Kalanchoe Bracteata, commonly called Silver Teaspoons, is from South Eastern Madagascar and Comoros. It is a bit compact shrubby succulent that grows to about 4 feet tall, has oval leaves that are 1 to 2 inches long, and have a tiny point at the apex, as well as short petioles.
This plant also has a pubescence of appressed tiny stellate hairs and a waxy material that coats the leaves and the young four-angled stems, giving it a grayish silvery-white appearance.
Having red flowers on branched terminal inflorescences, this plant, when planted in broad sun to partial shade and irrigated when needed, has more chances of survival. It is also proven to be resilient to 28 degrees Fahrenheit and may be hardy even lower.
This plant looks fantastic in containers, accent, or even a tiny yard boundary hedge. Kalanchoe bracteata is linked to and looks a lot like Kalanchoe Hildebrandtii, which also grows in the same area but has greenish-white blooms.
Kalanchoe Bracteata Scientific Information
Scientific name: Kalanchoe Bracteata
Subkingdom: Vascular plants
Superdivision: Seed plants
Division: Flowering plants
Plant Type: Succulent
Kalanchoe Bracteata Basic Information
Common name: Silver Teaspoons
Height: 2 feet to 4 feet
Width: 2 feet to 4 feet
Flower color: Red or Burgundy
Blooming season: Springtime and Summertime
Leaf Color: Gray or Silver
Leaf Shape: Ovate
Hairs Present: Yes
Leaf Length:1 to 3 inches
Leaf Description: 1 to 2 inches long with silvery pubescent leaves pointed at the tip
Facts to Know
Light: Sunlight dappled (Shade through upper canopy all day); The sun is shining (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day); Shade in Parts (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Temperature: 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit
Water: minimal irrigation
Soil: light and well-drained
Fertilizer: liquid fertilizer or slow-release pellets
Potting: clay pots
Propagation: stem cutting or leaf cutting
Landscape Location: container
Design Feature: border
Problems: Problem for Cats; Problem for Dogs
Poison Toxic Principle: Bufodienolides
Causes Contact Dermatitis: No
Kalanchoe Bracteata “Silver Teaspoons” General Care
It’s crucial to know the basics of plant terminology and requirements. Every plant is different, and it needs different amounts of sunlight, water, and fertilizer. Plants will be healthy, and they will grow if you provide them with the right conditions.
Before you go out and buy plants for your garden, ask yourself these questions: How much light will your garden get daily? Because of the higher clay content, does the soil drain well or stay saturated? Are the nutrient levels in the soil sufficient to support the plants you’ve chosen?
While you can tweak the environment a little (fertilizers, raised beds, etc.), a gardener will have the most success if you choose the proper plant for the right situation. Experienced gardeners and horticulturists often say, “Right plant, right setting.”
Silver teaspoons thrive in bright, sunny environments. To do so, place the containers in areas that get some sun but are shady. For example, you can place indoor plants near a window that gets plenty of sunlight. However, make sure that you avoid direct and bright sunlight. It may cause the leaves or leaf tips to burn.
Temperature and Humidity
Warm temperatures are ideal for Kalanchoe bracteata. Even though it is a winter-hardy succulent, it will perish if the temperature falls below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius).
Protect your succulents from freezing damage in locations when the temperature is frigid. Place your plants in containers inside, and cover your outdoor plants with frost cloths. Kalanchoe bracteata doesn’t need a lot of humidity to thrive. Instead, it thrives in a wide range of humidity conditions.
USDA Zones of Hardiness
In USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b, Kalanchoe bracteata can be grown as a hardy succulent (25 to 50-degree Fahrenheit)
Watering is the most critical part of plant care. The Kalanchoe bracteata is a drought-resistant plant. Therefore, only light watering is required, and it should be allowed to dry between waterings.
Overwatering Kalanchoe bracteata can kill it. Therefore be cautious when watering it. Overwatering encourages the growth of fungus and leads to root rot. Also, do not leave these succulents dry for long periods.
Kalanchoe bracteata can be grown in any regular succulent soil mix. You can also make your soil media by combining 40 to 50 percent sand with clay and peat moss. But, first, ascertain that the soil medium has enough drainage.
Kalanchoe bracteata does not require fertilization. The succulent develops well with enough nutrients from the soil medium. However, you can fertilize your succulents to give them an extra dose of nutrition if you want them to grow even healthier and lusher. Use liquid fertilizer or slow-release pellets to feed your succulents every two to four weeks or once a month.
Maintenance and Grooming
Silver teaspoons is a tiny Kalanchoe that does not require pruning regularly. However, you can prune to your chosen shape. Remove any dead leaves or spent blossoms to promote new, vigorous development the following season.
Pest and Disease
Aphids and mealybugs occasionally attack houseplants. By wiping the leaves and stems with 70% isopropyl alcohol, it can protect the plant from insect infestations. You can also keep insects can also be kept at bay with a neem oil spray or a harmless insecticide.
Another major issue with Kalanchoe bracteata is overwatering. Overwatering is highly damaging to the succulent’s roots, causing them to rot. Therefore, before adding the next water, always let the surplus water drain.
Propagating the Kalanchoe Bracteata
Kalanchoe bracteata is a type of succulent that you can reproduce by cutting its stem or leaves. And below are steps on how to propagate this plant.
Steps in Propagating Kalanchoe bracteata
- Choose damage-free or safe leaves or stem to start your cutting.
- Using a clean pair of scissors, cut the healthy part of the plant multiple times – leaves or stem.
- Place the cuttings in a warm, dry place for a few days allowing them to grow callous. However, do not over dry your cuttings because propagation would not be possible once its moisture is gone.
- When calloused enough, plant the cuttings into a well-draining cactus soil.
- During the first few days, sprinkle the newly planted cuttings with water to keep them moist. But do not overdo it as too much water may rot the growing roots. Also, avoid exposing your plant to too much sun as it will wither it.
- After 3 to 4 weeks, continue caring for it in a way you would take care of a full-grown Kalanchoe bracteata.
Kalanchoe bracteata does not require frequent repotting. However, exercise great caution when repotting this succulent because its leaves are delicate and can quickly shatter if mishandled.
Note: Pots suitable for growing Kalanchoe bracteata are clay pots, glazed ceramics containers, and any other container with good drainage.
Is Kalanchoe bracteata a poisonous plant?
Kalanchoe bracteata mildly poison pet cats and dogs. Even though Kalanchoe bracteata is harmless for people, ensure that you keep it out of reach of youngsters.
Uses of Kalanchoe Bracteata
When combined with dark-leaved plants, Kalanchoe bracteata creates a stunning show. In dry or succulent environments, it looks fantastic in containers or as a tiny border hedge.
In frost-free areas, it’s also an excellent choice for cactus and succulent gardens.
What distinguishes Kalanchoe bracteata from Kalanchoe orygalis and Kalanchoe hilderbrandtii?
Kalanchoe bracteata, Kalanchoe orygalis, and Kalanchoe hildebrandtii have similar appearances and can easily be confused.
However, Kalanchoe bracteata and Kalanchoe orygalis resemble each other more closely. Their flowers help to differentiate them. Kalanchoe orygalis flowers are yellow with greenish lobes, and Kalanchoe bracteata blossoms are red or orange-red.
You can distinguish the Kalanchoe bracteata pubescence by its three-angled, two-lobed hair. Kalanchoe hildebrandtii is a closely related species with tiny white blossoms and stalkless leaves.