If succulents are your secret weakness, Kalanchoe pumila a.k.a. Flower Dust Plant might be the perfect missing piece from your collection! As pretty as a picture, it has the gift of stealing your heart from the first glance. However, this succulent is more than meets the eye.
Commonly known in cultivation as Flower Dust Plant, Kalanchoe pumila is a species of flowering plant in the Crassulaceae family. This succulent shrub is native to Madagascar, where it can be found growing in rocky areas. Besides its unique looks, what makes the plant one of our favourites is its adaptive and super low-demanding nature.
Flower dust plants will thrive in almost any region worldwide as long as you can simulate the conditions of their native habitat. And this is not as difficult as you might think! You can make the magic happen with a well-lit location, warm temperatures, well-draining soil, and very little water.
Keep reading to find out more about growing and caring for Kalachoe Pumila, also known as the Flower Dust Plant!
About Kalanchoe Pumila
- Due to its showy, silvery, succulent leaves and cute, bright pink flowers, Kalanchoe pumila is the recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society.
- The specific epithet “pumila” is the Latin word for “low-growing” or “dwarf”. The epithet refers to its small size that makes it a perfect desk plant.
- Kalanchoe pumila has an important role in traditional medicine. Some say that this plant can treat inflammation, bleeding, wounds, heart diseases, allergies, viral infections, or digestive problems.
- Its superb blossoms are not attractive only for humans, but also for some species of pollinators. They are a natural magnet for bees, butterflies, and different small birds.
- Kalanchoe plants enjoy cultural importance, especially in China where it is thought that these species of succulents can bring lots of wealth and prosperity.
- Flower dust plants can make for an eye-catching addition to various landscape decorations. Some of the most common uses include rock gardens, succulent gardens, tropical gardens, beds, borders, pots, and hanging baskets.
- This succulent will look absolutely fabulous near other gorgeous species of plants that have similar growing and environmental requirements. The ideal companions for Kalanchoe pumila are Blue Chalksticks, Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’, Phormium ‘Yellow Wave’, and Snow in Summer.
- The waxy, succulent leaves of Kalanchoe pumila can be pretty toxic to both humans and animals if ingested in large quantities. For safety purposes, keep this succulent in a spot where your curious cats, dogs, or kids cannot find it.
Kalanchoe Pumila Features: An Overview
- Flower dust plant belongs to the well-known Kalanchoe genus that consists of about 125 species of succulent plants. It shares this genus with species like K. blossfeldiana, K. delagoensis, K. luciae, K. manginii, K. marmorata, K. robusta, or K. tomentosa.
- Kalanchoe pumila is a dwarf succulent shrub. It has an overall spreading and clump-forming growth habit that looks like a bush. The plant can reach a maximum of 12 inches (30 cm) in height and up to 36 inches (91 cm) in width.
- This plant consists of dense small, succulent, rounded, tooth-edged, and light green to silvery leaves that grow on arching stems. The leaves can measure about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length.
- Its leaves feature numerous soft, waxy, whitish hairs which give the plant a somewhat frosted appearance. The margins of its leaves may exhibit shades of pink.
- Flower dust plant typically blooms from late winter through early spring. During this period, it produces lovely clusters of tiny, 4-petaled, trumpet-shaped, and pink flowers. The blossoms have purple veins on their petals and yellowish anthers.
Growing Kalanchoe Pumila
In general, taking good care of Kalanchoe pumila is a piece of cake. However, you must be cautious when it comes to the amount of sunlight it receives. This succulent grows at its best in bright, indirect light through light shade. So, providing your Kalanchoe with this particular condition is vital for its performance. Keep in mind that intense, harsh sunlight will easily burn the tips of its leaves with time.
In terms of temperatures, the Flower dust plant is typically winter-hardy in the USDA zones 9a through 11b. This shrubby succulent will show the nicest growth when it experiences a minimum temperature of 54 °F (12 °C), especially during its active growing season. If you live in a location where winters come with freezing temperatures, we warmly suggest you keep your plant inside from early autumn until next spring.
Although Kalanchoe pumila is virtually pest-free, some intruders may bother your succulents when they have the chance. The most common Kalanchoe pests are aphids, scale insects, and mealybugs. They mostly feed on the leaves and stems of the succulent and are pretty easy to spot right on time. In case of infestation, you can handpick the pests and apply neem oil or insecticidal soap to help your Kalanchoe pumila get well faster.
Planting Kalanchoe Pumila
Now that we need to talk about the growing medium of this succulent, you should know that it is not as picky as it might seem. Like most species of succulents, Kalanchoe pumila will thrive in a substrate that comes packed with excellent drainage. If you want to give your plant the time of its life, make sure you plant it in a commercial potting mix that works for cacti and succulents.
Since Flower Dust plant is super sensitive to over-watering, it is mandatory to ensure a great drainage system overall. You can improve the overall drainage by planting your succulent in a container that features one or more drainage holes at the bottom. Likewise, a clay pot is usually the best option for this plant.
During its active growing period, Kalanchoe pumila will benefit from a little extra effort on your part. In other words, your shrubby companion will do best with some additional fertilizer along the way. Feed your Kalanchoe pumila with a balanced liquid or slow-release fertilizer once every two weeks from early autumn to winter.
Even if Flower Dust plant does not grow and spread like crazy, it will still require a repotting routine every two years or so. This process is a nice opportunity to give your succulents a fresh growing medium. You can repot your Flower dust plant in the same pot or, if the plant has outgrown it, you can transplant it in a container that is slightly larger than its current one.
Watering Kalanchoe Pumila
Thanks to its succulent leaves, Kalanchoe pumila will thrive without frequent watering. This plant can store nice amounts of water, making it fairly tolerant of drought for long periods. In fact, providing this succulent with too much water can do nothing but affect its general health. Over-watering can result in root rot and we surely do not want that to happen!
Flower dust plant needs a watering routine only during its season of interest, from fall through spring. Make sure you spoil your succulent with a nice, deep drink only when its growing medium has dried out entirely. During the summer months, this plant goes dormant and does not require as much water as usual. You can water it once every month or so just to prevent its soil to lose its quality.
Propagating Kalanchoe Pumila
If you want more Kalanchoe pumila for yourself, friends, or family members, propagating your plant is the best solution at hand. The easiest and most common methods of propagation are stem cuttings or leaves in autumn. However, it is mandatory to say that both methods cannot show results even for the most experienced succulent growers. Sometimes, all you need is a bit of luck!
The succulent leaves are an excellent propagation material since Kalanchoe pumila produces plenty of them. To propagate your plant through leaves, you must first look for those that are in their best shape. Secondly, twist the leaves from the mother plant and make sure that no part of them remains on the stems.
Once you have the leaves, place them on a paper towel in a shaded spot and allow them to form a callous for several days. After this, you can put the leaves on fresh well-draining soil and water the substrate whenever the soil has dried out. With proper care, the leaves may produce some tiny roots in a few months or so.
Another way to propagate your Kalanchoe pumila is, as mentioned above, stem cuttings. Look for mature stems on your plant and cut them using a sterilized, sharp knife or pair of scissors. After you have removed the stems, let them callous over for several days before planting them in suitable, well-draining soil. If you always water the propagation medium when it is completely dry, the tiny Kalanchoe cuttings will develop a healthy root system in two or three months.
Graceful, bewitching, and very low-maintenance – this is a mix that makes this succulent perfect for any grower, be it a novice or an expert. Kalanchoe pumila has little demands and a lot to offer. Now that you know the mysteries of Kalanchoe pumila a.k.a. Flower dust plant, you are more than ready to be its loving and caring parent!
Are you the lucky owner of a Kalanchoe pumila succulent? Let us know in the comments!