Kalanchoe rhombopilosa

Synonyms:

Kalanchoe rhombopilosa var. argentea
Kalanchoe rhombopilosa var. viridifolia

Habitat:

K. rhombopilosa is native to Madagascar where the plant grows in dry bushy areas usually in shaded places.

Description:

K. rhombopilosa is the smallest species of the genus and belongs to the Crassulaceae botanical family. The plant is a perennial shrub few branched and can reach up to 30 cm tall. The stem is thin, erect nd very hairy. The leaves are fleshy, petiolate, rhombic, with acute teeth at the top, covered with a silver-green powder and mark with coppery-brown spots. Blooming occurs in spring and the inflorescence is paniculate. The flowers are small, greenish yellow to pink with purple lines.

Cultivation:

This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 8°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. 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. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout 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. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.

Propagation:

Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting 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. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.

Curiosity:

Also called ‘Pies from Heaven’, due to the triangular and undulated shape of the apex of its leaves. Some leaves are diamond-shaped, which explains its name ‘rhombopilosa’.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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