The Panda Plant (Kalanchoe Tomentosa) is a perennial slow-growing succulent that can reach a height of up to two feet in its natural environment. This succulent grows furry-like thick leaves covered in tiny hairs giving it a pleasant velvety feel and look.
The Panda Plant seems interestingly different. Its pale green downy leaves, edged with brown dots look appealing in any home or office. Take one of its tiny leaves, push it into the ground, and within a few weeks, another Panda Plant will grow! Apart from the possibility of root rot, it doesn’t require much maintenance, which makes it enormously popular!
How To Grow
The Panda Plant is popular as a houseplant because it is simple and easy to grow.
1. Soil and Transplanting
The Panda Plant is a slow-growing succulent. Transplanting is only necessary once every two years, and less often when it matures. This plant grows well in soil that is rich in air, water, organic water, and mineral elements.
A succulent or cacti potting mix will be ideal for kalanchoe tomentosa because it drains easily, especially that this plant is susceptible to root rot.
The propagation of the Panda Plant is simple. It is perhaps the most economically viable method to have multiple Panda Plants at the least cost.
If you want to have more of your Panda Plant, propagate it at home during the months of spring or summer. The climate conditions during these months are best for the Panda Plant to grow and thrive.
You can snap some leaves and plant them in new soil. Do not take too many leaves as it will affect the growth of the existing Panda Plant. In the same manner, do not just snap a single leaf as it may not have a favorable root growth.
Allow the leaf-cutting to dry out for a week before re-potting. Once fully dried, gently place the leaves in the soil.
Water them gradually without allowing the leaves to dry. Place the plant in a spot where it can get plenty of indirect sunlight.
The new Panda Plant will begin to develop roots in about 4 weeks. Within the next few days, tiny, green leaves will start to grow around it. Now, you have a new Panda Plant!
3. Watering and Feeding
The Panda Plant requires minimal water. It is succulent so its leaves can efficiently store water for long periods. You only need to water it when the soil runs dry. This plant will be fine even if you forget to water it for some time.
You can water the Panda Plant once every 5 days or so, although it can thrive without being watered for up to one week. Do not allow the plant to be without water for a month, though.
You need to water more during the summer months, though, until its dormancy period.
Do not water the Panda Plant frequently if you live in an area where indoor temperature can drop significantly in the winter or fall. Waterless than during the summer months.
Your indoor Panda Plant can be best watered by bringing the plant to the sink. Soak it and allow the water to drain out through the pot’s drain hole.
Make sure to soak the plant from the tip until the surface of the soil is no longer absorbing water. You can also add some water to the pot’s bottom tray. You can then bring it back to its normal spot.
Do not allow water to touch the leaves of the Panda Plant when watering. The tiniest drop of water can make the leaves rot. If water accidentally gets to the leaves, immediately get a tissue, and allow it to absorb water from the leaf.
From spring until summer, feed your Panda Plant with diluted fertilizer recommended for succulents every 4 weeks.
4. Sunlight Requirement
Just like many succulents, this one enjoys lazing around in the sunshine and bright light.
While Panda Plants love direct and bright sunlight, you can place them in partial shade occasionally, so their leaves do not get affected by the harsh rays of the sun.
The Panda Plant can be placed along a sunny windowsill in the morning. It can then be moved to an area with partial shade in the afternoon.
If, during the summer, you decide to pant the Panda Plant outdoors, do it gradually so the sudden exposure to direct sunlight does not scorch the leaves of the plant.
Panda Plants thrive best in a spot where they can get 6 hours of sunlight per day. Some light shade can be beneficial in harsh conditions.
As with most other succulents, the Panda Plant does not have any specific temperature requirement. It will thrive in temperatures between 600F to 750F (150C to 230C). This succulent can, however, tolerate increases or drops in these levels of temperature.
You can also move the Panda Plant outdoors during warmer months. Just make sure to transfer the plant indoors are the first sign of frost or cold weather or it may end up dying because of the very cold temperature.
The same is true during the summer months. Excessive heat will scorch the leaves of this plant.
The Panda Plant (Kalanchoe Tomentosa) – Origin and Names
Kalanchoe Tomentosa is the botanical name for the Panda Plant. A native to Madagascar, it comes from the Crassulaceae family. There are over 100 varieties of Kalanchoe that grow in the wilds of Africa and many parts of the world.
The Panda Plant’s botanical name – Kalanchoe Tomentosa – means “covered with fine hair” – and it is!
This plant is also known by many names such as Donkey Ears, White Lady, Chocolate Soldiers, Plush Plant, Cat Ears, and Pussy Ears! Panda Plant is its most common nickname and most appropriate when referring to its appearance!
This plant blooms in its natural environment but seldom grows flowers indoors. It’s grown, mainly for its foliage and has quite a decorative appearance when sighted in homes and offices.
If you are lucky enough to see it flower, they will be small tubular-shaped blooms that grow at the tip of their branches.
A young and growing Panda Plant can be nicely displayed on a shelf or near windows that receive enough sunlight. A mature Panda Plant will look stunning in a hanging basket because it has the appearance of a bush or tree.
It produces branches that grow below pot level. It’s also a good plant to display in children’s rooms.
If you don’t have much time, the Panda Plant is perfect for you as it doesn’t require much maintenance, is very attractive, and basically self-procreating.
This gorgeous little Panda Plant is almost self-reliant; so it virtually does all the work for you – now that’s rare!