Kalanchoe Rhombopilosa – How To Care For This Silvery Succulent

If you want to own an attractive and unique succulent, then the Kalanchoe rhombopilosa is the ideal plant. These tiny succulents are also known as the Pies from Heaven. The pies grow about 12 inches tall.

They are small compact plants that don’t take up too much space. It is a perennial succulent that belongs to the family Crassulaceae. It is endemic to the Madagascar ecosystem, specifically in the region of Itampolo, where it grows in the wild and dry soil.

Description Of Kalanchoe Rhombopilosa

The Kalanchoe rhombopilosa leaves are the main attraction of the plant. They are stunning to look at and create a fabulous décor. They are silver-green and have brown spots that create a marble-like pattern.

The leaves are very fleshy and fragile and grow up to 1.2 inches long. The leaves are curiously shaped, reminiscent of a slice of pie, roughly triangular, with two sharp edges, and with the outside rim curved and crenulated, very much like the pinched edges of a pie crust.

The stems are thick, woody, erect, and covered with long soft hairs. These plant flowers in the spring produce green, yellow, or pink-colored flowers. They are usually small, but you may notice purple lines on the flower. They have four petals and eight stamens.

Toxicity

All Kalanchoe species are toxic to pets, and Pies from Heaven is no different. Please keep away from the reach of children as it may cause digestive pains when ingested.

Uses Of Kalanchoe Rhombopilosa

Kalanchoe rhombopilosa is a popular houseplant with beautiful foliage. The plant’s minor compact nature makes it a good candidate for a tabletop plant, and since it does not take up much space, you can place it on a window sill.

Kalanchoe Rhombopilosa Care

Lighting and Placement

Kalanchoe rhombopilosa thrives in bright light to partial shade. You should ensure it receives bright direct light in the morning hours and has some shade from the afternoon sun. Intense direct light can scorch the leaves. Intense direct light scorches and burns the leaves forming brown spots. Depending on an individual’s perspective and likes, you may opt to leave it in the sun to increase the spots on your plant, making it more attractive.

Keep it in an east-facing window to ensure it receives maximum light. Also, if you notice your succulent has become too tall or leggy, you may want to consider moving it near a window. A leggy pie from heaven is an indication the plant isn’t receiving enough light.

Watering

Kalanchoe rhombopilosa is succulent; hence it stores some water in its leaves. It is also drought-resistant and can handle long periods of neglect. Novice growers may tend to overwater the plant: which is a mistake.

Overwatering the Kalanchoe can lead to root rot and the subsequent death of the plant. How and when to water the pies of heaven? To avoid overwatering, always ensure that the top two inches of your soil or potting mix are dry before watering the plant. You should water it in the summer since the evaporation rate is high and the soil loses water faster. Water the plant once a week during hot summers and less frequently during the cold winter months. In cold months only water when you notice the plant has started to wither.

Water the plant using drip irrigation. Many new growers tend to use a spray and get the leaves wet. Drip irrigation is recommended as the roots get to soak in all the moisture in the soil.

Humidity

Kalanchoe will do well under typical humidity in a room. The plant may also survive in relatively dry environments, but too much humidity is harmful to its health. Too much humidity is a challenge because it facilitates the growth of fungi on the leaves.

Soil

Kalanchoe rhombopilosa require well-draining soil that is high in organic matter. You can use a mixture of 50% coarse sand and perlite with peat moss. The coarse sand and perlite increase the drainage and aeration of the mix by increasing soil porosity.

On the other hand, if you grow the plant outdoors in a Mediterranean garden or as a hedge, you must ensure the soil is well-draining. The plant can handle rock ground, so that should not be a problem. If the soil in your area has more clay than grit, you can introduce soil in the planting holes to allow your water to drain quickly. Also, it may be necessary for you to create French drains to allow any excess water to run off from the roots.

The pH is critical and should be in the 6.0 to 6.5 range. The plants are sensitive to zinc deficiency, which can be aggravated by high phosphorous. But at this pH range, both zinc and phosphorous should be available at suitable levels. They also have high calcium requirements.

Feeding Kalanchoe Rhombopilosa

Although the Kalanchoe receives its required nutrients from the potting medium, it could always use some extra nutrients. It would be best to feed it once a week during the spring and summer months. During this time, the plant is actively growing. You should only feed it when you notice signs of distress in the plant. Do not feed during the winter months as the plant is dormant, and feeding it may lead to a buildup of salts in the soil.

The Pot

If you are planting your Kalanchoe rhombopilosa in a pot, you will need to consider the type of pot you use carefully. This is because the pot is critical in ensuring your soil will be well-drained. It should have several draining holes at the bottom because the water that gets to the soil needs to get out to avoid waterlogging. You can also use a breathable pot to enhance the evaporation of water. Unglazed terracotta pots are the best option for growing these succulents.

Repotting Kalanchoe Rhombopilosa

You can repot the plant if it grows too big for the pot. Considering this, you don’t need to repot often because the plant grows slowly. The other reason you may want to repot is if the soil is no longer draining as effectively. It is possible for your substrate’s particles that previously created spaces to allow water through to get broken down with time so that the water doesn’t flow as effectively. This is a good enough reason to repot to save your plant from root rot.

Pruning and Grooming

This plant requires little to no pruning except where the plant has grown leggy. In such a case, pruning should be carried out to maintain the bushy and compact nature of the pies from heaven. Do it immediately after flowering. Pinching or clipping dead flowers off where they join the stem stimulates new flowers to form in their place.

Pests and Diseases

Kalanchoe rhombopilosa are resistant to disease and insects. However, if kept outdoors, they could eventually be affected by sap-sucking insects such as aphids and spider mites.

Common symptoms include: apart from insects on the crossing of the stems or the undersides of leaves, the presence of honeydew on leaves, creased, faded leaves and webs, or leaves that look torn or bitten. If an infestation has already occurred, you can use a non-toxic insecticidal spray. This is because the leaves are susceptible to some chemicals in making the insecticides.

Few Organic Pesticides We Recommend

The following organic pesticides can keep the plant from being destroyed by chemical pesticides.

  1. Neem oil: Neem oil is a systemic pesticide, unlike the other pesticides listed below. 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. Other conditions include discoloration of leaves which is usually a sign of malnutrition.

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Kalanchoe Rhombopilosa Propagation

This plant can be propagated in two ways: by stem cuttings: by leaf cuttings. The best time to propagate is during the spring and summer months.

Stem cuttings

  • Take a cutting from the Kalanchoe rhombopilosa about 1/2 inch thick
  • Leave it to be dry and callous
  • Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone
  • Put some potting mix in a container and plant the stem cutting above ground level
  • After 3-7 days, transplant to larger containers, or when the stems would have rooted
  • Transplant them outside to your garden in the spring

Leaf cuttings

  • Cut a healthy leaf from Kalanchoe rhombopilosa during the spring and summer
  • Allow for the leaf to dry and callous
  • Dip it in rooting hormone.
  • Plant in the same potting mix as the mother plant
  • Cover the cutting with another layer of soil, which should be slightly moist
  • The leaf will root in two weeks
  • When the new plant has grown to about 4 inches, transplant it into a larger pot
  • After it has become well established in its new home, transplant it to its permanent location

Final Words

This plant is generally easy to maintain, and it is one of the most critical aspects of managing it is watering. Root rot is the main challenge you will face growing this plant. Also, it is essential to remember the plant is toxic and keep it out of reach of your pets. You will have a much easier watering the plant if you grow it on well-draining soil and a terracotta pot.

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Posted in Succulents