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How to Grow and Care for Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana)

Written by Mindy on February 24th, 2014

One of the easiest plants to grow is the beloved Mother of Thousands.  The name comes from the little plantlets that form along the edge of the leaves of this plant.  While these plantlets make propagating this plant easy, they also cause it to be an invasive species in states such as Florida.  In doing so, a word of caution needs to given if you plan to plant your Mother of Thousands outside.

This plant loves to receive a good dose of direct morning sun.  It can take any amount of humidity but the one thing it cannot take is soggy soil.  To prevent this, only plant your Mother of Thousands in a cactus soil mix.  To make your own, place equal parts of an all-purpose potting soil, coarse sand, perlite, pumice or vermiculite in a clean bucket.  Break up any lumps and moisten before using it in any cactus planting project.  Prior to placing in the container, squeeze the cactus soil out before using.  This will remove any excess moisture so that you do not start planting your plant into an environment with wet feet.    Also, only plant the Mother of Thousands in a terra cotta pot that has a drainage hole.  This will reduce the chances of overwatering.   As far as watering this plant goes, water until moisture comes out the bottom of the pot and then do not water until the first two inches of soil is dry.

In the spring, begin to take your Mother of Thousands outside to harden off.  This plant loves the warm weather of summer but not gradually exposing your plant to the outdoors will cause scorching of the leaves.

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Before the first frost of the year, bring your Mother of Thousands indoors but do this gradually.  A drastic move from the outside in will cause plant stress.

Feeding this plant should occur every three months and should consist of a balanced liquid fertilizer that has been cut in half.

Propagating this plant is very easy.  There are two approaches one can follow when it comes to sharing your Mother of Thousand.  One, you can just let the plantlets fall where they may.  If you look at them while they are on the plant, you will notice that the plantlets have little roots that easily root where ever they fall.  While this makes it easy for the gardener, it does have its downfall.  Allowing the offspring to root where ever they may can cause plants to pop up in undesired places, which includes out in the yard and inside other pots.   A better approach for those who do not want Mother of Thousands everywhere is to handpick off the plantlets before they fall off.  Using this approach allows the gardener to plant the plantlets in the proper soil and in locations that they are desired.

 

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