Paddle plant offers high impact even for a succulent. There are more than 125 species in the Kalanchoe genus, but Kalanchoe luciae is distinct. Its flat, stacking leaves contribute to its popularity in the world of succulent landscape design. It was sold for many years under the name Kalanchoe thrysiflora, and plantsmen only somewhat recently corrected this error, emphasizing Kalanchoe luciae as the clear crowd favorite.
Topping the list of commonly grown succulents, it has a soaring popularity that offers more opportunities to appreciate and enjoy its bizarreness. Whether or not you grow paddle plant for its easy disposition or eccentric coloring and shape, you're sure to always be pleased and surprised by it.
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Botanical name: Kalanchoe luciae (often mislabeled Kalanchoe thrysiflora)
Common names: Paddle plant, paddle kalanchoe, red pancakes, desert cabbage, flapjack plant
USDA zones: 9 to 11 (find your zone); hardy to 25 or 30 degrees Fahrenheit; can be grown as a houseplant
Water requirement: Moderate until established; water when dry
Light requirement: Full sun, partial shade in hottest climates; bright light if grown indoors
Mature size: 1 to 1 1/2 feet tall and wide
Benefits and tolerances: Can be grown indoors; drought tolerant
Seasonal interest: Year-round; Kalanchoe are monocarpic, meaning they flower once, set seed and then die
When to plant: Cuttings can be planted year-round; wait until the end calluses over
Shown: With blue chalk sticks (Senecio mandraliscae)