How to propagate Panda Plant-Kalanchoe tomentosa? - Gardening World

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Monday, May 24, 2021

How to propagate Panda Plant-Kalanchoe tomentosa?

Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) is a lovely perennial succulent that has a unique appearance. Native to Madagascar, this succulent belongs to the family Crassulaceae. Panda Plant is very popular as a houseplant and can be grown as an indoor and outdoor succulent. Due to its extremely cute appearance its always a favorite pick for kid’s room. It thrives well in the outdoor environment where the temperature is warm during the summer season. Panda Plant is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11.


The succulent is drought tolerant and can survive without water for a long time. It needs well-draining soil, moderate watering, and plenty of indirect sunlight. The best thing about Panda Plant is that it needs minimal care and maintenance. Moreover, it can be easily propagated and does not require a lot of effort from you. Young Panda Plant succulents have smooth stems and thick leaves and it starts rooting readily from a vegetative part, therefore, vegetative propagation of Panda Plant is widely used.

The great news is that you don’t need to invest a lot of money in buying new Kalanchoe tomentosa. You can simply propagate new plants from the existing plant. This way you can add several new Panda Plants to your indoor and outdoor gardens.

However, if you are a beginner or going to propagate your Panda Plant for the first time it might not be an easy job for you. You may face failures and your succulents might fail to grow. In such cases, you will have to repeat the whole propagation process. Do not worry if you follow some important tricks and tips, you will be able to propagate your Panda Plant without any failure.

To help you successfully propagate new Panda Plant succulents, I will share the complete process of propagation, pre-requisites, and some useful tips.

How to propagate Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)?

Pre-requisites for propagation

To start the process of propagation you need the following important things.

1. Scissors, knife, or gardening shears

2. Clean pots

3. Potting soil (A mix of sand, perlite, and peat moss)

4. Clean water

5. Water bottle for misting

6. Disinfectants (Ethyl alcohol, chlorine bleach, isopropyl alcohol, trisodium phosphates)

Propagation Process

1. Sterilize your gardening tools

Gardening tools are particularly important to carry out different gardening activities. Make sure your tools are sharpened well because un-sharp tools can cause injuries to your succulents. The gardening tools must be clean to avoid the risk of contamination of healthy Kalanchoe tomentosa from dirty tools. Before you begin the process of propagation, sterilize your tools to avoid contamination. Sterilization will prevent the spread of disease-causing microbes from infected to healthy Panda Plant succulents. You can use ethyl alcohol (70 %), chlorine bleach, isopropyl alcohol, household disinfectants, or trisodium phosphates to sterilize for sterilization.

2. Take stem and leaf cuttings

Panda Plant can be propagated easily from stem and leaf cuttings. However, make sure you take the cuttings in the right way to avoid failures.

To take stem and leaf cuttings select a healthy and disease-free Panda Plant plant. Do not take cuttings from damaged or decayed parts. Take a clean and sterilized scissor, knife, or pruning shears to take cuttings from stem and leaves. For taking stem cuttings select a stem that has no flower growth. Cut the stem at least 3 to 4 inches long. To take leaf cuttings, remove several leaves from a healthy growing Kalanchoe tomentosa. Make sure you sterilize your tool every time you move from one Panda Plant to the other.

Always be careful while taking stem and leaf-cutting to avoid damage to healthy succulents. Do not take too many cuttings as it will weaken your succulents, also do not take only one cutting because if it fails to root, you will have to repeat the whole process of propagation.

Set aside the cuttings at a warm dry place and let them develop callous for 2 to 3 days. It will help to heal the cut ends or edges of the cuttings. If you will place the cuttings directly without allowing them to develop callous, it will cause their rotting. So, be patient and wait for some time.

3. Prepare the potting mixture

Panda Plant grows well in well-draining soil. A poorly draining potting soil can build up excess water in the soil that can cause rotting of roots. To prepare quality potting soil, mix equal parts of sand, peat moss, and perlite. Perlite and sand help to improve the drainage of the soil. If you do not want to prepare the potting soil on your own buy a readily available succulent soil mix from the market.

Take a clean pot with proper drainage holes to allow proper drainage of excess water. Fill the pots with the potting mixture and apply water until it becomes slightly moist. The size of the pot depends on how many cuttings you are going to root per pot. Generally, a 3 to 4 inches pot will hold only one cutting, and a 5-to-6-inch pot will hold 2 to 3 cuttings. Moreover, the pot size also depends on the size of the plant, make sure you select a pot that gives enough room for the spread of roots.

4. Place the cuttings in potting medium

Make a hole at the top surface of the potting soil and stick the calloused Panda Plant cutting into this hole. Firm the soil around the cuttings to keep the growing succulent in an upright position. Do not cover the cuttings completely with soil. Place the pots at a bright location with an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). Do not expose the cuttings to bright direct sunlight.

5. Keep misting the cuttings regularly

Keep misting the cuttings several times a day for the first few days it will promote faster growth. Keep a close eye if you observe fungal growth on the cuttings replace them with new ones. To check if the cuttings have developed roots, gently try to pull them after 2 weeks, if you feel some sort of resistance, it is a sign of root growth. Once the cuttings are established in the soil and start rooting you can resume normal light and watering regimes for Panda Plant.

6. Transplant Panda Plant plants into new pots

When the roots reach about 1 to 2 inches in length it is advised to transplant the newly developed Kalanchoe tomentosa into new containers. Take extra care of the succulents for the first few weeks and avoid exposure to direct sunlight and drought. When they are established in the new containers give them proper care as required by a full-grown Panda Plant.

1. Moderate watering (Water only when the top couple of inches of the soil dry out completely)

2. Give plenty of indirect sunlight

3. Place the plants at a warmer location

4. Fertilize during the months of spring and summer

5. Pruning to shape as desired

Once the Panda Plant succulents are completely developed you can place them in your indoor and outdoor gardens as desired.

What is the best time for propagating Panda Plant?

The best time for propagating Panda Plant is in the spring and summer seasons.

There are 2 reasons why you should do propagation during the spring and summer seasons.

a) The plants are growing actively

b) The weather conditions are favorable (Temperature is warmer)

It is not recommended to do propagation during the winter season because the succulents undergo a period of winter dormancy when they are not actively growing.

 

By putting in a little extra effort, you can propagate your beautiful Panda Plant succulents at home. Plus, you do not need to spend a single penny on buying new plants. Once you successfully propagate the new Panda Plant on your own you will surely cherish the amazing reward of your efforts. You will also have several new Folks to add to your home gardens and share with your family and friends.


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