How to Grow and Care For Velvet Leaf

Kalanchoe Beharensis is an evergreen shrub that’s generally recognized by the names Velvet Leaf Plant, Elephant’s Ears Kalanchoe, Teddy Bear, and Napoleon’s Hat. These names all stem from the feel and basic form of the leaves.

It’s a succulent perennial that’s hardy in zones 10-12 and is elsewhere stored predominantly as a houseplant.

If you happen to’ve determined that you simply’d like so as to add a low-maintenance succulent plant to your indoor or outside backyard, the Velvet Leaf plant is a superb choice.

Let’s have a look at all the pieces it is advisable learn about this spectacular succulent, together with it’s upkeep and care wants.

Fast Care Information

Plant Kind:
3’-5’ tall in cultivation,
bigger in nature
Spring and Summer time
Plant Spacing:
Plant with:
Aphids, Mealybugs,
Spider Mites
Hardiness Zone:
10-12 (Houseplants elsewhere)
Planting Depth:
Floor Stage
Watering Wants:
Full Solar to Half Shade
Soil Kind:
Properly Draining, Sandy
Full Solar, Partial Solar
Root Rot
Native Space:
Hummingbirds, bees,
butterflies, birds

About Kalanchoe Beharensis

Kalanchoe Beharensis is a big succulent shrub recognized for its texturally fascinating leaves.

Beharensis is a texturally fascinating species of Kalanchoe, which will get its title from its native area of Behara. That is situated on the southern finish of the island of Madagascar, the place many species of Kalanchoe are native and endemic.

Beharensis is without doubt one of the largest species of Kalanchoe, rising as tall as 15’-20’ tall within the wild. The place most Kalanchoe are small flowering vegetation, Beharensis is taken into account a small tree, as it could possibly develop fairly massive and has a woody trunk. It has a shrublike form, with a local unfold of as much as 12’.

These vegetation develop fairly a substantial quantity bigger than a lot of the kalanchoe species. They’re gradual growers, nevertheless, and outdoors of their native zones, they are going to be a significantly smaller, extra manageable plant.

Maintaining beharensis in a container will assist to inhibit its progress, making it extra appropriate as a houseplant.


Close-up of a Kalanchoe beharensis plant in a garden. This succulent plant has a rosette of large, oblong, somewhat triangular, silvery-green leaves with serrated and slightly lobed margins.
Kalanchoe, together with the favored Blossfeldiana selection, is a member of the Stonecrop household.

Kalanchoe Beharensis is assessed as a part of the genus Kalanchoe within the Crassulaceae household of vegetation, which is often referred to as the Stonecrop household. Among the extra floriferous varieties are extremely popular for his or her long-lasting, brightly coloured clusters of flowers.

The preferred number of Kalanchoe, Blossfeldiana, will be discovered readily in nurseries and even in grocery shops, significantly within the winter throughout its blooming season. Kalanchoe vegetation are very tolerant of warmth and solar, and so they can flower for an extended time period. 

Practically all species of Kalanchoe are flowering vegetation. Though they aren’t all recognized for this attribute, lots of them won’t bloom if stored as houseplants.

Beharensis isn’t recognized for doing a lot flowering in captivity, but it surely does produce flowers in nature and is able to producing them if given the best circumstances.

Maintaining Beharensis outside for a good portion of the yr will make for the happiest plant. These vegetation are solar and warmth lovers and might tolerate fairly a little bit of neglect. Like most succulents, a good quantity of neglect is definitely essential to maintain them wholesome.

Leaf Formation

Close-up of leaves of Kalanchoe beharensis against a blurred garden background. The leaves are large, oblong, wide, velvety, with slightly serrated edges, pale green.
Beharensis is greatest recognized for its velvety-textured, olive-green leaves.

Beharensis is greatest recognized for its leaves, because the nickname Velvet Leaf Plant would point out. The leaves of this plant are sometimes olive inexperienced, and so they blush with a faint reddish-brown coloration when fortunately burdened by a number of daylight. They’ve a triangular form, and so they develop in pairs at proper angles to 1 one other.

The distinguishing attribute of those leaves is their texture. A superb, pale velvet coats the lanceolate leaves on high and backside.

This coating is a solar protectant, making Beharensis exceptionally tolerant of full solar publicity, though it may be completely completely happy in partial shade or vibrant, oblique daylight.

The margins of the velvety leaves are ruffled, including a delicacy to their look. They develop on tall, slender, knotted stems, as much as 5’ tall in captivity. Some varieties and hybrid forms of Beharensis could have variegated leaves, and a few have darker margins. There are many potentialities from these fairly vegetation.


Close-up of Kalanchoe Beharensis flowers on a black background. Kalanchoe beharensis produces small, tubular, bell-shaped flowers that are yellowish green with purple veins.
Beharensis often doesn’t flower when grown indoors however will produce engaging flowers outside in zones 10-12.

When this succulent is stored indoors as a houseplant, Beharensis not often produces flowers. It is a results of lighting circumstances and temperature shifts, which trigger the plant to provoke the method of setting buds. Nonetheless, there are typically methods to induce the method if you’ll be able to maintain the plant outside for a good portion of the yr.

When grown outside in zones 10-12, Beharensis will produce flowers which are engaging to pollinators in addition to nectar-loving birds.

The blooming season for these vegetation in spring and summer time, when they’ll ship up massive, branching inflorescences. These branches maintain many small urn-shaped blooms which are sometimes an orange coloration and sometimes have a greenish tint.


Kalanchoes are sometimes a simple group of vegetation to propagate. Actually, most of them do it themselves regularly. There are three easy methods to propagate this plant.

The distinction between them is how lengthy it takes to get a ensuing mature plant. One technique ensures a plant that produces new leaves nearly instantly. Different strategies require some endurance.

From Offsets

Close-up of Kalanchoe Beharensis Drake Offsets in black plastic pots in full sun. Plants form rosettes of oblong velvety leaves of gray-green and copper hues. The leaves have serrated edges and deep grooves that give them a characteristic texture.
Kalanchoe Beharensis recurrently produces offsets that may be planted individually in their very own container.

Kalanchoe Beharensis recurrently sends out offsets, or child vegetation, from the bottom of the dad or mum plant. These offsets will be left intact, which is able to lead to a clustering impact, with many vegetation rising collectively in a clump. They can be eliminated and planted in their very own house or container if you need to make use of these to propagate and produce extra vegetation.

That is the best technique of propagating these vegetation. The offset is already technically its personal separate unit and can develop its personal root system fairly shortly as soon as faraway from the dad or mum plant.

Eradicating offsets must be executed in spring and never whereas the plant is in bloom. Minimize the offset away from the dad or mum plant on the root degree, enable the tip to remedy for a day or two, after which plant in moist potting soil.

From Cuttings

Closeup of Kalanchoe Beharensis cutting in a pot. The plant has a short stem and three small, round, silver-green leaves covered with many fine white hairs, creating a velvety texture.
Propagating Beharensis by leaf cuttings takes longer than offset propagation.

Though it’ll take a bit longer to get a mature plant, it’s completely potential to propagate a Beharensis by leaf cuttings. The method is similar to that of propagating by offset. It simply takes somewhat longer for the reducing to root after which produce extra leaves.

Take your cuttings in spring when the plant is actively rising however not in bloom. Let the reduce leaves remedy for a day or two, after which plant them, reduce facet down in moist potting soil. Rooting hormone may also help to kickstart progress. Attempt to reduce the leaf as near the central stem as potential for the perfect end result.

From Seed

Top view, close-up of germinated seeds of a Kalanchoe plant in a pot of potting soil, on a white background. The sprouts are small, have small rosettes of oval dark green leaves with scalloped edges.
Rising Kalanchoe from seed is an efficient possibility for producing a bigger variety of vegetation.

Kalanchoe grows fairly nicely from seed as nicely. Whereas this additionally will take a while earlier than you could have a mature plant, that is one of the best ways to provide a bigger variety of vegetation. 

Kalanchoe seeds germinate shortly, which has some bearing on the container used. If you happen to don’t need the trouble of repotting earlier than your Kalanchoe are able to go within the floor or their closing container, seed trays is usually a bit inhibiting. Sowing Kalanchoe seeds straight right into a small pot will end result within the least quantity of labor.

Kalanchoe likes a porous potting combine, so combining 25% potting combine with 75% of one other mineral, perlite, vermiculite, or sand all work nicely. Water the potting medium and permit it to empty, then place seeds on high of the soil. Very gently press the seeds into the soil, solely barely. They don’t have to be buried deeply.

Masking the pot with plastic wrap is useful for sustaining moisture and humidity. Maintain the pot in a fan of full shade till the seeds germinate, after which progressively introduce it to a sunnier spot. As soon as your seedlings are used to getting a minimum of half solar, transplant them and deal with them as any succulent.

Rising Kalanchoe Beharensis

Kalanchoe are splendidly straightforward and low-maintenance vegetation to develop. Offering them with the best surroundings will make sure the well being and attractiveness of your plant.

Planting Depth and Potting Wants

Close-up of several Kalanchoe beharensis plants in brown pots. The succulent forms rosettes of elongated, slightly bent inward grey-green leaves with a velvety texture, with serrated edges.
For greatest outcomes, plant Kalanchoe in succulent/cactus potting soil with good drainage.

Kalanchoes are succulent vegetation, and as such, they do greatest in succulent/cactus potting mediums. These potting soils will sometimes have coarser particles which permit for max drainage.

Drainage is essential when potting a succulent, as they rot shortly if their roots sit in soggy soil. Succulent potting mixes are commercially obtainable, however you can also make your personal by mixing in sand, perlite, or different bigger particles that assist with correct drainage.

Beharensis doesn’t have to be planted deeply. It’ll do nicely if planted slightly below the floor of the encompassing soil. Dig a gap that’s as deep as the foundation ball and simply huge sufficient to situate the plant within the container. Then fill in across the plant with potting medium and water deeply.

If you’re potting cuttings, make a small gap within the potting combine together with your finger and set the leaf reducing stem facet down within the gap. Press the potting combination across the reducing to safe it in place.


Top view, close-up of the leaves of the Kalanchoe beharensis plant in a sunny garden. The leaves are large, pale green, velvety, triangular in shape, slightly cupped, with serrated edges.
Beharensis kalanchoe can tolerate full solar because of the velvet hairs on its leaves, which act as a sunscreen.

Kalanchoe like vibrant mild basically, however not all species recognize full direct daylight. Beharensis likes all the sunshine. The velvety hairs that cowl the leaves of this plant act as a sort of sunscreen.

Be certain to supply satisfactory daylight as outlined on this video.

They assist to filter the sunshine and stop the leaves from burning, so that you may give this plant loads of solar, and it will likely be fairly content material.

Whereas these vegetation like and might tolerate full solar, they’re additionally surprisingly adaptable to decrease mild circumstances. Vibrant oblique mild is completely superb for many kalanchoe species, and Beharensis isn’t any exception. If you wish to boost your plant’s colours a bit, strive extra solar. If you happen to favor to carry out the cool tones, extra shade.


Close-up of a Kalanchoe beharensis plant covered in water drops The leaves are large, with tapering tips, silvery green in color with a velvety texture.
To keep away from root rot, kalanchoe must be watered totally, with sufficient time to empty and dry out earlier than the following watering.

Kalanchoes are succulents and must be watered that means. Historically, that signifies that they like a superb drenching, with sufficient time for his or her roots to soak up a number of water. After which, they like to empty utterly and dry out earlier than the following watering.

If watered too ceaselessly, kalanchoe runs the chance of rotting roots. Their roots are made to soak up water when it’s obtainable. If there may be an excessive amount of water, the roots will saturate and start to interrupt down and deteriorate from being waterlogged. This makes them extra susceptible to micro organism and fungi.

The container and site of your plant will dictate how typically to water. In a pot with glorious drainage and many mild, it’s possible you’ll be watering as soon as per week.

If the container holds extra moisture or isn’t getting as a lot daylight, restrict watering to solely when the soil is dry for the highest 2”. Outside, kalanchoe will be watered each 3-4 days so long as the container drains utterly between waterings.

Local weather and Temperature

Close-up of a Kalanchoe beharensis plant in a garden. The plant forms a rosette of large elongated lobed silver-green leaves with pointed edges.
Beharensis is native to Madagascar and prefers constant temperatures between 73-90°F.

Beharensis is native to the island of Madagascar. Whereas the local weather varies on the island by way of elevation and rainfall, the temperatures are comparatively constant and vary between 73°-90°F. Usually, room temperature is ok for kalanchoes so long as they get satisfactory mild and airflow.

If Beharensis doesn’t get satisfactory mild, there may be little to no probability of it blooming. Transferring them outside through the hotter months will make them completely happy. I stay in a damp a part of zone 8, and I depart most of my Kalanchoes outdoors, underneath cowl, until the temperature goes to drop beneath 30°, and I’ve but to kill one fully.

Even the Kalanchoe I’ve forgotten and allowed to freeze merely lose their leaves, and by the following summer time, they develop proper again. That is nice for potted kalanchoe; nevertheless, they don’t create many as offsets this fashion, and I don’t see many flowers both.


Close-up of a Kalanchoe beharensis plant in a sunny garden. The plant has large, elongated pale green leaves with a velvety texture and jagged and broken edges.
Beharensis will be fertilized each few months with a balanced, all-purpose, or cacti/succulent fertilizer.

Throughout fall and winter, Beharensis, and all kalanchoe, for that matter, haven’t any want for fertilizer. They take in little or no water throughout this time, so fertilizer could be wasted on them. In the course of the rising season, you’ll be able to fertilize each few months. 2-3 instances per yr must be lots.

A balanced, all-purpose fertilizer or a fertilizer made for cacti and succulents are each good choices. If utilizing an all-purpose fertilizer, dilute by half. Kalanchoe are good at using vitamins, so in the event you overlook to fertilize, don’t fear an excessive amount of.

Pruning and Upkeep

Close-up of three tall Kalanchoe beharensis plants in a potted garden with a wooden fence in the background. The plant has a high dense trunk and a beautiful lush rosette of elongated, wide, velvety leaves, silver-green leaves with wavy edges.
Kalanchoe requires minimal pruning and care apart from the elimination of useless foliage.

Kalanchoe, basically, and Beharensis, specifically, want little or no pruning and are very low upkeep. Other than pruning to take care of a most popular form and dimension, it’s actually not essential to prune this plant.

Eradicating useless or unhealthy-looking foliage is useful to the plant basically. This helps the plant to redirect power and vitamins into new progress.

In case your plant seems to be spindly, you’ll be able to trim it right down to one of many massive leaves within the spring. It will encourage your Beharensis to thicken up and fill in a bit. Leaves that want to come back off as a result of they’re useless or unhealthy can merely be pinched off.


Close-up of Kalanchoe beharensis leaves against a blurred background. The leaves are large, pale green, velvety, covered with small white hairs, with slightly wavy and jagged edges.
Kalanchoe is poisonous to people and animals and might trigger hurt if ingested.

All species of kalanchoe are cardiotoxic to people and animals. They’ve been referred to as the perpetrator in killing off livestock in instances of meals shortage. You’ll want to maintain this plant out of the attain of animals that prefer to snack on vegetation, in addition to babies.

In style Varieties

There are a number of common forms of Beharensis, and all are adaptable to a wide range of residing circumstances. Let’s have a look at among the hottest choices you’ll come throughout.


Close-up of a young plant Kalanchoe beharensis 'Fang' in a pot on a sunny windowsill. The leaves of Kalanchoe are large, elongated, triangular in shape, with serrated edges resembling fangs, and are covered with soft, velvety hairs, giving them a greyish-green appearance.
This selection is thought for its massive, bronze-colored leaves with small fang-like protuberances on the undersides

Scientific Identify: Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Fang’

  • Bloom Time: Spring-Summer time
  • Geographical Location: Madagascar
  • Solar Publicity: Full Solar to Half Shade
  • Plant Zone: 9-12

Fang is without doubt one of the hottest forms of this species. This one is a winner of the Award of Backyard Benefit from the Royal Horticultural Society. Fang has massive (4”) leaves which are bronze on the highest and a silvery inexperienced beneath. The underside additionally options many small fang-like protuberances, which is the place it will get its title.

This makes a beautiful container plant and as loads of textural curiosity with its fangs, coloration, and velvety masking. It mixes nicely with different forms of succulents and provides a enjoyable factor to a rock backyard.

Oak Leaf

Top view, close-up of Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Oak Leaf’ plant against blurred background. The leaves are large and thick, with a pronounced oak leaf shape and deep, serrated lobes. The leaves are covered with a soft, velvety texture, giving them a unique look and feel.
Oak leaf is a smaller model of Beharensis and is right for indoor planting due to its dimension.

Scientific Identify: Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Oak Leaf’

  • Bloom Time: Spring-Summer time
  • Geographical Location: Madagascar
  • Solar Publicity: Full Solar to Half Shade
  • Plant Zone: 9-12

Oak leaf is a dwarf model of Beharensis, which makes it nice as an indoor plant as a result of it won’t outgrow its house as shortly as a full-sized selection. This selection grows to about 2’-3’ tall on the most. It’s pale inexperienced coloration fades to a grayish silver-tone with vibrant solar publicity and deepens with extra shade.

If you happen to’re capable of encourage this selection to bloom, it’s fairly engaging. It produces coral-colored flowers which counterpoint its pale inexperienced leaves fantastically.

Brown Dwarf

Close-up of Kalanchoe beharensis 'Brown Dwarf' in a small plastic pot against a white background. It is a dwarf variety, with deeply dissected leaves with twisted edges and covered with soft brown velvet.
Brown Dwarf has smooth brown velvet and deeply bisected leaves.

Scientific Identify: Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Brown Dwarf’

  • Bloom Time: Spring-Summer time
  • Geographical Location: Madagascar
  • Solar Publicity: Full Solar to Half Shade
  • Plant Zone: 9-12

That is one other dwarf selection that’s good for container gardening. Referred to as Brown Dwarf, this selection has smooth brown velvet versus the standard silver velvet of most varieties. Also called Nana, Brown Dwarf has very fascinating leaves, they’re deeply bisected with contorted margins.

The rosettes are small on this selection, at 6” or smaller, which is far smaller than the full-sized tree, like Beharensis varieties.

Pests and Illnesses

There are a handful of issues to be careful for by way of sustaining the well being of your Beharensis and defending in opposition to pests and illnesses. Kalanchoe have juicy leaves that sap-sucking bugs discover significantly interesting.


Close-up of an aphid swarm on Kalanchoe leaves. Aphids are tiny soft-bodied green insects with thin legs and proboscises, with which they suck the juices from plants.
Aphids can harm kalanchoe vegetation by consuming their sap and abandoning a sticky substance known as honeydew.

Aphids are a standard kind of insect which are present in most gardens. Outside, they’re often managed by predatory bugs like ladybugs and wasps, however indoors they’ll make an actual mess out of a juicy succulent plant.

Aphids eat plant sap and depart behind a sticky excrement known as honeydew, each of which will be components within the destruction of a kalanchoe.

Aphids can have wings or be wingless, and so they can sometimes be taken care of with out harsh pesticides. Neem oil works nicely, or just setting your plant outdoors for just a few days and permitting nature’s pest management brokers to come back in and have a snack.

If you happen to discover curling and yellowing of leaves, test underneath the leaves for these little guys. One other signal of aphids is mildew which grows because of their excrement. This may be wiped off with a smooth, damp material.


Close-up of a mealybug leaf on a green stem against a green background. Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects that have a white, cottony, or mealy appearance.
Mealybugs drain vegetation of vitamins, inflicting stunted progress and shriveled leaves.

These little pests can do a substantial quantity of harm to a kalanchoe. They’re additionally sap feeders, and so they reproduce shortly. They drain the plant of vitamins, shriveling leaves and stunting the expansion of their host plant.

Mealybugs appear to be little white, fuzzy spots and are often present in clusters underneath leaves. In addition they depart behind honeydew, which causes black sooty mildew, and that isn’t nice to your plant both.

70% isopropyl alcohol is the best therapy for mealybugs. There are two methods to do that. One is to soak a cotton swab and wipe them off with it.

For a minor infestation, it is a good path because it causes minimal harm to the plant. For a extreme infestation, it might be simpler to mist them with alcohol in a sprig bottle.

Be certain to take away the surplus alcohol if misting, as this could harm the plant by drying out the already broken tissues.

Spider Mites

Close-up of a leaf of a plant infested with spider mites on a green background. Spider mites are tiny insects that spin thick webs.
Spider mites are spider-like sap-sucking pests that may harm vegetation by piercing their pores and skin.

These sap suckers are extra intently associated to spiders than bugs. They pierce the pores and skin of the plant and drain the vitamins, leaving the plant wanting uninteresting and listless. They will cowl a plant with their superb webs, the place they lay and defend their eggs, which is able to hatch and additional harm the host.

You may discover pale or yellow spots on leaves or see the webbing itself. These are indicators of spider mites. Neem oil and insecticidal soaps are very efficient in eliminating spider mites and retaining them away. Neem oil is secure for people and animals and mild on vegetation, so that is the preferred answer to many plant-destroying pests.

Root Rot

A close-up of the yellowing leaves of Kalanchoe Beharensis due to rotting roots. The leaves are large, velvety, have a characteristic shape with a rounded base and pointed tips.
Overwatering or poor drainage may cause root rot in kalanchoe.

As with most succulent vegetation, kalanchoe are significantly prone to root rot. That is sometimes the results of overwatering or poor drainage, and it may be lethal. When succulents can’t take in the water round their roots, their roots begin to soften and deteriorate.

When the roots start to interrupt down, they turn out to be extra prone to fungus and micro organism. If this occurs, it’s possible you’ll discover the stem or decrease leaves turning black. In case your kalanchoe is experiencing root rot, the perfect answer is to repot.

Take away the plant from its damp soil and provides it just a few days to dry out within the shade in order that the roots don’t get burned by the solar. As soon as the roots have had a while to dry out, replant the kalanchoe in a brand new, well-draining pot, and alter your watering habits.

Remaining Ideas

Kalanchoe Beharensis is an exquisite and easy-to-grow, evergreen, succulent plant. This bigger species of Kalanchoe provides quite a lot of curiosity to the house and backyard with its pretty, fuzzy leaves. The benefit of care makes this an awesome plant for a starting plant proprietor or anybody who has struggled with fussier vegetation.

Whether or not you’re simply beginning out, wanting so as to add a succulent factor to your backyard, or want a brand new texture to your established backyard, it is a fantastic plant. Beharensis, and Kalanchoe basically, are fantastic vegetation that may stay for many years and produce many fantastic offsets.

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