Kalanchoe delagoensis, commonly referred to as “Mother of Millions,” is a succulent plant native to Madagascar. Its unique foliage, which sports hundreds of small, hard-shelled baby plants along the edges of its leaves, gives this plant its name. The Mother of Millions is considered a low-maintenance and relatively easy-to-care-for houseplant that can thrive in both outdoor and indoor settings.
So, what are some of the interesting facts about this distinctive plant? The Mother of Millions is a member of the Crassulaceae family, making it related to the popular jade and other succulent plants. This tropical perennial grows best under warm conditions with plenty of sunlight and soil that drains quickly. The leaves are thick, fleshy, and spoon-shaped, ranging from green to dark purple. The baby plants that form along the edges of each leaf are called offsets, and they will eventually grow into mature plants if separated and potted on their own. Aside from its unique foliage, Mother of Millions also produces star-shaped flowers in shades of yellow, pink, or white during summer.
This blog post discusses everything you need to know about the Mother of Millions plant, from its care and maintenance needs to how it reproduces. Read on to learn more about this fascinating succulent!
Mother of Millions- Classification
The Mother of Millions plant is a member of the Crassulaceae family, making it related to other succulent plants such as stonecrop. It is known botanically as Kalanchoe delagoensis, though it has several common names, including “vegetable pan” and “finger plant.“
The succulent is native to Madagascar, though it has been introduced to many other countries. It is often grown as a houseplant and can be found in many gardens worldwide.
Some of the common locations where the succulent is naturalized include southern and eastern Africa, South America, and some oceanic islands that experience relatively warm weather.
The succulent grows in poor soils and rocky sites. Typically, it prefers the rocky outcrops in urban open spaces and savanna areas. It is a perennial plant and generally grows to 12 inches high, though it can reach up to 18 inches in height with the right care.
Mother of Millions- Similar Species
This succulent is closely related to several other species in the Crassulaceae family. They include Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi, which is also known as “Chandelier Plant” and “Lamp Plant,” and Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, also known as “Mexican Hat Plant.”
These species share the same spoon-shaped leaves and star-shaped flowers as Mother of Millions.
In fact, some people believe that the Mother of Millions and the Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana) are the same species, as they share many similarities. However, the latter has much larger leaves and more offsets per leaf.
Mother of Millions- Growth Pattern
The Mother of Millions is a low-growing succulent with thick spoon-shaped leaves. The foliage will range from green to dark purple, depending on the variety and amount of light it receives.
Along the edges of each leaf are hundreds of small baby plants, referred to as offsets. These unique features give the plant its name and provide an interesting texture to its foliage.
This succulent will produce star-shaped flowers in shades of yellow, pink, or white during the summer. The flowers are lightly fragrant and attract pollinators such as butterflies.
Mother of Millions- Care & Maintenance
The Mother of Millions makes an excellent houseplant due to its low maintenance requirements. It likes plenty of sunlight but will also tolerate some shade.
When caring for this succulent, water it sparingly. The plant needs soil that drains quickly. Too much water can lead to root rot. Be sure to check the amount of moisture in the soil before watering.
The easiest way to check is to stick your finger in the soil. If it feels moist, you don’t need to water it yet. Use the bottom watering method to prevent water from getting on the leaves.
Ensure you are using the right potting mix for succulents. A soil mix with some sand and grit is recommended. Basically, you want soil that promotes fast drainage. The growing pot must also have plenty of drainage holes.
Consider layering your pot with one or two inches of gravel or pebbles to help improve drainage.
For temperature and humidity, the plant prefers warm conditions and a moderate amount of humidity. Temperatures should range between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and not below 50 degrees at night.
Fertilizing is unnecessary for this plant as long as it receives a good amount of light and is kept in well-draining soil. Periodically repotting the succulent will ensure that it has enough space to grow.
It is important to note that the Mother of Millions is a toxic plant. If ingested, it can cause digestive problems and skin irritation. Keep the succulent away from pets and children.
Mother of Millions- Reproduction
The Mother of Millions is unique in its ability to reproduce asexually, which means it can produce hundreds of new plants very quickly and easily.
The offsets that form along the edges of the leaves will eventually drop off and start growing wherever they land – whether on the soil or in a pot.
To propagate your succulent, cut or twist off an offset and plant it in its container filled with succulent soil. Then place the container in a warm area with plenty of sunlight until new roots develop. Once this happens, you can move it to its permanent location.
If you have trouble removing offsets, you can propagate the plant using stem cuttings. Cut off a healthy stem about 4-6 inches in length and let it callous for a few days before planting it in soil.
Mother of Millions- Flowering
The Mother of Millions plant will produce showy star-shaped flowers in summer. The flowers come in shades of yellow, white, and pink and are lightly fragrant.
For your plant to produce blooms, it needs plenty of sunlight, warm temperatures, and well-draining soil. However, the plant may not flower every year or even at all if it does not receive the right conditions.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to encourage blooming. Fertilize your plant with a balanced succulent fertilizer and give it plenty of sunlight.
You can also try to mimic the natural winter dormancy period by reducing watering and allowing the soil to dry out completely before watering again.
If your Mother of Millions fails to bloom, it can still make an attractive houseplant. The succulent foliage is often all you need to enjoy its beauty.
Mother of Millions- Dispersal
The plant produces tiny seeds that are dispersed through the wind. The tiny seeds can also be spread by animals and humans when propagating or moving plants from one place to another.
Common Growing Problems
Although the Mother of Millions is a relatively hardy succulent, it can still be susceptible to some common growing problems.
Overwatering is the most common issue. Symptoms of overwatering include wilted leaves and root rot. To prevent this, ensure your pot has a good drainage system and only water when the soil starts to dry.
Another potential problem is sunburn. This can occur when the plant is exposed to too much direct sunlight.
Move your plant to a spot where it will receive filtered light and/or provide some shade during the hottest part of the day.
Finally, mealybugs can also be an issue with this succulent. If you notice white cottony masses on the leaves, treat them with a neem oil solution.
Toxicity of Mother of Millions
The succulent is mildly toxic to humans but can have severe effects on pets and children. It is best to keep the plant away from areas where your child or pet may be able to access it.
Its toxicity is caused by the bufadienolides found in the plant. These toxins can cause skin irritation, vomiting, and other digestive problems if ingested.
In fact, mere contact with the plant or getting its sap on your skin may cause severe itching or skin irritation. Children are more at risk because of their smaller body size.
Since the Mother of Millions is a highly attractive succulent, it’s important to be aware of its potential health risks and avoid contact with it if possible.
Common Uses of Mother of Millions
The Mother of Millions is a popular ornamental plant due to its attractive foliage and flowers. It can be grown outdoors as a groundcover or in containers and hung baskets indoors.
Furthermore, it can be used medicinally. The sap has been known to have healing properties when applied topically to wounds and sores.
It also has an interesting architectural shape, making it a great choice for succulent gardens or rockeries. It can add a bright and vibrant touch to your living space when grown indoors.
Overall, the Mother of Millions is an attractive and fascinating plant that can bring beauty to any home.
The Mother of Millions is an incredibly hardy succulent perfect for every gardener. Its low-maintenance requirements, unique foliage, and asexual reproduction make it a great plant to have in any garden.
With the right care, this succulent can live for many years and provide you with endless enjoyment. So why not give it a try today and see whether you like it?
Last update on 2023-01-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API