when you water or they may start to rot.

Fertilizer:  Feed once every four weeks with a 1/4 diluted fertilizer, from spring through summer.

Care:  Occasionally gently clean the leaves with a soft, dry brush like a paint brush.

Pests and Diseases:  May be attacked by mealy bugs and these are hard to spot because of the hair on the leaves.  Panda Plants may start rotting at the root.  If you spot this it is easy to start propagating a new plant.

Pruning:  You can prune to create a tree or bush shaped plant.

Propagation:  Best done with leaf cuttings in the spring.  Let the leaf cutting dry out for one week and then plant in new soil.  Use a perlite mixture or a sandy potting soil.  It will begin rooting within 2 – 4 weeks.

Repotting:  May only need repotting every 2 years.

Medicinal and Other Uses

None

Cautions

Toxic to cats and dogs

Native Distribution

Madagascar

Cultivars of Kalanchoe tomentosa

‘Chocolate Soldier’

Other Tips:

Children seem to love Panda Plants so consider one of these for their bedroom.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *