How to Grow and Care For Paddle Plants

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, higher often known as the paddle plant, is called for its flat, paddle-like leaves. In addition they go by flapjack, purple pancake, or desert cabbage. Like most succulents, these drought-resistant vegetation are straightforward to take care of and may be grown exterior in zones 10 and 11 and indoors in all different zones. 

Paddle vegetation are quick-growing succulents that kind huge clusters that look nice in containers, rock gardens, or some other location that’s too dry for different species. They’re a superb selection for newbie succulent house owners as a result of they don’t require a strict watering schedule or excessive daylight necessities. 

Like most succulents, these vegetation are low-maintenance and glad to be left alone. Correct rising circumstances will assist maintain them glad and thriving for years. On this article, we’ll cowl all the main points of correct take care of paddle vegetation.

Paddle Vegetation Overview

Daylight publicity

Full to Partial

Soil Kind

Sandy, well-draining

Water necessities


About Paddle Vegetation 

Several paddle plants shown have thick, paddle-shaped leaves that are green in color. Clusters of small, orange flowers grow at the top of erect, fleshy, green stalks.
Native to dry areas of southern Africa, paddle vegetation are drought-tolerant succulents with rosettes of spherical, flat leaves.

Paddle vegetation are drought-tolerant succulents native to arid areas of southern Africa. This unusual-looking succulent grows in rosettes of spherical, flat leaves. They’re generally grown indoors with different lovely succulent vegetation, however additionally they look wonderful on their very own. 

They’ve gray-green leaves and, in time, will develop a tinge of purple from the solar. As soon as the plant matures, it’s going to create a stalk with yellow, aromatic flowers. This species can develop as much as 24 inches, which is moderately tall for a succulent. It may well additionally develop as huge as 3 toes underneath splendid circumstances. 

Like many succulents, they produce offsets by way of underground lateral roots. The paddle plant is monocarpic, which implies that as soon as the plant blooms, it’s going to die. Solely the plant from which the stalk rose will die, and the offsets will proceed rising. 

The plant is commonly confused with Kalanchoe luciae, which is similar to Kalanchoe thyrsiflora. Ok. thyrsiflora has shorter, broader leaves and darker yellow, extra aromatic flowers.

Additionally it is a lot rarer than Ok. luciae. Each species are generally marketed as paddle vegetation, flapjacks, purple pancakes, or desert cabbage. 


There are two widespread strategies to propagate paddle vegetation: leaf reducing or offset. Be cautious, because the plant could cause pores and skin irritation. When working with Kalanchoe, all the time put on gloves to keep away from pores and skin irritation or different issues. It’s best to propagate the plant within the late spring or early summer season whereas it’s actively rising. 


Offsets (also referred to as “pups”) are the child succulents that seem on the base of a father or mother plant. Pups can be utilized to develop new succulent vegetation.

Start by deciding on a wholesome stem and reducing it with shears or scissors. Minimize a 2 or 3-inch piece that has a number of leaves on it. Strip the underside of the stem so there are not any leaves on the underside half of the stem. Make sure to not strip all of the leaves from the stem. 

Permit the stem to dry out and kind a callus. This may take a number of days. Collect your containers and fill them with succulent soil or a selfmade mixture of sand, gravel, or different gritty materials. Moisten the soil and poke the reducing into the soil so the leaves are simply above the soil floor. 

Place a plastic bag or dome over your reducing to create a greenhouse impact. Place the pot in oblique mild and water once you see the soil is starting to dry out. As soon as the reducing has proven new progress, you may take care of them identical to a mature succulent. New progress ought to seem inside 15 to twenty days

Leaf Cuttings

A plant's trimmed green leaves are pushed down to the brown soil, showing just half of their size. They are all contained in a yellow pot, spaced apart from one another. A potted plant is next to it.
To propagate through leaf reducing, take away a complete leaf from the rosette.

You may propagate paddle vegetation by leaf reducing, however this may take longer than rising from offset pups. The leaves ought to simply snap from the rosette. If not, you may minimize them with a knife or sharp scissors. You wish to take away the complete leaf for propagation. 

Put together containers or trays with well-drained soil designed for succulents or cacti. Make sure your containers have correct drainage holes to permit extra water to go away the container. Press the leaf into the soil, and ensure the top that was connected to the rosette is beneath the soil floor. 

Moisten the soil simply sufficient that it’s damp however not soggy. Soggy soils can result in the event of illnesses. Place the cuttings in a location that receives enough lighting. Keep steady moisture. It’s best to see roots forming inside 6 to eight weeks. When you contact the leaf and it’s agency and stays upright, it’s forming roots. 

The right way to Look after Paddle Plant

This engaging succulent doesn’t ask for a lot in trade for its family magnificence. Newbie gardeners take pleasure in this species as a result of it’s so straightforward to take care of.


Close-up of paddle plant with large and flat leaves, resembling paddles, and are green in color with a slight reddish tint on the edges.
Paddle vegetation thrive in solar, however can deal with partial shade.

Much like most succulents, paddle vegetation love the solar however can tolerate partial shade. In hotter months, this species will profit from afternoon shade. The afternoon tends to be a lot hotter, and the daylight is extra intense. Offering shade within the afternoon will defend it from solar injury. 

If rising indoors, south and west-facing home windows are finest as a result of they supply vibrant, oblique daylight. Place the succulent close to the window on a desk, shelf, or countertop. Keep away from inserting it immediately on the windowsill as a result of the sunshine is likely to be too vibrant. Moreover, winter air drafts can kill it. 

Paddle vegetation grown open air can tolerate full solar to partial shade. Nevertheless, the total solar will promote extra purple tints on the leaves. Six hours or extra of daylight produces the most effective outcomes. In case your area has excessive summer season warmth and sunshine, it’s finest to supply shade to forestall leaf scorching.

Leaf burn is widespread in succulents in intense solar. This situation isn’t any totally different than people getting sunburn, besides the leaves will flip brown, purple, or black on the ideas. That is treatable by offering extra shade. 


A gardener with orange gloves sprays water using a garden hose. Some plants in the garden can be seen in the blurred background.
Correctly watering succulents on the proper time is essential for his or her survival.

The correct quantity of water on the proper time is the key to profitable, wholesome succulents. Succulents are much like cacti and aloe and don’t want massive quantities of water to develop. Paddle plant shops a lot of their water of their leaves for dry circumstances. That is what makes it drought resistant. 

If rising in containers, usually stick your finger within the container. When the soil feels dry, water till you see water flowing from the drainage holes. In case your containers are exterior in periods of scorching and dry climate, you could must water them a few instances per week. 

You shouldn’t must spend a lot time watering when rising succulents immediately within the floor. Many instances, rain or sprinkler methods present sufficient water. In case you have simply established your Kalanchoe, think about watering extra continuously. This may assist it develop wholesome roots. 

Throughout the winter, it wants little to no water. Throughout the spring and summer season, solely irrigate within the mornings. Morning is finest as a result of it permits the leaves to dry earlier than nighttime. Extra water on the leaves can result in foliar illnesses. 


Two huge gray pots contain dark, rich potting soil.
If cultivated in a container, succulent and cactus potting soil is recommended.

Succulents desire soils which are well-draining and coarse. A sandy or loamy soil is right as a result of they drain water away extra rapidly. If rising in a container, use potting soil designed for succulents and cacti. Most backyard facilities will carry this kind of potting combine. 

Kalanchoe will develop issues if planted in poorly draining soils. In case your soil struggles to empty water, think about amending it with a little bit of sand, gravel, pumice, or different gritty materials to extend drainage. 


Close-up of paddle plant leaves, which are paddle-shaped and grouped in a rosette pattern. Leaves have a powdery coating and are green with red edges.
Keep away from humid climates to make sure the survival of succulents.

Since paddle vegetation are native to arid areas of Southern Africa, they take pleasure in greater temperatures. They aren’t cold-hardy and can solely survive open air year-round in zones 10 or hotter. They are often grown indoors as a houseplant year-round in colder areas of the USA. 

Succulents aren’t fitted to humid climates since their pure setting is arid. Temperatures beneath freezing could cause excessive injury or demise. In case your area is experiencing low temperatures, maintain your succulents indoors.

When grown indoors, succulents desire temperatures between 60 to 90 F for finest progress. If rising close to a window or door, discover the place air drafts come by way of within the winter. A chilly draft can injury the leaves, however they’ll probably get well as soon as moved to a hotter space. 


A man holds a slow-release fertilizer in his hand. The fertilizer is composed of tiny, round pellets that are black in color.
A balanced, slow-release fertilizer is required each few months.

Paddle vegetation aren’t heavy feeders however they admire a balanced fertilizer through the spring and summer season. As soon as each few months ought to be sufficient to maintain it glad. Gradual-release fertilizers are a superb possibility as a result of they launch the correct vitamins over time. Gradual-release fertilizers final about 3 months. 

Overfertilization can result in issues akin to root rot and the expansion of powdery mildew. Yow will discover a balanced fertilizer on-line or at your native backyard middle. Don’t fertilize within the winter months. 

Flower and Perfume 

A close-up of a cluster of small, bell-shaped orange blossoms. They sit atop paddle-shaped green leaves that form a rosette pattern.
In early spring, mature paddle vegetation produce a small, yellow flower with a robust fragrance.

As soon as a paddle plant is mature, it’s going to ship out a bloom. This occurs in early spring, sometimes April by way of Could. A thick, small, yellow flower will rise from the foliage on a stalk that’s 18 inches excessive. The flower will emit a robust fragrance that can flood the world they’re grown with a decadent scent. 

This succulent is monocarpic and can die shortly after flowering. Fortuitously, offsets will proceed rising as soon as the father or mother plant dies. You may go away offsets within the pot and minimize away the lifeless leaves and flower stalk. The offsets will take their place.

Potting And Repotting 

A gardener is filling a little white pot with dark, rich soil while wearing white gloves. On the table, there are soil and young paddle plants.
When repotting, choose a container at the least 2 inches bigger than the earlier one.

This fast-growing succulent must be repotted each 12 to 24 months. When you discover that the roots are rising out of the underside of the container, it’s time to repot. Start by eradicating any lifeless leaves, flower stalks, or pups. 

Select a container at the least 2 inches larger than the earlier one. You may select a bigger container when you’d like. Fill that container with a little bit succulent soil or a mixture of your personal. Contemporary soil combine can lower the prospect of illnesses and pests and improve drainage. 

Take away the paddle plant from the previous container and take away all of the soil from across the roots. Place it into the brand new container and totally cowl the roots. Keep away from watering for per week after transplanting so it makes use of its water reserve. Resume routine care per week after repotting. 

Correct Containers 

Large, thick, and slightly curved paddle-shaped leaves of a paddle plant, seen from above. The leaves are green in color, with a reddish tint at the tips, and have a somewhat waxy texture. The plant is grown in a ceramic pot.
Getting the appropriate container is essential for the longevity and wellness of your plant.

Selecting the best container will assist maintain this succulent glad and thriving for years. Containers are made from many alternative supplies, akin to plastic, ceramic, terracotta, wooden, and metallic.

Many succulents develop finest in both ceramic or terracotta pots. These kind of supplies promote correct airflow and drainage for succulents. It’s crucial to decide on a pot with drainage holes as a result of they permit water to movement out of the soil. In case your container doesn’t have drainage holes, water can acquire on the backside and trigger root rot. 

Additionally, you will wish to select a container at the least 2 inches larger than the unique. This may enable for correct progress and stop overcrowding.

Frequent Issues

Succulents are largely care-free, however they’ll nonetheless inform you when one thing is off.

Drooping Leaves 

A paddle plant planted in a white pot is seen up close. The plant is thick and green, with reddish borders. One of the leaves is drooping.
Drooping leaves could possibly be attributable to inadequate daylight, overwatering, or underwatering.

In case you are noticing drooping leaves in your paddle plant, this will imply a number of issues. It may well imply a scarcity of daylight, overwatering, or underwatering. 

You’ll have to examine the soil of your vegetation to decide if they’re too soggy or too dry. If soils aren’t the issue, take note of how a lot mild the plant receives. Transfer the plant to a brighter location if the leaves look pale.

Brown Spots 

A close-up of a paddle plant's huge, paddle-shaped, pale-red leaves. The leaves have brown spots on them.
Place them in a location with filtered or oblique daylight.

Brown spots on a succulent can imply many issues. The most typical is an excessive amount of solar publicity. When the plant receives an excessive amount of direct daylight, the leaves will develop brown spots often known as sunburn or solar scorch. To forestall this, place your vegetation in an space that receives filtered or oblique daylight all through the day. 

Yellowing Leaves 

Potted paddle plant with tiny, green leaves that cluster closely together in a rosette arrangement. Some of the have turned yellow and died. It is grown in a brown pot.
Instantly repot the plant to put it aside from early root rot.

When you discover yellow leaves that start to droop, flip brown, after which die. This is usually a signal of root rot. Root rot is onerous to establish till it’s too late. When you discover these signs, it’s finest to repot the plant instantly. Use additional well-drained soil. The plant might regenerate if the rot hasn’t progressed too far. 

Often Requested Questions 

Paddle plant comprises toxins in its sap which are toxic to cats, canines, and people. Make sure this succulent is positioned excessive on a shelf to keep away from contact with pets and kids. When working with a paddle plant, it’s best to put on gloves to keep away from any pores and skin irritation.

A paddle plant will reside as much as seven years when offered the correct care. Shiny oblique daylight, average moisture, and well-drained soil will assist it reside longer. A breathable, properly-sized container can forestall overcrowding or illness points.

Paddle plant doesn’t want pruning. It naturally drops its leaves as soon as they’ve died. You may take away leaves if the plant is struggling to drop them. As soon as the flower has completed and the stalk begins to wither, you may minimize it. Cleansing lifeless leaves from across the plant is all the time a superb apply. This helps forestall the event of illnesses.

Remaining Ideas 

Paddle vegetation are low-maintenance succulents that can thrive in dry circumstances. So, when you overlook to water your paddle plant, don’t panic! Examine the soil and let the plant do its factor.

Develop this species indoors in a small pot, succulent association, or terrarium. In zones 10 and hotter, it’s also possible to plant open air in rock beds, clay pots, or wall crevices.

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