Finally, after years of wondering what Kalanchoe tubiflora flowers look like, I have some! This is the first time ever that a K. tubiflora plant that I’ve had has bloomed, and from what I’ve read, it may be a mixed blessing. Apparently, the plant dies out after the flowering period, which can last for a couple of months. It can grow new shoots from the roots if they are left in place, but that is not always the case.
This Madagascar native, called Chandelier Plant, is actually in the Bryophyllum genus. However, most people know it as Kalanchoe. Little plantlets form at the edges of the leaves in spring and summer, and they root so easily that this plant is a weed to many who have had it invade their gardens. It can grow to two feet high and wide, and drop thousands of plantlets each season. Because of that, I’ve always grown them in containers on the patio rather than in my garden.
In Phoenix, K. tubiflora needs light shade and protection from frost. Last year I lost a huge 11-year-old plant during our unusual cold spell. The plant looked as if it had melted when I removed the frost cloth. The leaves and stems were a mushy mess.
This plant is closely related to another Kalanchoe (Bryophyllum) species that I wrote about a while back.