What is a Panda Plant?
Its scientific name is Kalanchoe Tomentosa; this succulent plant is native to Madagascar. It is also known as Chocolate Soldier, Cat Ears, and Cocoon Plant. A Panda plant in the wild has a woody base and may reach up to several feet in height. When grown indoors, panda plants can be limited depending on the size of the container used to grow it. It can grow up to 1-2 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
The leaves of the panda plant look velvety in appearance due to its hair-like trichomes which help deflect light and limit the evaporation of water from the plant. The leaves are oval-shaped and grayish-green in color and have brownish-red markings on its edges and it has white-silvery hairs that resemble the fur of a panda bear. Tomentosa is a Latin word that means covered in hairs, which perfectly describes the leaves of the panda plant.
Panda plants have a thick stem and branches out and form different groups of leaves once it is fully mature. Panda plants can be pruned so it can have a tree or bush-like appearance. It can also produce branches below its container which makes it perfect for growing in hanging containers like this.
Do Panda Plants Bloom Flowers?
Can You Use a Panda Plant for Decoration?
When the panda plant has fully grown, it can be placed in a hanging planter. Panda plants prefer bright sunlight; you can also use grow lights like this if you are growing it indoors. You can also place them in a windowsill that allows them to receive enough sunlight every day.
Warning: Panda Plants are toxic to cats and dogs! Keep it away from your pets and even small children. You can place your panda plant in an area where no one can reach it.
Check out the tips for growing a panda plant below.
How Often Do You Water the Panda Plant?
Just like other succulents, panda plants have leaves that can store and contain water. It can survive long periods of drought, especially when grown in an area with dry climates. If you have a busy lifestyle, do not worry because this succulent is perfect for you, it can thrive even when you forget to water it for at least a week or two.
When watering the panda plant, you must water it thoroughly until the soil is no longer absorbing water or you can place some water in the bottom tray. Make sure to remove all excess water after the soil has absorbed the water for approximately 10-15 minutes.
Avoid watering the leaves of the plant because it is prone to rot. If they get accidentally get wet, use a tissue to dry it but do it gently so you can remove all the water from the leaves. You must also remember to lessen the frequency of watering during the colder months.
Do Panda Plants Need Fertilizer?
Panda plants can be given fertilizer during springtime and summertime. During wintertime, you must not feed it with fertilizer as it experiences winter dormancy. You can use diluted fertilizer, make sure it is water-soluble. You can apply it to the plant once every four weeks. Get your succulent fertilizer here.
What Are the Preferable Light Conditions When Growing a Panda Plant?
You can place your panda plant outside during summer but make sure to do it gradually so its leaves will not get burned. If you live in an area with a warm climate and you get lots of sunshine, you can place your panda plant in a shady area during the afternoon to prevent its leaves from getting damaged from too much sun exposure.
What is the Preferred Temperature When Growing a Panda Plant?
Panda plants can be grown outdoors during the warmer months, but you must place it indoors when the cold weather comes. Panda plants are not frost-hardy succulents, they can be damaged by cold temperatures and can even die from it. It will also not tolerate excessive heat and you must water it frequently during the summer months.
How to Repot a Panda Plant
A panda plant, just like any succulent plant, needs well-draining soil and a container with drainage holes. You can use a succulent/cactus potting mixture or you can mix your own by mixing regular soil, sand, and loam. You can use clay pot pieces at the bottom of the pot to allow optimal drainage for the plant, you can also use pumice stones to allow water to drain thoroughly. You can plant the panda plant on terracotta containers which allow faster draining of water.
If you live in an area with mild climates, you can grow your panda plant outdoors. Make sure it will not be exposed to extremely cold temperatures. It must also be protected from rain because water can cause the leaves to rot. You can plant your panda plant in a pot or container and bring it outside during summertime.
The panda plant grows slowly, so frequent repotting will not be needed. You can use a 5-inch pot because panda plants grow only up to 18 inches tall. You can repot it every two years while it is growing.
How to Propagate a Panda Plant
You can propagate your panda plant by taking several leaves from the mature plant. It is quite easy and will not cost as much as buying another succulent plant. Panda plant propagation can be done during springtime or summertime when the climate conditions are preferable for a small plant to develop and for it to grow properly.
Just take a few leaves from the plant, remember to not take too many as it can weaken the plant. Avoid taking only a single leaf because it may not grow roots. You can place the leaves in a perlite mixture or you can use a sandy potting soil mix. You can get perlite here.
Allow the leaves to dry for at least 5-7 days before placing them in the soil, and you can start watering them to promote faster growth, do not allow them to be dry for too long as it can cause them not to grow roots. After planting your panda plant leaves on a pot, you can place them in an area with lots of indirect light. Water the leaves when the surface of the soil is thoroughly dry.
After 3-5 weeks, the leaves will develop roots and new leaves will sprout around it. At this point, you can repot your new panda plant on a container with a succulent/cactus soil mix.
Panda Plant Pests and Diseases
Panda plants are prone to pests and diseases, like mealybugs. If you find your panda plant with a web-like white substance, it means mealybugs have affected it. Mealybugs are commonly found in areas of the plant where the leaves meet the stem.
These can also affect other plants so you must immediately separate the affected plant and treat it with rubbing alcohol. You can use a cotton applicator and apply the alcohol on the leaves or you can use a spray bottle and spray it on the affected spots. You can also use pesticides but be very careful as it can end up damaging your panda plant as well.
If you need information or a guide on how to take care of a succulent make sure to check out our website. Please let us know if you have any comments, suggestions, or information that you want to share with us. We look forward to hearing from you!
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