The panda plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) is a peculiar succulent with fat and velveteen leaves with white hairs and chocolate brown markings on the tips. Once you own one, you will think about panda plant propagation to share this succulent with others.
Pandasare popular with succulent lovers, especially children, and many famous cultivars also exist, such as:
- ‘Black Tie’
- ‘Chocolate Soldier’
- ‘Golden Girl’
- ‘Teddy Bear’
It is not all that often that the panda plant blooms, leaving many fans wondering how they can propagate this charming plant.
Propagating Panda Plants
The good news is that there are two easy methods to propagate panda plants (sometimes called pussy ears). Not only can you propagate through stem cuttings, but this is one of many succulents which may also reproduce through leaf cuttings.
The Best Time To Propagate
You can propagate panda plants any time during the growing season, although most prefer to do so in spring.
This not only gives the plants a chance to heal faster but also prevents complications that might be caused by the lower humidity and temperatures common in fall and winter.
Ideal Conditions For Propagation
Before we begin propagating, it’s important to ensure you have the right conditions for rooting the plant and getting it to grow.
- Your cuttings need a spot with bright, indirect sunlight and a stable temperature of about 70° degrees Fahrenheit.
- Harsh, direct sunlight, especially during the midday, can easily scorch your cuttings, if not outright kill them.
- When growing, the soil needs to be kept evenly moist, although it’s best to avoid getting the cuttings themselves wet.
- During the rooting process, it’s a good idea to grab a clear plastic storage bag and use it to create a humidity tent over your cuttings’ pot.
- This helps keep more moisture in and gives the plants an environment a little closer to their natural habitat.
- Repotting should only happen when the roots are at least 1″ inch long, which may take up to 2 months, depending on how ideal the conditions are.
Propagating Panda Plant Through Leaf Cuttings
This method is one of the great benefits of growing succulents, as you can take a leaf and grow a new plant.
However, one of the biggest challenges for some can be right at the very beginning of the whole process.
This step, oddly enough, is simply getting an intact leaf.
- Unlike many other succulents, you might need to cut the leaf off rather than simply twisting it.
- Be sure to get it where the stem connects, so you’re not leaving any part of the leaf behind.
- Some growers claim that damage to the leaf will prevent it from growing, while others claim they actively cut their leaves into pieces to get more plants.
- As this could be a matter of “your mileage may vary,” we suggest erring on the side of caution and testing for yourself whether or not partial leaves will work.
- Also, remember that you’ll need to remove a couple of leaves, but don’t go overboard when you do.
The reason for removing more than one is that the leaves sometimes fail to root properly, so it’s best to have a couple as backups. After all, if they all prove successful, you can always give some away.
- Place your panda plant leaves on a plate or paper towel and allow them to callous over for at least 3 days and no more than 7.
- If you try to skip this step or don’t wait long enough, the leaf will begin to rot when you attempt to grow it.
- Once the wound has calloused over properly, fill one or more pots with well-draining potting soil (a succulent soil mix works best) and lightly moisten.
Some like to lay the leaf directly onto the soil, while others stick its callous side down into the potting soil and grow it upright.
- You can plant one leaf in a 3 to 4″ inch pot, two in a 5″ inch pot, three in a 6″ inch pot, etc.
- Keep misting the soil as needed to keep it moist, but try not to get the leaves themselves wet.
- After about 2 weeks, you might see the beginnings of roots on horizontal leaves.
- Give the leaf a gentle tug for vertical ones, and any resistance will prove that roots are forming.
- At this point, your new panda plants should be ready to transplant to their permanent pots.
Propagating Panda Plants Through Stem Cuttings
This method starts pretty similarly to the leaf method.
- Find a portion of the stem that lacks any flowers and cut it into 2″ to 3″ inch long segments.
- Place the stem cuttings on a plate or paper towel and allow them to callous over.
- Again, this can take up to 7 days, and you want to avoid rushing the process, or you could end up with rot.
- Either lay the stem cuttings on your soil or plant them upright.
Place them in a warm spot with bright, indirect sunlight (direct sunlight in the morning or late evening is fine).
The stems tend to develop roots in 15 to 20 days, after which you can transplant them to a permanent pot.