The panda plant is a fun and easy succulent plant to grow. It’s also called donkey ears and chocolate soldier. Many succulents get flowers. Do you know what to do when your panda plant flowers?
Unlike leafy green plants, succulent plants have waxy, smooth leaves. Some of them, like the panda plant, have fuzzy or furry leaves that have a very different texture than leafy plants.
Growing succulent plants is different than growing leafy green plants. They usually need less water than other plants because of their thick fleshy tissues that hold water longer.
They have many interesting characteristics: some look like stones, and some, like the panda plant, Kalanchoe tomentosa, have fuzzy or furry textured leaves.
Panda Plants Flowering
Panda plants flower readily in their natural habitats to produce seeds and propagate. However, they rarely bloom when grown indoors.
If you want to see flowers on your panda plant, you should grow it outdoors in spring and summer, possibly even planting it in a garden bed or box instead of a pot.
The flowers of the Kalanchoe tormentosa are bell-shaped and tubular. They appear at the ends of flower spikes.
What do you do when your Panda flowers? Keep the flower spikes if you want to enjoy the flowers. I always prune the flower spikes off.
The flowers are yellow-green with dark brown tips on the petals. Blooms appear in summer and winter.
You can encourage blooming with a light fertilizer application for blooms with phosphorous. Phosphorous stimulates flowering, while nitrogen stimulates green growth.
Growing panda plants outside and applying a phosphorous fertilizer can get your plant to produce flowers.
Care Of Panda Plants
A panda plant makes a fun and interesting houseplant that is easy to grow and nurture.
If you like unusual plants, the panda plant is for you.
The panda plant is native to the island of Madagascar. There are more than 100 varieties of Kalanchoe, the family that the panda plant belongs to.
It has velvety leaves with a furry appearance created by tiny silvery hairs that deflect light and limit moisture loss.
It can grow several feet tall in the wild, but it usually only grows a foot or so as a houseplant.
Panda plants are beloved for their unusual appearance, with silvery green leaves edged by brownish markings. It resembles animal fur and reminds one of a bear.
The panda plant needs bright to medium light when grown indoors. It should not be located in the direct sun if moved outdoors.
As a succulent, the panda plant needs its soil to dry out between watering, so it should have well-draining soil and pots.
Succulents do poorly in wet soil and eventually die if left with “wet feet.” They also do not do well with a lot of moisture on leaves that can’t dry off.
Therefore, they should be located in a spot that is not humid and does not need any misting or overhead watering.
Panda Plant Pests And Diseases
Pests and diseases can attack indoor houseplants that are stressed or exposed to other pest-ridden or diseased plants.
Your healthy panda plant is commonly vulnerable to mealy bugs and root rot.
Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of mealy bugs and root rot to keep your panda plant healthy.
Mealybugs are tiny scale insects, circular or oval, and many species are white. They feed on the sap of plant stems and leaves.
Therefore, you should regularly inspect the undersides of your plant’s leaves and stems for small white patches.
Another sign of mealy bugs is webbing on leaves.
Treatment of mealy bugs with pesticides is effective, but if you want to avoid chemicals, use Q-tips with rubbing alcohol to swab the areas you see with white spots.
Keep an eye on your panda plant after you spot and treat mealybugs; repeat treatment may be necessary to eliminate all the bugs completely.
Root rot will occur if you overwater panda plants or leave them in standing water for any time.
Signs of root rot are leaves turning yellow or mushy and roots turning black and mushy.
The treatment for root rot is to remove mushy leaves and roots and repot the plant with fresh soil, and don’t water until the top third of the soil is dry.
Propagating Panda Plants
If you love your panda plant, you may want to grow more of them.
You can propagate your panda plant to create more plants from one. It’s fun and interesting to start new plants from your favorites.
Look at your panda plant and choose the healthy leaves to clip for propagating.
When you cut a leaf for starting a new plant, let it dry for a week before planting it.
After allowing the leaf to dry out, stick it into a pot with moist dirt and put it in indirect light.
Watch your newly planted leaf cutting until it roots, usually in about three to four weeks.
Don’t let it dry out too much while trying to root; do not waterlog the soil.
After a month or so, you should see active growth, and your new panda plant is on its way.
If your panda plant cutting doesn’t seem to grow in a month, gently dump it out of its pot to see if there are any roots.
If there are, replant them carefully and review your light, soil, and water. If there aren’t any roots, you may have left it too dry to start growing roots.
Where To Grow Your Panda Kalanchoe Plant?
If you love succulents and the panda plant, you might consider growing a succulent bed outside in a protected area.
By doing this, you can expect more robust growth and growing habits that you probably won’t see indoors.
That includes bigger plants and self-propagating through flowering and producing pups.
The panda plant belongs to the same family as the jade plant and the burro’s tail.
It’s an interesting and unique succulent to grow as a houseplant and a beautiful plant to grow outside in subtropical climates similar to its native Madagascar.
It’s even more unique when your panda plant flowers.