The panda plant is a popular succulent known for its fun patterns and velvety soft feel. In fact, the plant name for this fun little houseplant literally means “full of fine hairs.” Like many succulents, they are easy to care for and the perfect companion for a well-lit room in your home. Native to Madagascar, these little succulents thrive with just a little TLC.
Indoor panda plants are hardy succulents that add a fun color to the houseplants you grow indoors. Growing the long-lived panda plant, which is often popular with kids, is an important part of children’s room decor. Read on to answer what a Kalanchoe tormentosa is and how to grow panda plants indoors.
What is a Panda Plant
More than 100 species of Kalanchoe grow in the wilds of Africa and other parts of the Old World. Kalanchoe tomentosa grows wild on the island of Madagascar. In their natural environment, long-lived panda plants grow with woody bases that can reach several feet (1 m). However, as houseplants, giant panda plant growth is limited by container size, typically only reaching 1 to 2 feet (31-61 cm) in height and 2 feet (61 cm) in circumference.
More information on growing long-lived panda plants suggests that the velvety appearance of the leaves is due to rising hairs in the trichomes, which deflect light and limit transpiration. The reddish-brown markings on the leaf margins, as well as the white-silver hairs, resemble panda fur. Tomentosa means dense wooly or velvety. The plant is also commonly known as the labia. Extended flowering vines
Planting instructions panda plant
If your panda plant will live indoors, choose a container large enough to hold the plant’s root ball and leave about an inch of space for the roots to grow. It should have drainage holes and an overflow pan at the bottom. Use potting soil to grow succulents and cacti. Fill the container and dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball. Place the plant in the hole so that it is at the same level as in the nursery pot. Fill in soil around the roots and press lightly to eliminate air pockets. Pour thoroughly, but do not leave standing water in the bowl of the container.
Irrigation and nutrients
Wait until the soil dries out before watering the panda plant. Then give him a drink and empty the bottom tray. Panda plants store water in their fleshy leaves, so it’s forgivable if you forget to water. Water it sparingly in winter, as it will not be actively growing at that time.
The nutritional needs of panda plants are simple. During the spring and summer months, simply feed in small amounts regularly using a balanced, slow-release houseplant or succulent fertilizer. During the fall and winter, you can reduce feedings and limit them to once a month.
Panda plants rarely bloom when grown indoors. If you want to increase your stock, you can easily pull a leaf from an existing plant and transplant it to fresh potting soil in the spring. You should see new growth in a month or so.
When your panda plant starts to look long and the stems are long and thin, trim it to a roughly round shape. You can prune if necessary, or remove dead leaves or those that look diseased or moth-eaten.
Panda plants can suffer from all the common pests that plague houseplants, mealybugs, aphids, and brown scales being the most common. These can be removed by cleaning the leaves with a cotton swab or rag moistened with alcohol.
If your panda plant is watered too frequently and is susceptible to powdery mildew, it may develop root rot. This can cause yellow spots or dead spots on the leaves. Make sure there is good air circulation around the plant to avoid this, and if you see signs of it, treat it with a potassium bicarbonate product.
Get maximum results
One of the keys to growing succulents is understanding how they absorb and process water. The thick, succulent leaves of panda plants and other long-lived varieties retain moisture that the plant can use as needed. For this reason, they are a great plant choice for gardeners who occasionally forget to water, such as B. children. When watering, avoid getting the leaves wet as this can lead to rot. If the leaves start to turn yellow and soft, you may be overwatering. Reduce and let the plants dry for a few weeks before watering again.
Panda Plant Care
Like many indoor succulents, panda plants are hardy, drought-resistant little plants, as long as you follow a few important rules. Avoid overwatering at first. Too much water can cause root rot, and due to the large leaves of this plant, it can store water for many days. Watering should only be done when the soil feels dry.
Typically, a panda plant needs at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, but it can tolerate more and thrives in bright light. This is the perfect plant to place by the window. You can take it outside in the summer, but make sure the temperature doesn’t drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Due to their slow-growing nature, they rarely require replanting. If this is the case, you don’t need to replace these plants more often than every two years. Once it’s about 1 to 2 feet tall, it may have stopped growing and you can put it in the same pot.
Optimal Growing Conditions for Panda Plants
Panda plants thrive in full, direct sunlight, but are also happy in moderate sun. Just make sure they get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. When planting, choose a granular soil suitable for cacti or succulents. Although they need water, they are very drought tolerant and decay easily.
A slow-release fertilizer will keep this plant healthy, but you only need to fertilize from spring to midsummer. Fertilization is not required when panda plants are dormant.
If you notice your panda plant becoming “legs” or having large gaps between stems and leaves, it needs more sunlight and should be placed near a window. The ideal temperature for this plant is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, although it can handle temperatures as high as 35 degrees for a few days.
Types of panda plants
Panda plants belong to the sedum family. There are more than 100 varieties of Kalanchoe tomentosa growing in the wild. They are both soft succulents with a few differences. For example, some of the most common species include “church bell” (known for its characteristic serrated leaves), “chandelier plant” (known for its reddish-orange flowers), and “paddle plant” (similar to pandas)
Plant but without the soft, velvety feel).
How to Breed Panda Plants
The ideal time to propagate panda plants is spring cuttings.
How to Propagate Panda Plants by Cuttings
Step 1: Use sharp scissors to cut the leaves as close to the steam as possible. Choose healthy leaves that are not discolored. Make sure no parts of the leaves are left on the stem (you may have to repeat this until you get a clean cut).
Step 2: Put the leaves in an empty bowl and let dry for 3 to 4 days.
Step 3: Once the cuttings have grown callus, they can be placed directly in a centimeter of cactus soil and lightly watered. Put them in bright indirect light, and within a month your cuttings should take root.
Frequently Asked Questions about Panda Plants
While panda plants are considered low-maintenance plants, they can still present some problems if care is not taken. The main causes of panda plant death are overwatering and rotten roots. It is important not to water panda plants until the soil is completely dry. If you notice yellow, mushy leaves, you may have overwatered. To fix this, remove damaged leaves and allow the soil to dry completely.
Mealybugs are also attracted to panda plants due to their soft leaves. Small numbers of mealybugs can be physically removed, but infestation requires alcohol and neem oil treatment.
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