Paddle Plant Propagation: How To Prune & Take Cuttings
Paddle Plants grow leggy over time. They benefit from a good cut back every now & then to maintain their rosette form. Mine was overtaking a mixed succulent planting. Here I prune & take cuttings of my Paddle Plants (Flapjacks Kalanchoe) as the first steps to propagation.
When I moved from Santa Barbara to Tucson, I left my beloved garden and all those fleshy succulents behind. The ones planted in the garden stayed, and those in pots were given away to friends and neighbors. A tear or 10 were shed but I did take cuttings of many of those plants to ease my pain and satisfy my horticultural itch. This is all about Paddle Plant propagation and how to prune and take cuttings of this fascinating succulent.
Note: The Paddle Plant is also known as flapjack kalanchoe.
The Paddle Plants were part of this mixture of succulent cuttings and plants which was planted about a year and a half ago. My, how they’ve grown and spread! In the video, I said they had come from 2 or 3 cuttings but it looks like there’s only 1 Paddle Plant cutting when you click on the link.
Paddle Plant Propagation – How To Prune & Take Cuttings:
BTW: in the video, I call this plant Kalanchoe thrysifolia but it’s actually Kalanchoe luciae, or so I’ve been told. Thyrisifolia and luciae seem to get used interchangeably. Closely related are K. fantastica and K. tetraphylla.
Paddle Plants, also called Flapjacks Plant or just Flapjacks, are part of the genus Kalanchoe. It’s characteristic for most plants in this classification to get leggy and for the stems to elongate as they grow. You can see what happened to my Paddle Plant patch in Santa Barbara – the whole thing had to be cut back, propagated and the replanted.
This was taken in a restaurant parking lot here in Tucson. You can get an idea of how this plant elongates as it’s getting ready to bloom & when in full flower.
How to propagate the paddle plant:
Paddle Plants, like most succulents that I know of, are so easy to propagate. You can use a knife or your pruners (I used both as you’ll see in the video) to cut those big ole stems. The knife can in handy for pruning in a tight spot where it would’ve been hard to fully open the pruners. I cut the stems as far back to the soil line as I could which exposed more babies at the base.
Paddle Plants have lots of babies (pups) which form up & down the stem as well as at the base. Sometimes the mother plant will die after flowering but those babies live on. I’m going to thin some of these pups out as they grow.
2 important things to know before starting any kind of a pruning job:
Make sure the plant isn’t stressed (ie: dry) and that your pruners or cutting tools are clean and sharp. You want to make nice, precise cuts so the health of the plant isn’t compromised.
Wondering what that white powdery substance is on the blue pot? It’s not powdery mildew or residue from whiteflies or mealybugs. It’s not anything you’re doing wrong; this succulent is supposed to have it. This white protective coating covers the stems & knocks off when you’re pruning. My hands, tripod, camera, the pot & patio were covered with it!
Paddle Plants make a fine houseplant if you have enough light but I’ve never heard of 1 flowering indoors. The time for most succulents to flower in winter and spring and these are no different.
A couple of people I know cut the flower stalks off before they fully develop. They say it keeps the plant more compact and looking better. On the other hand, if you cut them off, you don’t get as many babies.
Here are the cuttings after I cleaned them up. The 1 on the left already has small roots coming out at the base. I’m going to let them heal over (forming a scab so those big fleshy stems don’t mush out when planted) in my laundry room for 2 or 3 weeks & then I’ll be back to show you how to plant them.
This post and video show you how I planted these Paddle Plant cuttings.
I wanted to do this post to let you know that Paddle Plants get rangy and it’s nothing you’ve done. The plant grows this way and needs to be cut back. That’s means you get cuttings and more plants – not a bad thing at all!
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