Monday, December 01, 2008

Outcrop of Stonecrops - Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe ‘Luciae’ a member of the stonecrops family was an unexpected summertime introduction to our garden here in Spain. This native of South Africa forms an impressive looking specimen 3’0” wide and 2’0” tall, its fleshy leaves have a red edge which intensifies in colour in the cooler winter months.

We had looked at some expensive potted large specimen plants and others which were quite tiny rooted cuttings but had decided to forgo our chance to purchase either or of the plants on offer. 

 I found two long branches of the Kalanchoe at the garden recycling point so I recycled them into our garden. Although the stems looked a little wizened I knew that this was part of the plants survival strategy, and that the calloused ends of the stem would root easily given a little water and encouragement. Sure enough after a few weeks in the seed and cutting (raised) beds the plants began to grow away producing new leaves and shoots. We already have an impressive looking regenerated plant, long before those yellow flower spikes are produced in springtime. I have rooted a smaller piece of stem successfully and we are monitoring the growth rate; our intention being to strike further cuttings from the parent plants. 

Kalanchoe can survive temperatures around freezing point so I will keep them in the freely draining raised beds until the worst of the winter weather is passed. There is already snow falling on the mountains above 200 metres just a little way inland. We are at 101 metres and get a little respite from the worst of the weather by the effects of the Mediterranean Sea which is 20kms to the east. 

1 comment:

  1. Great find. I love recycling plants, especially ones that others have discarded. You seem to have nurtured it to complete health and it's great to see your pics. Kudos.