It seems that every gardener in the world has some species of Kalanchoe. Several species in the genus are regularly used as houseplants. The Kalanchoe genus has over 130 species that are found in areas of Africa, India, Madagascar, and Malaysia. K. daigremontiana, native to Madagascar, is considered a perennial. Succulents in the Kalanchoe genus can also be annual or biennial.
This succulent is relatively care free. Since it does not do well in Phoenix in direct sun, I keep mine in light shade all year. It cannot take frost, and needs moderate water year round. This is definitely a container plant. If left to its own devices in the garden, it will become invasive. Every time one of the little plantlets drops, there is the likelihood of another plant! In the course of a year, the plant can produce hundreds of the plantlets. This plant is also called Maternity Plant for good reason.
The grandmother of the plant in the photo was a spectacular specimen, with curved stems that were three feet long. The plant was in a plant stand, and the stems formed a dipper-shape downward and then upward, ending with the “leaves” and all the babies. (The leaves are not really leaves, but part of the stem.) Unfortunately, the grandmother plant succumbed to last winter’s hard freeze. It was of an age that it would have soon produced flowers, and afterwards, would have died.
I’m sorry I didn’t get to see the flowers as they are said to be a gorgeous purple-orange with some yellow tinges. I would have rather lost it to a natural death and had a chance to see the flowers rather than see it go because of frost. No one I know who has the K. daigremontiana species has ever seen a flower. One of the reasons may be that this plant likes to be root bound, which seems to bring on flowering.
This is not a good plant to have around small children or certain pets. They are tempted to eat the tiny plantlets, which are toxic, along with the stems and "leaves". It certainly isn’t a plant for a chicken yard!