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How To Grow Mother of Millions?

Mother of millions in containers

Mother of Millions (Kalanchoe delagoensis previously Bryophyllum delagoensis) is native to Madagascar. The name Mother of Millions comes from the ability to multiply anywhere on land. They are fleshy, smooth succulents that can grow up to 3 feet (1 meter) or more in height. Mother of Millions form tall flower spikes with clusters of bell-shaped flowers.

The leaves also have a unique pattern. Leaves of Mother of Millions are boat-shaped with thick stalks and notches along the edges of the leaves. With this succulent, you can spark up any room or garden. The subtle yet eye-catching plant will look perfect as the living room’s centerpiece or the garden’s corner decoration.

What makes this an easy-care plant would be the lack of need for watering and humidity. Mother of Millions is extremely tolerant to drought. Therefore, if you are a beginner at gardening, then this low-maintenance succulent is perfect for you. Sometimes mother of millions is also called chandelier plant.

Toxic

Kalanchoe delagoensis is poisonous to humans, livestock, and household pets. This succulent contains a chemical that can cause heart failure. If consumed, it can cause diarrhea, skin irritation, and vomiting. Keep the plant a safe distance from animals and children. 

Basic Care

This easy-care plant doesn’t need much watering or humidity. It is also extremely tolerant to drought. Making sure this succulent gets its needed sunlight will keep it from losing its pattern and getting leggy.

Don’t forget to place Mother of Millions somewhere, where children or animals can’t reach. Because of the succulent’s rapid growth rate, it can reach its full size in one growing season. 

Climate

Mother of Millions can survive outdoors in the USDA hardiness zones 9-11. This succulent is not a cold-loving plant, so make sure to bring them inside when the temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

Being a succulent, they thrive in hot climates. Although they originate from a place with high relative humidity, they will grow just as well with lower humidity levels. If there were to be an ideal humidity percentage for this plant, it would be 20 %. Mother of Millions thrives in arid and semi-arid conditions. Optimum growing temperatures are 65 – 95 °F (18 – 35°C).

Flowers of Mother of Millions Source: Ninara

Watering

They might be very drought tolerant, but they will thrive if watered regularly. Water this succulent once or twice a week, from spring to fall. Reduce watering in the winter.

Before watering, ensure that the first several inches of the soil are dry. After watering, make sure to drain any excess water from the pot. Overwatering can lead to drooping leaves, shedding pups, and eventually root rot.

Invasive Species

Mother of Millions is considered an invasive species in Florida, due to its ability to replicate. It is also considered a noxious weed in Australia, specifically New South Wales or Queensland Before growing Mother of Millions outside in your garden, check to see if it’s considered invasive or noxious in your area.

Light

Kalanchoe delagoensis loves hot weather, therefore will thrive in direct sunlight. Make sure to place the succulent under plenty of sunlight when bringing it indoors. Ideally, the plant would need four to six hours of direct sunlight a day.

Without the needed sunlight, they will lose their beautiful pattern and become leggy and pale. Outdoors in the summer, make sure to place them in a spot with partial shade to protect them from the burning afternoon sun.

Kalanchoe delagoensis starting to bloom Source: Mike

Soil & Fertilizer

The preferred pH levels of this plant’s soil would be 6.0 to 6.5, meaning mildly acidic. Mother of Millions is usually found growing up in poor or infertile places. The ideal soil for this plant would be a loose, sandy, and well-draining mix. You can make your own soil by mixing equal parts of perlite, potting soil, and a couple of handfuls of coarse sand. 

Mother of Millions doesn’t require fertilizing, but doing it monthly in the summer and spring can stimulate growth. For fertilizing choose a cactus or organic houseplant fertilizer. Avoid using chemical-based options, as those can do more harm than good.

Pruning

Because this succulent grows fast, pruning is a great way to keep the growth under control and help grow stronger leaves. The best time for pruning would be summer or spring.

Make sure to use sharp, sterile shears of scissors. Cut back the top, just above a larger leaf. This way the plant should begin branching out lower, along the main stem.

Mother of Millions
Many Mother of Millions Source: El Cajon

Repotting

Mother of Millions grows fast, you might need to repot the plant every few years. If the roots are coming out of the pot’s drainage holes, then time to repot your succulent. 

The best time for repotting would be summer or spring or after it finishes flowering for the year. Use a container that’s one to two inches bigger than the old one and has holes in the bottom. Place it at the same depth as before.

Propagation

Propagating Mother of Millions is easy:

  • Use sharp, sterile shears or scissors.
  • Remove the baby plantlets. 
  • Add the plantlets to the soil, about 0.9 inches apart (2.3 cm) from each other.
  • After about four to six weeks the plantlets should have developed roots.

Diseases & Pests

Mother of Millions is tough, there aren’t many diseases to worry about. Diseases most common with Mother of Millions are root rot, red leaf spot, heart rot, botrytis, and southern blight.

To keep these diseases away, ensure not to overwater the plant. If a disease is spotted, remove any infected parts. Once one of the diseases has been established, propagate the plant from a healthy leaf.

Pests most common with Mother of Millions: mealybugs, scale, whitefly, and root mealybugs. Keep an eye on your succulent to spot the pests early on for easy removal. Use a clean cloth and rubbing alcohol to remove any of the pests.

Conclusion

This eye-catching and tough plant makes for a great first plant. Because of its toxic characteristics, it may not suit a home with many pets or children.  There’s no need to worry about this plant’s water or fertilizing needs as it will do well without much of either.

Thanks to its fragrance-free blooms, it will fit nicely indoors. Mother of Millions is characterized as a rare succulent, so do make haste to get yourself one of these low-maintenance conversation starter of a plant.

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