Kalanchoe luciae, also known as “Paddle Plant” or “Flapjack”, is among the most dramatic-looking succulents out there. Having it in your garden means having a champion of beauty. This succulent is a winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society. Paddle Plant will be perfect for your succulent garden, coastal garden or Mediterranean Garden. Also, with its exquisite look, it will look amazing in a container or an arrangement.
Red Beauty Worth The Effort
Paddle Plant is truly impressive evergreen succulent. It has basal rosette with rounded, thick and fleshy leaves. This succulent can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) high and 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) in diameter. Forming clamshells, the jade green leaves gain into vibrant wine-red tips during the cooler winter months if grown in bright light. Paddle Plant is attractive even if when not blooming, but it’s particularly eye-catching from late winter to early spring when a 2-3 foot (60-90 cm) high stem arises from its center, covered in clusters of mostly pale yellow flowers.
Kalanchoe luciae is not as rare, but its often mistaken for its far more rare relative, Kalanchoe thyrsiflora. However, with little extra knowledge, you can easily tell the difference between these two succulents. K. luciae is more red, while K. thyrsiflora is more light green. You can also spot the difference in flowers. K. luciae blooms with tubular, white, pale green, cream, yellowish or pinkish flowers, while K. thyrsiflora has cylindrical and always brilliant yellow flowers.
Grow and Care Tips
Paddle Plant has typical succulent needs. It needs to be watered regularly, whenever the soil is dry about an inch (2.5 cm) down into the ground or pot. This succulent is very drought tolerant, but sensitive to overwatering, so if you’re not sure if you need to water your Paddle Plant or not, its better to cut the water. However, if you’re using the “soak and dry” method, there`s no need to worry.
Paddle Plant is not cold hardy, so if you’re living in a zone that gets temperatures below 20° F (-6.7° C), make sure to plant your Paddle Plant in a container that you can bring indoors when needed. When it comes to soil, your succulent will do best in well-draining soil with some organ materials or small rocks added. Paddle Plant does best in full to partial sun, so if you want to achieve those stunning wine-red leave tops, plant in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day.
You may consider fertilizing your Paddle Plant during the growing season and cut the fertilizer during fall and winter. This will do miracles for both indoor and outdoor plants. Also, Paddle Plant is sensitive to slugs and snails and they can permanently disfigure the leaves of your succulent, so make sure it’s free of any pests or infections.
Paddle Plant can be propagated from leaves, cuttings, and offsets. The main rosette may die after flowering, so make sure you harvest each cluster with a few inches of stem. These cutting will grow into new plants. Propagation from the leaves can be difficult. You`ll need to gently twist the leaf from the stem. Be sure that the leaf you get is a “clean pull”, with no part of the leaf left on the stem. This will give you a better chance of successful propagation. Both cuttings and leaves need to be left to callus for a few days before you put them in fresh, well-draining soil.