En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - I have a plant with plantlets on its leaves. What is it?

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 14, 2008

From: Minneapolis, MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: I have a plant with plantlets on its leaves. What is it?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Pardon my inexperience. I received a plant as a gift, that is quite similar to aloe, yet smaller. It "bloomed" with tiny paired leaves sprouting from each of the serrations along the larger leaves. These tiny pairings dropped to the soil, and took root. Since then, the mature plant died, but I have been able to keep two of the tiny sprouts alive. They are quite large now, but are very lanky compared to their mother. They have begun to sprout roots high up the stem. An initially stout, compact succulent (I believe) has become a sprawling, almost vine like creature. I fear I've been over watering. I was told once that the plant was called "woman of 1000 babies" or something to that effect, but have been unable to find any listing by that name. I am really fascinated by this plant, and would like to bring it back to a healthy state. Does any of this ring a bell? What can I do?

ANSWER:

From your description, I would say that you have a Kalanchoe which certainly is a fascinating plant. There are some who would call it Bryophyllum. A second bone of contention is how does one pronounce Kalanchoe?

Kalanchoe, a member of the family Crassulaceae, is a tropical genus with over 126 species and is native to Madagascar. There are some species that occur in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii where they are considered invasives.

The production of plantlets along the margins of the leaves narrows our selection to two possibilites; Kalanchoe delagoensis or Chandelier Plant, and Kalanchoe daigremontiana or Devil's Backbone or Mother of Thousands.

The planlets are capable of growing into a mature adults once they have fallen onto suitable substrate. This is a means of vegetative or asexual reproduction for the plant and is referred to as vivipary. The plant can also produce flowers and seeds.

You are dealing with a tropical succulent plant; this usually means high light and sparse water. You describe your new shoots as being lanky which could be a result of too little light. This could aslo account for the roots high up the stem. Water sparingly; let the top of the soil become dry to the touch before adding more water. This is a prolific reproducer and can be a problem in your greenhouse or your flower garden.



 

 

More Propagation Questions

Gardening book for beginner gardener
December 06, 2008 - What is a good gardening book for a beginner gardener who lives in Round Rock. Would like info for both vegetables and plants for landscaping. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Eliminating suckers from roots of Moraine locust in Hilliard, OH
July 07, 2009 - We removed a large Moraine Locust tree and also the stump. Now little trees from the roots are coming up. How do we get rid of these so something else can be planted?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of indoor plants for school project
January 28, 2008 - I have an assignment for school that requires that I get two indoor plants. One has to grow in water and one has to grow in soil. Each plant needs to grow at a fast pace, and at about the same pace....
view the full question and answer

Edibility of non-native garlic sprouts from Brancburg, NJ
March 12, 2013 - I have regular garlic in my refrigerator. It had sprouts growing out of it so I put it in a cup of water. Now that the stems are large enough to put in food, my question is.. Is that part of the garl...
view the full question and answer

Century plant offshoots in Denver
January 01, 2009 - Each year I get a small "baby" Century Plants in the early winter..December - January, But it dies off before summer. We live in Denver, CO My main plant is doing fine. Also, should I cut the lo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center