How to grow and care for Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe beharensis) Indoors

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Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe, Kalanchoe beharensis

Botanical name: Kalanchoe beharensis
Family: Crassulaceae
Common names: Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe, Felt Bush, Velvet Elephant Ear

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe Description

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe also called Felt Bush or Velvet Elephant Ear is one of the popular foliage Kalanchoe that is grown for its large velvety foliage which is covered by brown hairs.

The Felt Bush leaves are olive-green, traingular shaped, arranged in pairs at right-angles to each other with margins that are doubly crinkled. Each leaf is about 4 in. long and 2-4 in. wide.

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe Size

The stem in Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe is about 3-5 ft long, slender and knotted. The leaves are about 4 in. long and 2-4 in. wide.

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe Origin

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe beharensis) is native to Madagascar.

Buy beautiful and healthy Kalanchoe Plants from Etsy.

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe, Kalanchoe beharensis

Photo Credit: International Crassulaceae Network

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe beharensis) Care Indoors

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe Light Requirements

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe grows best in bright light to full sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not sufficient.

Should you choose to take your Felt Bush outdoors, gradually acclimatize it and place it in a shaded place to avoid scorching the leaves. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe

Water Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Water very infrequently in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease.

Avoid wetting the leaves of your Felt Bush as it can lead to rotting. Water from the bottom instead.

Being a tropical plant, cold water will cause it to go into shock. Therefore, always water Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe with water that is at room temperature. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe

Average warmth temperatures between 16-260C are ideal for Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe.

The sudden change in temperature between day and night is excellent for this succulent plant as it mimicks its natural environment.

Protect Felt Bush from cold draughts to avoid sudden drops in temperature as they can lead to leaf drop. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is adequate for this plant.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe

Feed Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe monthly during the growing period with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants..

How to Repot Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe

Repot Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe only when the plant becomes pot-bound. Use a shallow rather than a deep pot as the plant has shallow roots.

The pot should be only 1 size larger than the current one. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease.

A clay pot for Felt Bush is preferable as it is porous which allows the soil to dry out faster, therefore, preventing it from getting soggy.

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe Soil

The best soil for Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.

Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal for Felt Bush. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for your Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe from Etsy.

How to Prune Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe

Pruning Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe requires the removal of dead and diseased leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe beharensis) Propagation

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from leaf cuttings as they root easily.

How to propagate Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe from Leaf Cuttings

Take leaf cuttings together with about an inch of the leaf petiole from a healthy Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe.

Allow the leaf cuttings to dry (callus) for 1-3 days before planting to prevent rotting.

Insert the leaf petiole into moist, free-draining soil while ensuring that the midrib of the leaf also comes into contact with the soil.

Cover the set up with transparent polythene to raise humidity inorder to hasten rooting and establishment.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight to avoid cooking the plants. Water sparingly, only when the soil is dry.

Ensure the rooting container has adequate drainage to avoid getting the soil soggy as it can lead to rotting of the leaf cuttings.

Once the Felt Bush plantlets have grown at least one set of leaves, remove the plastic cover, carefully seperate them and pot in individual pots.

Place the new Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe plants in a warm, well-lit place and begin routine care.

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe, Kalanchoe beharensis

Photo Credit: Kauai Seascapes Nursery

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe beharensis) Problems Indoors

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe falling (dropping) leaves

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe falling (dropping) leaves are due to incorrect watering; either overwatering or underwatering.

Water your Felt Bush thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Avoid overwatering your Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe by ensuring that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining.

Significantly reduce watering during the cold season and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe drooping leaves

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe drooping leaves is due to underwatering. Immediately water your Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe thoroughly and it should perk up.

Thereafter, water Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

During the cold season, water Felt Bush very infrequently but never allow the soil to dry our completely.

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe leggy growth

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe leggy growth is an indication that the lighting is inadequate. This is an attempt by the plant to reach for the light.

Move your Felt Bush to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct sunlight or instal a grow light where the natural lighting is not adequate.

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe rotting base, yellowing and shriveled leaves

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe rotting at the base followed by yellowing and shriveled leaves is an indication of basal stem-rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.

Avoid soil soggy by ensuring that the pot for your Felt Bush has a drainage hole and that the soil is free-draining.

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe pests

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe pests; Mealy Bugs and Scale Insects. Isolate the affected plant to reduce spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe toxic?

Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe like other Kalanchoe Plants contains Calcium glycosides which are toxic to animals as listed by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Keep your Elephant's Ear Kalanchoe away from the reach of pets to prevent any mishaps.

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