Kalanchoe tomentosa cv. Chocolate Soldier
No synonyms are recorded for this species name.
Kalanchoe tomentosa cv. Chocolate Soldier is a nursery-produced cultivar, thus it doesn’t exist in nature. However, Kalanchoes in general are native to Africa (different countries according to the species), Asia and America.
K. tomentosa cv. Chocolate Soldier is a cultivar of Kalanchoe, very appreciated among succulent lovers for its extremely furry leaves and because it’s very easy to grow. It’s a dwarf perennial shrub, reaching a maximum height of 30-40 centimeters, with many stems branched at their base ending in rosettes. Actually, the furry leaves are also present in the regular K. tomentosa. The special feature of the cv. Chocolate soldier is precisely the rich chocolate colour, that is rather more intense in these cultivar than in the regular form, wher the red tinge of the edges is less pronounced. Its leaves are sessile, elongated, 5-7 centimeters long, very fleshy and hairy, bluish-grey with dark red, edges, to which correspond reddish hairs. These red tinges, along with the entire plant being so furry, gives it a high decorative potential.
The inflorescence is a panicle borne at the top of an elongate stalk. A panicle is a much-branched inflorescence: like a spike, but with its flowers equipped with a petiole. The flowers are quite attractive, coloured in ginger and bell-shaped.
K. tomentosa cv. Chocolate Soldier 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 a bright exposed, exposed to direct sunlight.
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.
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. tomentosa cv. Chocolate Soldier doesn’t need frequent fertilization, it is sufficient to dilute the fertilizer with watering once a year.
Repot once a year until the dimension of the plant is estabilished.
The Kalanchoe can be propagated either by seed and by cuttings. At home, it’s more easy to use the propagation through cuttings. Use sprigs of 8-10 cm in length without inflorescences and plant them in a well-draining substrate.
For its furry leaves tinged in intense red, K. tomentosa cv. Chocolate Soldier has also earned the funny nickname of Teddy Bear Cactus.
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.
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