Paddle Plant: A Succulent Marvel for Your Indoors

Succulents have an undeniable allure, captivating enthusiasts around the world. Among these fascinating plants, the Paddle Plant, scientifically known as Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, stands out with its unique and sculptured silhouette. If you’re a succulent lover, this eye-catching beauty is a must-have addition to your indoor collection.

Discovering the Allure of Paddle Plant as a Houseplant

Paddle Plant showcases a mesmerizing display of shapes and forms, making it one of the most captivating succulents. Its rosette of flat, round leaves offers a striking combination of texture, color, and form, making it a perfect addition to a succulent dish garden. However, this remarkable houseplant is equally captivating when showcased on its own.

The gray-green leaves of the Paddle Plant grow to around 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter and develop a reddish tint when exposed to sunlight. In the spring, mature plants may surprise you with a spike of fragrant, yellow flowers. Commonly known as Paddle Plant, Desert Cabbage, or Flapjack Plant, this charming succulent hails from South Africa and belongs to the diverse Crassulaceae family.

3 Essential Keys to Success with Kalanchoe thyrsiflora

Shedding Light on Paddle Plant Care

Just like most succulents, the Paddle Plant thrives in bright light and can even handle some direct sun. During the summer, you can even move it outside if you’d like. However, ensure the transition is gradual to avoid scorching the leaves. Remember to bring it indoors if nighttime temperatures drop below 50°F/10°C.

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Keeping It Dry with Paddle Plant

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora adapts well to the dry air found in heated homes, making it an easy addition to any average room condition. However, the one thing it dislikes is soggy soil. To cater to its preferences, consider potting it in a terra cotta pot with drainage holes and using a sandy medium, such as cactus potting mix, to ensure fast drainage.

Repotting the Right Way

In the spring, when your Paddle Plant becomes crowded, it’s time to consider repotting. However, be cautious not to over-pot it. Instead, choose a container that is only slightly larger. By keeping the roots snug in the pot, you’ll provide an environment in which the plant can thrive.

Navigating Paddle Plant Problems

Addressing Drooping Leaves

If you notice drooping leaves, a few factors could be at play. Lack of sunlight, over-watering, or extreme under-watering can all cause this issue. Remember to avoid watering the crown of the plant, as it can lead to rot. Instead, focus on watering the potting mix around the plant. For more information, refer to the “Light” and “Water” tips below.

Understanding Red Leaves

Don’t panic if you notice your Paddle Plant’s leaves changing color to red when exposed to sunlight. This is a natural part of the plant’s reaction to sunlight and should not be a cause for concern.

Tackling Paddle Plant Pests

While Paddle Plants are generally pest-free, they can fall victim to mealybugs, a common infestation for succulents. Keep an eye out for cotton-like specks clustered at the base of the plant. If you spot any, isolate the infested plant to prevent the bugs from spreading to your other beloved houseplants. Treat the infestation promptly to safeguard your plant’s health.

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Paddle Plant and Pet Safety

It’s important to note that Paddle Plant, along with other members of the Kalanchoe plant family, is toxic to cats and dogs. According to the ASPCA, it’s best to keep these plants out of reach of your furry friends.

Essential Care Tips for Your Paddle Plant

  • Origin: South Africa
  • Height: Can grow up to 24 inches (60 cm) tall
  • Light: Place your Paddle Plant in the sunniest window available. It thrives in bright light and can handle full sun year-round. To ensure uniform growth, give the pot a quarter turn every week. While the plant can tolerate low light for a while, be aware that its leaves may wilt.
  • Water: Water the plant thoroughly, allowing the top 2 inches of soil to dry out before the next watering. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. Refrain from getting the leaves wet, as this can also cause rot. Instead, water the potting mix or opt for bottom watering. Remember to use room-temperature water for watering your plants, as cold water can shock them.
  • Humidity: Paddle Plant thrives in average room humidity, which typically hovers around 40% relative humidity.
  • Temperature: Paddle Plant prefers average room temperatures ranging from 65-80°F (18-26°C). During the summer, it can withstand outdoor heat, but bring it back indoors when temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C). Ensure that the succulent is protected from frost, as it can cause severe damage.
  • Soil: Opt for cactus potting mix or create a mix by combining 2 parts good-quality potting mix and 1 part horticultural sand.
  • Fertilizer: Feed your Paddle Plant quarterly with a cactus/succulent fertilizer to support its growth and vitality.
  • Propagation: Spring or summer is the ideal time to take leaf cuttings and pot them in moist cactus potting mix. Alternatively, you can easily find Paddle Plant seeds online, and propagating through seeds is often more straightforward. For the best results, maintain a consistent temperature of around 70°F (21°C) using a heat mat.
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With the guidance provided, you can now embark on your journey to care for your Paddle Plant and witness the marvel that this succulent will bring to your indoor space.

Paddle Plant