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My Paddle Plant Patch

This is my glorious Paddle Plant patch 12 months ago at this very time.  Oh what a difference a year makes!   My beautiful Kalanchoe thrysifolias, also known as Flapjack Plant or Desert Cabbage,  suffered from a 4 day rainy spell in early December followed by an uncharacteristic cold spell.  They turned into a brown leafed, shriveled mess and I had to cut off half of almost all the stems.  For a live visual of what I mean check out our video filmed right in my front yard also entitled My Paddle Plant Patch” and you’ll see it first hand. Many succulents tend to naturally get leggy over time and need to be cut back and replanted.  Fortunately, this is easy as can be to do. Here are more photos of the plants, which grow happily under my 16′ Giant Bird of Paradise along with a variety of other succulents, so you can see more of it in it’s hey day.

My Paddle Plant Patch

My Paddle Plant Patch

Here’s how they look now.  It’s pretty sad  but there was no time for mourning so I got busy cleaning off the damaged foliage so I could see the babies spreading out from the mother plants.

My Paddle Plant Patch

Here’s a close up so you can see what I mean about the new growth emerging underneath all the unsightly foliage.  I go with the common name Paddle Plant by the way because those large leaves remind me of Ping Pong Paddles.

My Paddle Plant Patch

I’ve cleaned out the blemished and rangy stems so  now you can see all the planting space that has created.  Fortunately I have many cuttings so covering the dirt will be no problem at all.

My Paddle Plant Patch

The cuttings need to heel off for a few weeks or so  and then I’ll plant them back right back in.  I have quite a few more cuttings which are heeling off on my front porch.  I’ll work some worm compost into the exposed spots first and then plant the cuttings in so that the lowest leaves are touching the soil.  I keep the soil dry for about a week so they can settle in.  And that’s all there is to propagating this fun succulent.  You can just as easily propagate these by the leaf cutting method too.

Action speaks louder that words so be sure to watch the video below.  Stay tuned because I’ll let you all know how the Paddle Plant patch is looking come July!

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  3. Hello, I was given a paddle plant leaf, but it is in bad shape. I tried planting it, but after watching this video I feel like I should pull it out (it doesn’t have roots yet), cut it, and let it heal off. Do you think that would be my best bet of saving it? If so, how long do you think I should let just a single leaf heel off for? Thank you so much for all of your informative videos! I was also gifted burro tail and string of pearl clippings from the same lady, so your blogs/videos on those were also very helpful!

  4. Hi Alicia – Thank you so much, I’m glad you find my videos helpful! Sounds like your plant is in bad shape so yes, cutting it off & propagating it would be the best thing to do. Stems I let heel off longer, but with a single leaf, I do it for around 2-3 weeks. Plant it in very loose soil & don’t water it for 5-7 days. Don’t overwater your leaf cutting – it will rot out fast. Hope that helps! Nell

  5. Yes, this is very helpful. Thank you so much!

  6. You’re so welcome Alicia!

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  8. I have had my paddle plant for about 3 years. It has grown to about 3 feet now and has produced about 5 shoots low down below the soil but attached to the main plant. I am England so the plant is in my house in a large pot. On the top it has produced a massive flower head. What do you advise I do with this head. Do I need to re-pot the plant, removing the small cuttings at the same time and should I cut off the flower head? It is impossible for me to plant it outside because of temperatures and weather over here.

    Your advice would be much appreciated.

    Kind regards

    Janis Gwynn, England

  9. Hi Janis – I’ve been to England many times so I’m well aware of your climate. A bit too much moisture for succulents! Yes, be sure to cut the flower head (when the flowers are dead) & stalk all way down to where it meets the plant. The small plant at the base of the bigger plant are called pups. You can remove them after they are a good size because you want to get some of the roots when you remove the pup from the mother plant. They don’t need repotting too often (I do mine every 2-3 years & it grows outdoors) so yours may or may not need it. And yes, it would be a great time to repot the plant when you remove the pups. Hope that helps, Nell

  10. Hi. I live in India. The climate in my city is hot and humid. I have kept a leaf cutting in a pot outside where it gets sunlight for few hours in the afternoon. Is it the right place? When can i expect it to grow roots?

  11. Hi Rashmi – Cuttings in general don’t like being in the hot sun. And, the afternoon sun is strong so it may burn your Paddle Plant leaf. Bright but indirect light is best. Also, succulents & succulent cuttings like to be kept on the drier so be sure to not overwater them. Hope that helps, Nell

  12. I too have become a fan of the Paddle plant!
    Mine has grown to the point where I am getting a bud/blossom on the top.
    Cannot wait to see what beauty it has to offer.
    Thanks for your advice.
    It helps people like me.

  13. Glad to hear it Colette because that’s why I do these posts & videos! It’s fun when they flower because they send out a tall stalk. When I moved from CA to AZ I took cuttings from my Paddle Plant & they’re doing just fine here despite the heat. Nell

  14. Hi Nell! I have a paddle plant that I absolutely love. It’s potted and it’s HUGE! Approximately 3 feet tall & a foot or so wide. The leaves are 4 – 5 inches wide and the plant has started to grow a big stalk up the middle, and the tip is starting to flower. I’ve read that if it flowers, the plant will reach the end of its life cycle, so in order to preserve it, I can cut off the stalk & replant it. So, I’m going to try that, but would love to know if you have any suggestions about that process. I also wondered if, after I take off that top bit of stalk, with the flower, I could propagate my paddle plant by cutting the stalk right in the middle & then replanting that top portion after it heels. I watched your videos & it seems you cut it from the bottom & then take that whole thing, take off the bottom leaves & re-plant after heeling. But I’ve only got one plant, so I don’t want to do that. Can I cut it right in the middle & take the top half & plant? I’ve never had one of these plants, but it’s been so beautiful I can’t bear to think it will reach the end of its life-cycle! Help? Thank you! – Marisol

  15. Hi Marisol –
    Kalanchoes in general grow leggy over time & need to be cut back. I did a total rejuvenation of that patch about 3 or 4 years in. If you cut off the flower stalk, the plant will stay more compact. Pups (new plants) appear off the stalk so you can always let it partially bloom & propagate those pups. From my experience, you can’t propagate the stalk; only the pups. I cut mine from the bottom but you can propagate the leaves from the middle too. Nell

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