En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Propagation of Asclepias tuberosa
June 18, 2012 - Re: Asclepias tuberosa, "butterfly weed" bush -- I have a bed in a mix of Shoal Creek well-drained caliche, soil, and some enrichment of mulch that gets almost full sun and low water. After 4 yrs a...
view the full question and answer

Looking for an apple tree to plant in Austin, TX.
December 08, 2010 - I want to plant an apple tree in my yard that bears fruit and will provide habitat and shade. Are any varieties that will do well in the South Austin area? And do I have to plant two trees to get fru...
view the full question and answer

Obtaining seeds for mutant white bluebonnet
April 18, 2007 - I have seen a white bluebonnet in Brenham on Easter and wondered how rare the white ones are and how you get seeds for those. Are there any special directions on collecting seeds for planting next fa...
view the full question and answer

Removal of leaves before transplanting
April 05, 2008 - Before transplanting a plant, is it a good idea to remove leaves?
view the full question and answer

How to Propagate Mountain Laurel by Seed
January 02, 2003 - How do I propagate mountain laurel by seed?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center