Mother of Millions (Kalanchoe Delagoensis): Care and Propagation

Mother of Millions is a remarkable native of Madagascar succulent, scientifically known as Kalanchoe delagoensis. It is well-known for its unusual reproductive strategy, which results in tiny plants, or “babies,” growing up the margins of its leaves. These seedlings descend to the earth, take root, and develop into stand-alone plants. Succulent collections will look amazing with the Mother of Millions’ glossy, cylindrical leaves decorated in shades of red and green. Plant enthusiasts love it because of its interesting reproductive strategy and low maintenance requirements.

Why is it Called Mother of Millions?

The plant name of this succulent comes from the unusual way that it reproduces. It produces tiny plantlets along its leaves that fall to the ground, take root, and develop into separate plants. The moniker “Mother of Millions” originates from this prodigious reproduction, which links generations of plants by yielding many progeny.

Origin

The Mother of Millions is native to Madagascar. This unusual succulent species is native to this African island nation and has gained popularity around the globe.

Preferred for Foliage or Flowers?

The Kalanchoe delagoensis is typically preferred for its unique and striking foliage rather than its flowers. While it does produce small, tubular, and bell-shaped flowers, they are relatively inconspicuous compared to the plant’s distinctive leaves. The foliage, with its glossy texture, green and red hues, and the intriguing pattern of miniature plantlets along the leaf edges, is the primary attraction of this succulent.

Is it Rare?

There is no such thing as a rare Mother of Millions plant. It is extensively grown and easily accessible in many areas. Its widespread presence in both indoor and outdoor gardens can be attributed to its ease of propagation and popularity among enthusiasts of succulents.

Distribution

The Kalanchoe delagoensis is native to Madagascar but is also cultivated in various parts of the world as an ornamental plant.

Indoor or Outdoors

Depending on the local climate and circumstances, the Succulent can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It’s a versatile succulent that adapts well to different environments.

Growing Places/Positions Inside Home

The Mother of Millions can thrive in various places within a house, making it a popular choice for indoor gardening. It does well in:

1. Windowsills: Place it on a bright windowsill with indirect sunlight.

2. Balconies and Patios: If you have outdoor space, it can also be grown in containers on balconies or patios, provided the climate is suitable.

4. Indoor Planters: In indoor planters or pots, ensure they receive sufficient light.

5. Succulent Gardens: It’s a great addition to indoor succulent gardens or terrariums.

Growth Rate

Succulents grow slowly, especially The Mother of Millions. It doesn’t grow quickly, but it does progressively produce plantlets along its leaves, which over time may give the appearance of being fuller.

Height: In ideal conditions, the plant can reach a height of about 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 centimeters). However, growth rates can vary.

Width: The width of a mature Mother of Millions can span around 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters). It tends to develop a cluster of plants as it grows, making it wider as more plantlets form along the leaves.

Space Demand

For the cultivation of the Kalanchoe delagoensis, it’s advisable to provide each plant with about 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters) of space to accommodate its growth and allow for the potential spread of plantlets. Adequate spacing ensures the plants can thrive, receive sufficient light, and maintain good airflow for their overall health.

Other Names/Synonyms

Kalanchoe delagoensis is also known by the following common names:

S.N.Other Names for Kalanchoe delagoensis
1.Mother of Millions
2.Chandelier Plant
3.Devil’s Backbone
4.Mexican Hat Plant
5.Bryophyllum delagoense (previously used scientific name).

Is it Suitable for First-time Plant Owners?

Yes, the Mother of Millions (Kalanchoe delagoensis) is a suitable choice for first-time plant owners. It’s a hardy and low-maintenance succulent that can withstand occasional neglect and adapt to various environments, both indoors and outdoors. Its unique appearance and reproductive method make it an engaging option for beginners, with care primarily involving well-draining soil and moderate watering. Just be mindful of its sharp spines when handling.

Plant Characteristics

Kalanchoe delagoensis, mother of millions

1. Roots: The succulent has well-developed, comparatively shallow roots that enable effective water absorption. To avoid having wet roots, it prefers soil that drains well.

2. Stem: This succulent usually has a woody, erect, branching stem that has a segmented, cylindrical appearance.

3. Leaves: The leaves are a striking feature, with glossy, cylindrical shapes on display. They frequently have different tones of red and green, and the margins of their leaves are dotted with tiny plantlets.

4. Flowers: The Mother of Millions produces small, tubular, and bell-shaped flowers. These flowers can vary in color, including shades of orange and yellow, and typically bloom in the spring or early summer.

5. Fruits: After flowering, the plant can produce small, seed-like capsules that contain seeds for reproduction. These capsules are typically found along the flower stalks.

Botanical Classification

KingdomPlantae
OrderSaxifragales
FamilyCrassulaceae
GenusKalanchoe
Speciesdelagoensis

USDA Growing Zone

The Mother of Millions thrives in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. These zones have minimum average annual temperatures ranging from 20°F to above 40°F. They encompass regions with mild to tropical climates, including parts of California, Texas, Florida, and Hawaii, where this succulent can grow without the risk of frost damage.

General Overview of Mother of Millions

CategoryDescription
Common NameMother of Millions
Scientific NameKalanchoe delagoensis
Other NamesChandelier Plant, Devil’s Backbone, Mexican Hat Plant, Bryophyllum delagoense
OriginNative to Madagascar
CharacteristicsUnique reproduction method, striking foliage with green and red hues, miniature plantlets on leaf edges
LeavesGlossy, cylindrical, featuring miniature plantlets along edges
FlowersSmall, tubular, and bell-shaped, can vary in color (orange, yellow), typically in spring/early summer
FruitsSmall seed-like capsules produced after flowering
HeightUp to 1-3 feet (30-90 cm)
WidthUp to 1-2 feet (30-60 cm)
Indoor/OutdoorSuitable for both indoor and outdoor cultivation
Hardiness ZonesUSDA Zones 9-11 (mild to tropical climates)
Growth RateSlow growth rate
Space RequiredAbout 1-2 feet (30-60 cm) per plant
Care LevelLow-maintenance, ideal for beginners
Special FeaturesUnique reproduction method, intriguing appearance
Preferred forFoliage
RarityNot considered rare
Growing PlacesWindowsills, balconies, patios, indoor planters
WateringModerate, allow soil to dry between waterings
SoilWell-draining, cactus or succulent mix
Pests/DiseasesResistant to most pests and diseases
PropagationBy offsets (plantlets), leaves, or stem cuttings

Mother of Thousands vs Mother of Millions

mother of thousands vs mother of millions
CategoryMother of ThousandsMother of Millions
Scientific NameKalanchoe daigremontianaKalanchoe delagoensis
Common NameMother of ThousandsMother of Millions
ReproductionProduces “baby” plants on leavesForms plantlets on leaves
FoliageFlat, spoon-shaped leavesCylindrical leaves with plantlets
FlowersSmall, greenish-yellow bellsSmall, tubular, various colors
HeightUp to 2 feet (60 cm)Up to 3 feet (90 cm)
Growth RateFastSlow
ToxicityToxic if ingestedToxic if ingested
Special FeatureProlific “baby” plant productionUnique plantlet reproduction
RarityCommonNot considered rare
Care LevelLow-maintenanceLow-maintenance

Here is a detailed and helpful video on You Tube that clears the confusion of these two plants along with awesome care tips:-

Is Mother of Millions Illegal in the USA?

The Queensland govt, states that Mother of Millions is a category 3 restricted invasive plant that is illegal and should not be sold, given to third parties, or released in gardens, landscapes, or any other environment by the BIOSECURITY Act of 2014.

As per the last update in January 2022, the Mother of Millions (Kalanchoe delagoensis) is not illegal in the United States at the federal level. However, it is classified as a noxious weed in some states and regions due to its invasive nature.

Is Kalanchoe Delagoensis Toxic?

It is thought that Kalanchoe delagoensis is poisonous to people and animals alike. The plant contains substances called bufadienolides, which may be toxic if consumed or, in certain situations, even if they come into contact with the skin. This explains why it’s harmful:

Toxicity to Humans and Pets

Ingestion: Poisoning can result from consuming any part of the plant, particularly the leaves. In humans, poisonous substances can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even more serious cardiac problems. They also hurt the heart.

Skin Contact: While handling the plant may irritate the skin, this is usually not as dangerous as ingesting it.

Symptoms of Toxicity

Humans: Kalanchoe delagoensis poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, changes in heart rate, and, in extreme situations, potentially fatal irregularities in heart rhythm.

For Pets: Ingestion can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and incoordination in pets (dogs, cats). Severe cases may result in irregularities in the heart.

What to Do If Poisoned:

  • Seek emergency medical or veterinary care if a person or pet shows signs of poisoning after consuming or coming into contact with Mother of Millions.
  • If there has been contact with the plant, wash the impacted area of skin with water.
  • If you want to avoid accidental ingestion, keep the plant out of the reach of children and pets.

Care of Mother of Millions

Care Category                                    Instructions
LightPlace in bright, indirect sunlight, but protect from intense afternoon sun.
TemperatureIdeal indoor temperatures: 60-80°F (15-27°C). Protect from frost and extreme cold.
SoilUse well-draining cactus or succulent mix to prevent waterlogging.
WaterWater moderately, allowing the soil to partially dry between waterings. Avoid overwatering.
HumidityStandard indoor humidity is sufficient; no special humidity requirements.
FertilizerFeed with a balanced, diluted, liquid fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer) every 4-6 weeks. Don’t fertilize in winter.
Potting and RepottingRepot only when overcrowded, usually every 2-3 years. Use a slightly larger pot with fresh soil.
Training and PruningTrim leggy growth and remove spent flowers to maintain a compact shape.

Light Requirement:

Bright, indirect sunlight is ideal for the Mother of Millions plant. It can withstand some morning or late afternoon sun, but direct sunlight that is too strong should be shielded from it as it can burn the leaves.

Temperature Range:

For best growth, keep the plant between 60 and 80°F (15 and 27°C). As it is sensitive to cold, keep it out of temperatures below 40°F (4°C). Generally speaking, an indoor temperature is ideal.

Soil Type:

To avoid waterlogging, use a succulent mix or a well-draining cactus. It ought to have good drainage and aeration capabilities. The ideal pH range for soil is pH 6-7, which is slightly acidic to neutral.

Watering:

Apply a moderate amount of water to the plant, letting the top inch or two of soil dry out in between. This succulent is susceptible to root rot, so don’t overwater it. Never water the foliage—always the soil. For this plant, misting, pebble trays, and humidifiers are usually not necessary.

Humidity Tolerance:

Kalanchoe delagoensis doesn’t need extra humidity adjustments because it can withstand typical indoor humidity levels. It can survive in most households’ average humidity levels.

Fertilization:

During the growing season (spring and summer), feed the plant once every four to six weeks with a balanced, diluted liquid fertilizer. During the winter, when the plant is usually dormant, do not fertilize.

Repotting:

Every two to three years, or when it gets too crowded in its current pot, repotting is necessary. Make use of fresh succulent potting mix and opt for a slightly larger pot. To give the plant time to settle into its new container before the growing season begins, repot in the spring.

Training and Pruning:

To keep a compact shape, trim any straggly or leggy growth. To promote fresh growth, remove spent flowers as soon as possible. Although pruning is typically done sparingly, it does help preserve the plant’s appearance. For optimal effects, prune in the spring or early summer.

Mother of Millions Propagation

1. From Leaf Cuttings:

Step1: Select a healthy leaf and let it callus for a day or two.

Step 2: Plant the callused end in a well-draining succulent mix.

Step 3: Water sparingly and keep the soil consistently lightly moist

Step 4: Roots should develop within a few weeks, and a new plant will grow from the leaf.

2. From Plantlets (Offsets):

Step 1: Baby plants (plantlets) develop along the edges of mature leaves.

Step 2: Gently separate the plantlets from the parent leaf.

Step 3: Plant them in their pots with well-draining soil.

Step 4: Water lightly and let them establish roots.

3. From Seeds:

Step 1: Collect seeds from the plant after flowering.

Step 2: Sow the seeds in a succulent or cactus mix, covering them lightly with soil.

Step 3: Keep the soil evenly moist until seedlings emerge.

Step 4: Seed propagation can be slower compared to the other methods.

Price Range in the USA:

Small potted Mother of Millions plants can typically range from $5 to $15.

Larger or more mature specimens may be priced higher, often up to $30 or more.

Where to Buy Mother of Millions Plant?

Local Nurseries and Garden Centres: These are the place where you can find Mother of Millions. The location may affect the price.

Online Retailers: Mother of Millions is just one of the many succulent plants available on several online plant marketplaces and retailers. Costs can differ, and online retailers might have a wider assortment.

Plant Shows and Markets: Visit your local farmers’ markets, succulent expos, or plant shows. These events are great places to find a wide range of succulents, including the Mother of Millions.

Common Problems

Common problems for Mother of Millions (Kalanchoe delagoensis) include:

1. Black Spot on Stem: Black spots on the stem can be a sign of overwatering or stem rot. Ensure the soil is well-draining and that you’re not keeping the plant too wet. Prune affected areas if necessary.

2. Whiteness on Leaves: White patches or powdery mildew on the leaves can indicate fungal issues. Improve air circulation and avoid overhead watering. Fungal treatments may be needed.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Easy to Care forToxic to Humans and Pets
Unique Reproduction MethodInvasive in Some Regions
Attractive, Unique AppearanceSlow Growth Rate
Drought-TolerantSensitive to Cold Temperatures
Low-Maintenance PlantMay Require Pruning to Stay Compact
Suitable for Indoor and Outdoor UsePotential Pest and Disease Issues

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Mother of Millions (Kalanchoe delagoensis) is a low-maintenance addition to your indoor or outdoor garden that is fascinating and unusual. It’s important to be aware of its toxic qualities and potential for invasion in some areas, despite its striking foliage and captivating reproduction methods. This plant can flourish and give your plant collection a dash of exotic charm if given the right care and attention.

FAQS

1. Is Mother of Millions a Lucky Plant?

The Gardening Chef claims that Mother of Millions is a lucky plant because it can bring prosperity, good fortune, and karma into your home. It is known as the “good luck plant” at times. But it’s crucial to keep in mind that science does not support this viewpoint.

2. Why is it Called Mother of Millions?

The plant’s distinctive mode of reproduction gives rise to its name. It creates what appears to be “millions” of little plantlets around the margins of its leaves.

3. Is Kalanchoe Delagoensis an Indoor Plant?

It is possible for Kalanchoe delagoensis, also known as the Mother of Millions, to grow well indoors. It grows well in indoor planters or containers and prefers bright, indirect sunlight.

4. What Does the Mother of Millions Plant Symbolize?

There are no clear symbolic meanings associated with The Mother of Millions. On the other hand, its name alludes to the concepts of fertility and growth by highlighting its resilience and profusion of reproduction.

5. Is Mother of Millions Invasive?

Yes, the Mother of Millions may be deemed invasive in some areas. Due to its unusual reproduction strategy, it has the potential to cause problems in non-native areas.

6. Is Kalanchoe the Mother of Millions or Thousands?

several Kalanchoe species have similar appearances, which could confuse. Kalanchoe daigremontiana is the Mother of Thousands, and Kalanchoe delagoensis is the Mother of Millions.

7. Is Mother-of-millions Illegal in Australia?

In Australia, Kalanchoe delagoensis, also known as Mother of Millions, is legal as of January 2022, before Mother-of-millions is a category 3 restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. It is advisable to confirm the current status of this plant with local authorities and agricultural agencies as regulations are subject to change.

References

Mother-of-millions fact sheet (PDF, 3.9MB)

 Queensland gov

Succulent Path – Succulents And Gardening

Are Mother of Millions, thousands illegal? (USA, NSW Australia) (lotusmagus.com)

Author

  • Bharat Poudel

    Mr. Bharat Poudel is a Bsc Agriculture graduate having keen interest in gardening. Through workshops, online tutorials, and community initiatives, Bharat aims to share his expertise and inspire others to embrace the joys of gardening.

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