A unique plant with self-propagating plantlets growing on the leaf edges! The Kalanchoe tubiflora or Bryophyllum delagoensis is getting all the limelight in this read. This evergreen perennial native belongs to Madagascar and can grow around 3 feet in height.
The cylindrical green leaves with darker spotted patterns grow on single stems. The members of this genus show a strange reproductive pattern. Numerous tiny buds or seed-like plantlets grow along the leaf edges. These plantlets get dropped off the parents on their and root on any available space. Moreover, this hardy peep needs just a little care and it is good to go. Interesting, eh? Let us know more about the Kalanchoe delagoensis tubiflora plant.
Kalanchoe tubiflora Classification
Species: B. delagoensis
Scientific name: Bryophyllum delagoensis
This is a genus of about forty species native to Asia, Madagascar, and South Africa. Brophyllum is still considered to be a part of the Kalanchoe genus. Moreover, it is not universally accepted as an individual genus.
The name is derived from the Greek words Bryophyllum (meaning sprout) and Phyllon (meaning Leaf). This is in reference to the unique reproductive form of the genus in which the offspring sprout from the parent leaves.
These plants are grown for their unique irregular foliage and self-propagating abilities. In addition, many of these plants are used in medicine for different issues. These include the issue of the nervous system, muscles, and treatment of cardiotoxic effects in cattle and sheep.
Kalanchoe tubiflora Other Names
- Mother of millions.
- Devil’s backbone.
- Chandelier plant.
- Kalanchoe delagoensis tubiflora.
Features of The Kalanchoe Tubiflora Plant
Height and Spread
- Numerous cylindrical leaves grow in an irregular pattern. These leaves join at the base and stand on an upright stem to form the plant.
- A mature plant can grow up to 30 to 40 inches tall with a spread of about 25 inches.
- The length of a mature tubular leaf is around 5 inches.
Kalanchoe tubiflora Flowers
- The plant produces clusters of orange to reddish tubular flowers in winter.
- The optimum temperature to enhance the bloom of the plant is around 60 °F.
The Delagoensis plant contains bufadienolide cardiac glycosides. These constituents can cause fatal poisoning and are quite harmful if ingested. Moreover, it has a history of killing a good number of grazing cattle back in 1997. Thus, make sure you keep the plant away from kids and pets.
These Tubifloras love to grow in congested places which is the natural habit of Kalanchoes. They make a good combination with other succulents. However, you need to manage and remove unwanted growth.
These plants are nothing lesser than invaders. Yes, they will keep spreading the seeds and you will see tiny Tubifloras around your garden very soon. These new growths can even suppress the weaker plants. Thus, if you don’t want these tiny devil backbones in other pots, try placing them at a distance. Or, they will hijack your garden in a shorter time.
Kalanchoe Tubiflora Care
These plants do best outdoors getting all the natural elements. Thus, try giving some outdoor time to your indoor peeps in spring and summer. Let us have a look at the basic requirements of this low-maintenance plant.
The Tubifloras comes with a low water requirement. Water the upper surface mildly without soaking the deep soil. Let the soil dry out between waterings.
As far as frequency is concerned, it depends upon the climate you are living in. In dry areas, watering the plant once will suffice for the whole week in summer. On the other hand, winter further decreases the water requirement. Just water after every two weeks and these resilient folk will be happy and healthy.
These plants have the minimum tolerance for wet feet and soggy soil. Thus, make sure you avoid over-watering.
Indoor peeps in low light don’t require much water. Low light and abundant water are a recipe for destroying your plant. So, you need to observe the plant and adjust the water smartly. Just remember, under-watering is better than over-watering. So, start from minimum water and increase if required.
Bright indirect sunlight is ideal for the plant. 4 to 6 hours of bright light will do the job in keeping this folk happy and healthy. However, it has tolerance towards shade and partial shade. Just make sure you keep it away from direct sunlight as this may burn the foliage.
A well-lit east-facing window is a nice indoor place to keep this plant. If you are moving it outdoors for the first time, don’t forget to introduce the two gradually. This will cancel out the risks of burning and drying out of the foliage
The Tubiflora Kalanchoe needs well-drained soil. Any cactus or succulent mix can do the job pretty well. If you are using ordinary houseplant mix or potting soil, adding some sand will be helpful to increase the drainage capability. The best ratio is 1 part sand for two parts of the soil of the cactus mix. An equal mixture of a cactus mix, perlite, and coarse sand is also a nice option.
The Kalanchoes prefer a dry atmosphere. However, they have the usual humidity tolerance of the succulents.
The B. delagoensis can do well without any added fertilization. However, some extra nutrition in the growing season will enhance the health and growth of the plant. Use a well-balanced house plant fertilizer in diluted or moderate form. A monthly dose will be enough in the growing season. Alternatively, you can follow the instructions on the pack. Just make sure you don’t over-fertilize, as this may burn your plant.
Kalanchoe Chandelier Plant loves warmth but the temperature should remain below 95 °F. The ideal temperature range for it is between 60 to 85 °F.
It has a low tolerance towards winter and frost. This is unless you are living in USDA zones of hardiness i.e. 10a and 11b. So, don’t forget to shift your plant indoors before the temperature falls below 45 °F.
You can cut a few leaves from the lower side of the stem. This will help to maintain the health and appearance of the plant.
The terracotta plant is best suitable for this plant. The reason being these pots are porous and allow the soil to dry out quickly. Thus, they can help in keeping the plant safe from root rot.
It is better to select a pot size which you can move easily. This will help you in moving the place of the plant according to the weather.
Kalanchoe Tubiflora Propagation
The common methods include;
- Propagation by Stem-cuttings.
Propagation by ‘Seeds’
These peeps are the easiest to propagate. In fact, you will not need to propagate, as they keep on reproducing asexually on their own.
The leaves keep on growing tiny plantlets known as ‘seeds’ at their edges. These seeds get separated from the parent on their own and root in favourable conditions. Even if the conditions are not much suitable, they can grow. Oh yes! They can even grow on concrete.
- If you wish to propagate, simply pick the buds or the seeds of the leaves. Plant them in some soil or suitable potting mix.
- Just place them in a warm well-lit place and water mildly when the soil gets dry.
- Watering every other day shows good results in the beginning. However, they will even grow if you don’t provide this extra pampering. Once they reach the size of the parent plant, you can repot them to your desired place and pots. Moreover, normal watering of the adult plant will be enough from now on.
Propagation by Stem-Cuttings
This method is not used commonly because of the ease of seeds method. However, we are giving a quick outline in case you want to try this out.
- Take a sharp knife to get a 5 to 7 inches long stem-cutting from a healthy plant. Let the cutting dry out for a day. When the cut gets healed, move on to the next step.
- Now dip the lower end in a growth hormone and tap off the excess. Nevertheless, you may skip this step in case the hormone is not available at your end.
- Now plant the cutting in a suitable growing medium.
- Place the set up at a warm place in the indirect light of low intensity. Mist every third day or when the soil gets dry.
- Rooting will start after about two weeks with a complete root system in six weeks. Shoot development will be seen at this step. You can cut back the misting and water properly about once a week or more. The maturing plant also needs to increase sunlight. So, shift to more lighted areas gradually.
Kalanchoe Tubiflora Plant Problems
Mushy and Limpy Foliage
We get common queries about ‘How to treat an overwatered Tubiflora?’ Limping is the initial sign of over-watering leading to mushy foliage. Reconsider the watering routine the right way. There are bright chances you must be making this baby gulp the extra sips.
Cut the mushy parts and place the pot in some intense indirect sunlight. This will let the soil dry out. If it doesn’t help, you can take the plant out of the soil gently. Shed or clean the soil on the roots and replant in dry soil. Cutting any rotten roots before replanting is always better.
Dry and Shrivelled Foliage
Under-watering is the most probable reason.
Just water thoroughly and wait for the plant to get better in a matter of days.
In case of inadequate light, the plant gets leggy with pale and less marbled leaves. A stretching plant is a sign of inadequate light. The plant actually tries to expand in search of light. This natural coping mechanism is known as etiolation. The plant may further get weaker and show stunted growth. Move the light-loving folk to some nicer light to see it getting healthier! In case your house doesn’t have a well-lit place, try using a grow light.
Heatwaves and intense sun can cause the patterns to get dark purplish. This leads to brown spots, thinning of leaves, and eventually burnt foliage.
It is better to keep a look at the plant and transfer to someplace with moderate temperature and light. This will stop the plant from further drying.
Kalanchoe tubiflora is an evergreen plant with a unique appearance and self-propagating ability. The central stem is surrounded by cylindrical green leaves with darker patterns. The leaves produce tiny buds or plantlets on the edges. These buds drop off from the parent on their own and get rooted to form individual plants. This plant rarely blooms with thick clusters of red to orange tubular flowers.
The Tubiflora or the Chandelier plant doesn’t demand much to be alive. The Kalanchoe tubiflora Care simply includes well-draining soil, bright indirect light and watering when the soil gets dry. Within a suitable temperature range, this plant does well in both indoor and outdoor environments. Importantly, this toxic plant peep should be strictly kept out of the range of kids and pets.