What is a paddle plant? Also known as flapjack paddle plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora), this succulent kalanchoe plant has with thick, rounded, paddle-shaped leaves. The plant is also known as red pancake because the leaves frequently take on a reddish or deep pink tint during the winter. Read on for tips on growing paddle plants.
How to Grow a Flapjack Paddle Plant
Growing paddle plants outdoors is possible in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and above, but gardeners in cooler climates can grow kalanchoe as an indoor plant.
Water kalanchoe only when the soil is dry. When watering indoor plants, allow the pot to drain completely before replacing the plant on its drainage saucer. Never overwater, as kalanchoe, like all succulents, is prone to rot in soggy soil. Water kalanchoe sparingly during the winter months.
Outdoors, kalanchoe plants do well in full sunlight or light shade. Indoor plants perform best in bright light. However, avoid direct light during the summer months, as too much intense light may scorch the plant.
Paddle plant prefers temperatures between 60 and 85 F. (16-29 C.). Avoid temperatures below 60 F. (16 C).
Outdoor plants require well-drained soil to prevent rotting. Indoor plants need a well-drained potting mix. A handful of sand is helpful, or you can use a potting mix formulated specifically for cacti and succulents. Alternatively, create your own mix by combining peat moss, compost and coarse sand.
Fertilize paddle plant lightly during the growing season. Withhold fertilizer during fall and watering for both indoor and outdoor plants.
Paddle Plant Propagation
The easiest way to propagate kalanchoe is to plant leaves or leaf cuttings in spring or summer. Set leaves or cuttings aside for a couple of days, or until the cut end develops a callus. You can also remove offsets that grow on the side of a mature paddle plant.
Plant the leaves or offsets in a small pot filled with lightly moistened potting mix for cacti and succulents. Keep the potting mix evenly and lightly moist but never soggy. Bright, indirect sunlight is best for paddle plant propagation.
Once the plant is established and shows healthy new growth, you can treat it as a mature plant.