Kalanchoe orgyalis


No synonyms are recorded for this species name.


Kalanchoe orgyalis is native to Southern Madagascar, where it grows among shrubs on rocky outcrops, or either in very dry and sandy soil, at a variable range of altitude in a habitat rich of rare, endemic species.


Kalanchoe orgyalis is a beautiful perennial plant with copper-colored leaves and a shrubby, little branched habit. It is a slow-grower but, in its natural habitat, it can grow up until 2 meters. Its young offsets are long-haired. In time, the basal leaves turn silvery, creating a beautiful contrast with the upper, copper-colored ones. The size of the leaves is 5-15 centimeters in length and 4 to 10 in width. They are green at the beginning, then of a bronzed- rusty brown, with a silvery grey-greenish colour on the underside. They are slightly curved upwards, so that they look like kinds of spoons. That’s the reason for the common name “copper spoon”. The upper side of the leaves is convered in a fine hair that make them look like sandpaper. In spring, adult individuals produce a spike-like inflorescence called thyrse. A thyrse, in botany, is a type of inflorescence in which the main axis grows indeterminately, and the subaxes (branches) have determinate growth. Its peculiar name, thyrse, comes from the thyrsus, which was the was a wand or staff of giant fennel (Ferula communis) covered with ivy vines and leaves, sometimes wound with taeniae and topped with a pine cone, artichoke, or by a bunch of vine-leaves. It was typically associated with the Greek god Dionysus, and represents a symbol of prosperity. In Kalanchoe orgyalis, the thyrse can be up to 40 centimeters – 1 meter tall and carry bright yellow flowers, made of a very fleshy corolla, glabrous, with a circular to oval tube.


Kalanchoe orgyalis is very popular among succulent lovers for the peculiar colour of its leaves, copper-coloured, that make it the perfect ornamental plant. It’s not difficult to cultivate and it’s a slow-grower, so it’s very easy to manage. Here below are our tips:

The plant needs a bright exposure, indirect sunlight, so is suitable for indoors. Long exposure to direct sunlight can cause burns and burnt spots.
Temperatures below 8° C can damage the plant so it is best to shelter it or place it in a cold greenhouse during the winter. 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 mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. 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. Irrigation is proportional to the size of the pot, the position and the season. In Spring and Autumn the plant can be watered with a glass of water every 7-10 days; in summer it can be watered every 3-5 days. Decrease the amount of water if the plant is kept indoors or if the pot is smaller than 12 cm.
The plant is used to growing in poor soils, for this reason it does not need abundant fertilization, it is sufficient to fertilize once in spring and once a year in summer. 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; it is usually done every 3-4 years. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.


The propagation of this species is carried out by replanting its offsets at the base of the mother plant or either by leaf and stem cuttings. Any type of cutting easily puts roots.


The name “Kalanchoe” comes form the word “Kalan-chowi” or “Kalan chauhuy”, all word meaning “falling and developing”, because many species of this genus share a very efficient form of propagation in which new, numerous little plantlets grow on the edge of the leaves and, after a while, fall and puts roots on the ground.

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