Botanical name: Kalanchoe marmorata
Common name: Penwiper Plant
Penwiper Plant (Kalanchoe marmorata) is a popular foliage plant that is grown for its large scalloped and brown-blotched leaves. The flowers are starry white, four-petalled and are sometimes tinged with pink.
The species name 'marmorata' is in reference to the marbled surface of the large succulent leaves which make it a spectacular plant.
Penwiper Plant is a low-growing plant which grows to a height of 16 in. and about 16 in. wide.
Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) is native to Central and West Africa, from Zaire to Ethiopia, Sudan and Somali.
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Penwiper Plant (Kalanchoe marmorata) thrives in bright light to full sunlight, average warmth and moderately moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Kalanchoe marmorata requires repotting only when it becomes pot-bound. Pruning is necessary to keep the plant neat and tidy. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Penwiper Plant grows best in bright light to full sunlight. Keep it away from hot direct sunlight to prevent scorching.
You can grow the plant outdoors but gradually acclimate it and place it in a shaded place to avoid scorching the leaves.
Regularly rotate the pot to ensure that the plant receives enought light on all sides for even growth.
Kalanchoe marmorata can be grown under a grow light where the natural light is not adequate.
Water Penwiper Plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.
Decrease watering significantly in the cold period as growth is minimal at this time but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot.
Avoid wetting the leaves as it can lead to rotting or water from the bottom instead.
To avoid shocking the plant, only water it with water that is at room temperature.
Average warmth temperatures between 16-260C are ideal for Penwiper Plant. The sudden change in temperature between day and night is excellent for this succulent plant.
Average room humidity is adequate for Penwiper Plant. The plant has no need for extra humidity.
Feed Penwiper Plant monthly during the growing period with a balanced, liquid fertilizer. Do not feed in the cold season as growth is reduced at this time thus feeding can cause fertilizer burn.
Repot Penwiper Plant only when the plant becomes pot-bound. Use a shallow rather than a deep pot as it has shallow roots.
The pot should be only 1 size larger than the current one. Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease.
A clay pot is preferable for Pen Wiper Plant because it is porous and therefore allows the soil to dry out faster.
The best soil for Penwiper Plant 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 this plant.
Pruning Penwiper Plant requires the removal of dead and diseased leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.
Penwiper Plant (Kalanchoe marmorata) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from leaf cuttings as they root easily.
Take leaf cuttings together with about an inch of the leaf petiole from a healthy Penwiper Plant.
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.
Position the set up in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight. 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 plantlets have grown at least one set of leaves, carefully seperate them and pot in individual pots.
Place the new Penwiper Plants in a warm, well-lit spot and begin routine care.
Penwiper Plant (Kalanchoe marmorata) problems include dropping leaves, drooping leaves, leggy growth, rotting, shriveled leaves, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.
Dropping leaves in Penwiper Plant is due to improper watering; either overwatering or underwatering.
Water the plant thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
Significantly reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Avoid overwatering and soggy soil by ensuring that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining.
Leggy growth in Penwiper Plant is an indication that the lighting is inadequate. This is an attempt by the plant to reach for the light.
Move the plant 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.
Drooping leaves in Penwiper Plant is caused by underwatering. Immediately water the plant thoroughly and it should perk up.
Thereafter, water liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings and keep the soil moderately moist.
During the cold season, water very infrequently to keep the soil slightly moist but do not let the soil dry our completely.
Rotting base followed by yellowing and shriveled leaves in Penwiper Plant is an indication of basal stem-rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions. Avoid keeping the soil soggy by ensuring that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining.
Common pests in Penwiper Plant are mealy bugs and scale insects. Isolate the affected plant to reduce spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil to get rid of the pests.
Penwiper Plant (Kalanchoe marmorata) like other Kalanchoe Plants contains Calcium glycosides which are toxic to animals as indicated by ASPCA. Keep the plant away from the reach of children and pets to avoid any mishaps.
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