Kalanchoe laetivirens


The name “K. laetivirens” is actually a synonym of “Bryophyllum laetivirens”.


K. laetivirens is native to Madagascar, in climate regions with temperature always around 20ºC, growing on well-draining, sandy soils.


Kalanchoe laetivirens is a beautiful succulent perennial plant forming medium sized bushes (90 centimers max.) of stems branching at their base and ending in rosettes. It is probably a hybrid between K. daigremontiana and K. laxiflora, and it’s now classified in the genus ” Bryophyllum”, though it’s still mainly known as a Kalanchoe. It’s also called “Mother of thousands”, because of the numerous little plantlets continuously forming on the edges of its leaves and eventually falling on the ground and giving birth to new plants. K. laetivirens is often mistaken with K. daigremontiana, another species capable to reproduce in this strange, beautiful way. However, the Mother of thousand has, literally, thousands of baby plants on its leaves, perfectly lined up on the edges, that enhance its decorative potential, along with the beautiful, bright green colour of the arrow-shaped, petiolated big leaves (up to 8 centimeters long). Another fashinating feature of K. laetivirens is the yellowish-reddish tinges of the terminal part of its leaves and the reddish crest of the leaves edges. In Springs, K. laetivirens produces an elongated stalk, bearing a spike-like inflorescence of bell-shaped, pink flowers.


K. laetivirens is the perfect plant for beginners: it’s very easy to grow and it resists to drought. Here below are our cultivation tips:

Put it in half-shaded spot. Also a bright one, but not exposed to direct sunlight is ok.
It is preferable to keep it always at a temperature above 8 °C. In Winter, we advice to put it indoors or either shelter it. It loves high temperatures: the ideal temperature is actually above 18ºC.
Water it regularly in Spring, Autumn and Summer, always waiting for the soil to dry up completely before each irrigation. In Winter, water it only occasionally.
Choose a well-draining substrate: even better if further enriched with inert materials such as pumice, sand or lapilli.
K. laetivirens doesn’t need frequent fertilization, it is sufficient to dilute the fertilizer with watering once a year.
Repot every year, as K. laetivirens grows faster than other Kalanchoes and reaches a bigger size (1 meter).


The Kalanchoe can be propagated either by seed and by cuttings. At home, it is more used the reproduction by cuttings for convenience. Use sprigs of 8-10 cm in length without inflorescences. The Mother of thousands, anyway, easily reproduces through the tiny plantlets that grow on its leaves edges. It’s sufficient to detach one of them and replant it: it will put roots very easily.


It’s called also “Mother of thousands” for the numerous plantlets growing on the edges of its leaves that, eventually, fall to give birth to new plants.
Kalanchoes have been used in popular medicine for their soothing action of wounds and anti-inflammatory properties. They are good also against burns, rheumatisms, rashes and hypertension. In traditional medicine, the daily consumption of the fresh leaves is a treatment against cancer. Although, K. laetivirens may be toxic and we advice to keep it far from pets.

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