How to grow and care for Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) Indoors

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Panda Plant, Kalanchoe tomentosa

Botanical name: Kalanchoe tomentosa
Family: Crassulaceae
Common names: Panda Plant, Pussy Ears Kalanchoe, Chocolate Soldier

Panda Plant Description

Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) is succulent plant which bears silvery-green, brown-edged furry or woolly leaves and hence its other common names; Pussy Ears and Chocolate Soldier.

Pussy Ears Kalanchoe is a popular plant on account of its small size growing to only 1.5 ft, ease of care and the beauty of its dark-rimmed foliage.

Panda Plant Origin

Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) is native to Madagascar.

Panda Plant Flower

When growing in its native habitat, Pussy Ears Kalanchoe bears fuzzy, bell-shaped flowers but it rarely flowers when grown indoors.

Buy beautiful and healthy Kalanchoe Plants from Etsy.

Panda Plant, Kalanchoe tomentosa

Photo Credit: World of Succulents

Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) Care Indoors

Panda Plant Light Requirements

Panda Plant 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 Pussy Ears Kalanchoe outdoors, gradually acclimatize the plant and place it in a shaded place to avoid scorching the leaves. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Panda Plant

Water Panda Plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Water the plant 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 as it can lead to rotting. Water from the bottom instead.

Water Pussy Ears Kalanchoe with room temperature water to avoid shocking this tropical plant. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Panda Plant

Average warmth temperatures between 16-260C are ideal for Panda Plant.

The sudden change in temperature between day and night is excellent for this succulent plant. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants

Humidity for Panda Plant

Panda Plant has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is adequate for Panda Plant.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Panda Plant

Feed Panda Plant 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 Panda Plant

Repot Panda Plant 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 Pussy Ears Kalanchoe is preferable because it is porous and therefore allows the soil to dry out faster. Also ensure the soil is loose and free-draining.

Soil for Panda Plant

The best soil for Panda 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 Pussy Ears Kalanchoe. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for your Panda Plant from Etsy.

How to Prune Panda Plant

Pruning Panda Plant requires the removal of dead and diseased leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) Propagation

Panda Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from leaf cuttings as they root easily.

How to propagate Panda Plant from Leaf Cuttings

Take leaf cuttings together with about an inch of the leaf petiole from a healthy Panda 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.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place. 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 Pussy Ears Kalanchoe plantlets have grown at least one set of leaves, carefully seperate them and pot in individual pots.

Place the new Panda Plants in a warm, well-lit spot and begin routine care.

Panda Plant, Kalanchoe tomentosa

Photo Credit: Alchemy

Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) Problems Indoors

Panda Plant leaves falling off (dropping)

Panda Plant leaves falling off (dropping) is due to overwatering or underwatering.

Take out the plant from its pot and inspect the roots for root-rot disease if you suspect that you have overwatered it and treat it appropriately.

To avoid leaves falling off (dropping) in Pussy Ears Kalanchoe, water the plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Avoid overwatering and soggy soil for Panda Plant by ensuring that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining.

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

Panda Plant drooping leaves

Panda Plant drooping leaves is due to underwatering. Immediately water your Panda Plant thoroughly and it should perk up.

Thereafter, water the Pussy Ears 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 the plant very infrequently but never allow the soil to dry our completely.

Panda Plant leggy growth

Panda Plant leggy growth is an indication that the lighting is inadequate. This is an attempt by the plant to reach for the light.

Move your Pussy Ears Kalanchoe 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.

Panda Plant rotting base, yellowing and shriveled leaves

Panda Plant rotting base followed by yellowing and shriveled leaves is an indication of basal stem-rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.

Avoid getting the soil soggy by ensuring that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining.

Panda Plant pests

Panda Plant pests; Mealy Bugs and Scale Insects. Isolate the affected plant to reduce spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) toxic?

Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) like other Kalanchoe Plants contain Calcium glycosides which are toxic to animals.

Keep Panda Plant away from the reach of pets to avoid any mishaps.

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