Kalanchoe eriophylla is native to Madagascar where it grows on rocks.
Kalanchoe eriophylla is a dwarf succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. The succulent has an erect to decumbent habit, branches from the base and can reach up to 10 cm in height. The stem is branched and woody at the base, bluish green in color. The leaves are elliptic, sessile, very fleshy, opposite, covered with hairs, bluish to silver-greyish, with brown spots toward the apex along the edge. The leaves can turn their color when exposed to direct sunlight or low temperatures and can take on crimson shades. Blooming occurs from the early spring to the early summer and the blossoms are borne at the apex of the stem. The inflorescence is a cyme 30 cm long, made of 2-7 flowers. The flowers are small, numerous, star-shaped, white to pinkish with yellow stamens. The fruits are pale pink-violet with yellow center. The plant is appreciated for the ornamental color and it is perfect like houseplant.
The plant has a slow growth rate but it easy to cultivate. The best sun-exposure is in bright place but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. Long exposure to direct sun-light can cause burns and burnt spots. The minimum temperatures that the plant can withstand are 8° C, below this temperature it begins to suffer and going down further it no longer survives. Too low temperatures can cause the stem or leaves to break due to water freezing inside the tissues. Temperatures between 10 and 15 °C allow the plants to enter vegetative rest which is essential for the flowering of the following year. Plants should not be placed inside the house where average temperatures of 20 degrees prevent vegetative rest. The soil should be a well-draining and porous soil, so you can use a standard cactus soil or a mix of fertile soil and sand. The pumice should always be placed on the bottom of the pot. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly during the vegetative period. During the vegetative period you can water the plant every 5 days with half a glass of water, checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. Decrease the amount of water if the plant is kept indoors or if the pot is smaller than 12 cm. About fertilization, for this plant is sufficient to fertilize moderately during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents and stop fertilizing during the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil; when the plant reaches 12 cm in diameter it no more needs it. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
The easiest and fast method of propagation is to use cuttings. By cutting you can use the offsets during the spring. Cut an offset and then let it dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. For leaf cutting you can cut some healthy leaves and plant it in a pot with sand and loam. Place the pot in a warm and bright environment and in 1-2 months the cuttings will be ready to plant. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. It is advisable to use rooting hormone at the base of the cut to energize root development. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C.
The plant is commonly known as “fluffy Kalanchoe” for the thin down which cover the leaves.
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