Get the Best of the Popular Ornament Succulent Kalanchoe Millotii

Kalanchoe millotii is also known as Millot kalanchoe. It belongs to the Kalanchoe genus, part of the Crassulaceae family. It is a tropical plant growing in the rocky mountains and dry soil. The plant is a native of Madagascar, but it has been introduced to other parts of Africa in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania, and South Africa. The plant is now relatively permanent as a decoration in many homes globally.

Description Of Kalanchoe Millotii

Stem

It has a habit of forming shrubs up to one foot high. Its appearance changes as it grows, where it starts as a dense, bushy plant until it produces many little branches from the stems. It is from these little branches that the leaves grow. The plant’s stems are greenish grey and succulent.

Flowers

In summer, this succulent blooms, and its flowers can be white, greenish-yellow, orange, or pink. They appear in clusters and are relatively long-lasting compared to flowers of other plants in the genus. The plant produces long stalks from which the flowers grow. Unlike other succulents in this genus, flowers form an essential part of Kalanchoe millotii’s attraction because they remain in the plant for some time.

Leaves

The leaves are succulent and ovate with scalloped edges. The leaves are also waxy, which helps them withstand the ultra-violet rays that come from their contact with rays of direct sunlight. They are also slightly fuzzy, somewhat midway between being smooth and having a velvety texture like some of millotii’s cousins in the Kalanchoe genus. The plant’s foliage is light green, but some are purplish, especially if exposed to intense sunlight. This plant’s unique foliage is its main attraction.

Toxicity

Kalanchoe millotii is toxic; therefore, we should keep it away from small children. If you notice that your child or pet has diarrhea, vomiting, or increased heart rate, take them to the doctor or a veterinarian as quickly as possible because these are signs that they might have ingested the plant.

Kalanchoe Millotii Care

This plant doesn’t require a lot of care, but there are certain things you need to consider when growing this plant.

Lighting and placement

Like many succulents, this plant requires a lot of light; the light should not be direct. If you choose to grow the plant indoors, make sure that you place it by the window facing the southern direction and rotate it to the sun’s direction if it’s not reaching your plant well. Try to mimic its natural habitat by not allowing scorching sunlight on the plant. Move it if it becomes too hot.

You can grow this plant in a succulent or Mediterranean garden or indoors as a decorative plant. It is okay with full sunlight and makes your work relatively easy when positioning the plant. You don’t have to worry about shielding it from the sun. If, on the other hand, you have placed the plant indoors, you will need to position it strategically next to a window so that it can soak in as much direct sunlight as possible.

Place the plant within one foot of the window or on a balcony where it can get at least six hours of direct sunlight in summer.

Sunlight is not the only thing that determines the location of your plant. Temperature is also an essential factor, especially in the United States, where winters can get cold. This is because this succulent is not cold-hardy. Temperatures under 18oC cause it distress, and if they continue for long, they can lead to the death of your plant.

Therefore, if you live in an area where temperatures get to this range for long periods, you are better off keeping the plant entirely indoors. Also, you can decide to keep the plant indoors permanently in such an environment. If you suspect your plant isn’t getting sufficient sunlight indoors, move it outside in summer for it to enjoy more intense sunlight once in a while.

Watering Kalanchoe millotii

This plant is drought-resistant because it is succulent. How much you water the plant depends on your location. Suppose you live in scorching areas and water the plant frequently.

Like many succulents, it has a minimal root system, so overwatering the plant will cause root rot and death. Wait until the soil is dry before watering the plant. Avoid watering during winter. Only do so when you notice that the plant is wilting. Although the plant generally requires little water, you will need to water it more often in hotter seasons than in colder ones due to evaporation. How easily you manage this aspect of care for your plant will largely be determined by the type of soil on which you have grown your plant. Well-draining soil will make your watering immeasurably easier to maintain.

How to know when your plant needs water?

How do you know your plant requires to be watered? The topsoil dryness test is always an effective method of knowing whether your plant requires some watering. Insert a finger into the plant’s soil or potting mix to feel whether or not the top two inches of the soil is dry.

When you notice the bottom leaves of the plant start to wrinkle and slightly wilt when the plant is severely dehydrated, and it needs urgent watering.

The best method to water Kalanchoe millotii is the soak and dry method. Insert the plant into a large container filled with water and allow the plant to soak in the water for at least half an hour. After removing the plant, let the excess moisture drain from the drainage holes at the bottom of the container for another half an hour. Water again when the soil is dry.  

Soil requirements

The soil PH for this plant should range from 6 to 6.5, which is slightly acidic soil. It should be well-draining as you know that moisture damages its roots. You can buy readymade soil, that is, the potting mix or the succulent mix, or you can decide to mix it yourself. Use perlite sand and peatmoss. This type of soil also allows aeration.

Feeding Kalanchoe millotii

This plant does not need a lot of fertilizer because the potting mix or the succulent mix already has enough nutrients. For this reason, use organic fertilizer only and make sure you dilute it to avoid over-concentration, which can cause residual salts to accumulate in the soil burning the plant. The best time to feed your plant is during propagation which is best done towards the end of spring. Feed your plant only once every six months or when you notice that it’s not growing as expected.

Temperatures

As stated earlier, it is a tropical plant which means it does well in relatively warm temperatures. The best temperature for this plant is 18 to 27 degrees Celsius.

It cannot survive freezing weather because it causes frost injury and death of your plant within a short time. If it’s too cold outside, move your plant indoors and make sure you heat the room a little. If the plant is in the garden, use frost clothes to cover your plant.

Humidity

This plant requires humidity between 40 to 60%. Very high moisture causes fungal infection to the plant, do not water your plant in this situation. When the air is too dry, use a humidifier to improve the situation.

Potting and repotting Kalanchoe millotii

If you want it as an indoor plant, you will need a pot. The best pots are the unglazed clay pots; they lose water which is vital for this plant. Ensure that your pot has drainage holes. You can replant it fresh soil every year for a healthier plant, but be careful not to damage the roots because they are very delicate.

Repotting this plant should only be done between two to three years. Always make sure that you report to a larger pot. It would help if you did it at the onset of spring. Make sure that you remove all of the old soil.

Pruning

Kalanchoe millotii does not need too much pruning since it is relatively slow-growing. Sometimes, they outgrow their pots so that the upper part of the plant becomes quite heavy. Once in a while, you should remove the dead and unwanted leaves for grooming purposes.

Ensure that your clippers are clean and sharp to prevent infections if you want to prune. Be careful not to over-prune it as it may damage the plant or even kill it. Another reason you might consider pruning your plant is when you notice that it is becoming long and stretchy, which results from not getting enough light. Trim the plant at the base and put it close to a light source to allow it to thrive.

Pests and diseases

It is pretty tolerant of pests and diseases. However, some pests may find their way into the plant if you do not grow it in the right conditions. These pests are aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, mildew, thrips, and snails. If you notice them early enough, it is easy to control them. You can use nontoxic pesticides listed below, although some people prefer to use neem oil and isopropyl acid.

  1. Neem oil: Unlike the other pesticides listed below, neem oil is a systemic pesticide. It gets into the plant and poisons it against the bugs so that they don’t survive or reproduce when they attack the plant. Pure Neem Oil is made from the neem plant. Therefore, it is entirely natural and not harmful to humans.
  2. Hot pepper spray: Hot pepper is quite irritating when it gets on your skin and eyes, and it has the same effects on the bugs infesting your succulents. Spray it directly on the affected parts being careful to protect your skin and eyes.
  3. Garlic spray: A concentrated garlic spray can have the same effects on the bugs as pepper spray. You can manufacture the garlic spray by crushing garlic cloves and putting them in hot water. Put just a little hot water so that the end product is concentrated enough to destroy the pests. Remove the garlic residue, put the pesticide in a sprayer, and spray away on the infected parts of the plant.

Always spray a small part of the plant with the pesticide you want to use before spraying on the whole plant. This precaution applies when using contact pesticides, i.e., hot pepper spray and garlic spray. You need to see the plant’s reaction before you spray it all. If the test shows the plant’s reacting adverse effects on the pesticide, you can reduce concentration.

The primary disease likely to affect the plant is a fungal infection resulting from root rot caused by overwatering.

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Kalanchoe Millotii Propagation

It can be propagated through leaf cuttings and also stem cuttings. Its growing period is during spring. Therefore, this is the best time to propagate; compared to other succulents, these plant roots efficiently and leaf cuttings use less time to root than stem cuttings.

  1. Cut your leaf/stem from the mother plant. Make sure you use a clean and sharp pair of scissors to make a clean cut; for the stem, remove extra leaves.
  2. When propagating by the stems, use softwood from spring plants
  3. Dip the fresh ends of your stem or leaf into the rooting hormone
  4. Allow the leaf/stem to dry a bit for a day or two
  5. Prepare your soil as you wait for your cutting to dry. Remember it must be well-draining, buy a readymade potting mix or blend one at home.
  6. Now plant your new plant.
  7. Place the new plant into an adequately lit space.
  8. Water the plant and continue doing so until you notice some signs of growth, which means that your plant has started developing roots.

Conclusion

Kalanchoe millotii, as we have seen, is an easy plant to maintain. It is also such a valuable plant that brings beauty and life to homes and has medicinal values. It treats rashes, inflammation, and skin infections, it is therefore critical that you keep the plant around for a long time by taking care of it. This plant is perfect for adding to your garden collection. You can also gift it to someone you care about.

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Posted in Succulents