How To Care For Kalanchoe Luciae


Kalanchoe Luciae (kal-un-KOH-ee, LOO-see-ay) is a flowering plant species, belonging to the family: Crassulaceae. 

The flowering Kalanchoe plant appears similar to clam shells and is native to tropical and African regions including Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa, and Swaziland. 

Red edges of the Paddle Plant - Kalanchoe LuciaeRed edges of the Paddle Plant - Kalanchoe Luciae

The unique succulent is often confused with another popular Crassulaceae member – Kalanchoe thyrsiflora (k.thyrsiflora).

Even though the two members of the flowering family bear similarities, the difference lies in the kinds of flowers they boast.  

This impressive plant has also been the winner of the “Award of Garden Merit” of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Some of the common names of Kalanchoe Luciae are as follows:

  • Paddle plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora also goes by that name)
  • Flapjacks Kalanchoe
  • Northern white lady
  • Flipping pancakes
  • Hamet
  • Red Pancakes
  • Dog Tongue
  • Desert Cabbage

Paddle Plant Kalanchoe Luciae Care

Size and Growth

Kalanchoe Luciae is a low-growing succulent with a total height of 1’ – 2’ feet and a spread of 2’ – 3’ feet. 

This is a stunning evergreen plant with basal rosettes of large, fleshy, and oval leaves. 

These jade green leaves with intense red-wine leaf margins usually grow up to 8″ inches long and 6″ – 8″ inches wide. 

Along the inflorescence stem, the lower leaves tend to be rounder, smaller, and are more tightly arranged.

This erect succulent takes time to mature, approximately 3 – 4 years.

Flowering and Fragrance

Kalanchoe luciae flowers begin to bloom from the second year of the plant’s cultivation. 

The blooms remain for one more year until the seeds disperse. 

The basal rosette produces flower spikes with dense yellow flowers, for up to 3’ feet tall.

These pale yellow tubular flowers are covered with a white powder and have a sweet scent to them. 

The bloom time of these small, slightly curved inflorescences is usually from early spring to late winter.

Light and Temperature

Like many succulents, Kalanchoe aka paddle plant does well in full sun to partial shade outdoors. 

When kept indoors, this houseplant usually prefers bright light conditions. 

However, a little protection is advised to avoid direct sunlight on “red pancakes” during intense summer as too much heat damages the cacti. 

Ideally, k. luciae enjoys temperatures between 60° to 85° degrees Fahrenheit (15° – 29° C) in the growing season. 

The USDA hardiness zone of the evergreen cactus is from 9a to 11b. However, Kalanchoe Luciae does very well indoors under grow lights.

The paddle plant is cold-resistant to some extent.  It is best to bring the plant indoors when it gets colder than 20° degrees Fahrenheit (-7° C).

Watering and Feeding

The succulent flapjacks Kalanchoe luciae plant has minimal water needs and is very drought tolerant. 

During winter, the large cactus functions well with little to no watering. 

It only needs water when the soil is dry. 

In the hot months, k. luciae may need regular or frequent watering since scorching summer heat quickly dries out the soil.  

Water only when the soil dries an inch into the pot.

Fertilize a flapjack plant once in every two months, ideally in spring and summer with a general-purpose fertilizer diluted at half strength.

Soil and Transplanting

Kalanchoe luciae grows best in sandy or loamy potting soil with excellent drainage. 

The soil should also be well-drained to ensure water drains at a moderate level. 

This prevents water from pooling and sucking away essential nutrients. 

When transplanting outdoors, prepare a flower bed by digging small holes in it with a trowel. 

Dig the root ball of the cactus and transfer it to the prepared flower bed. 

Cover it with well-drained soil and water it deeply.

If transplanting more than one succulent, make sure to space the holes at least 8” inches apart from one another.

Grooming and Maintenance

This succulent should be cultivated in a full-sun or a light shade location. 

Avoid over-feeding or overwatering to ensure the perennial stays happy and healthy. 

In the cooler winter months, bring the plant indoors as it is not hardy to cold.

Lightly prune the succulent in late spring or once the blooming period is over. 

Sanitize the pruning equipment before pruning the evergreen perennial. 

Trim damaged or wilted flower stems or yellow/brown infected leaves. 

Make sure to cut them sharply from the base of the plant.

How to Propagate Kalanchoe Luciae

Kalanchoe propagation usually begins with cuttings. 

  • Using a sharp, sterile knife, cut a small leaf from the plant. 
  • Allow it to callous for a few days
  • Plant Kalanchoe Luciae leaves in well-draining soil. 
  • Water the soil when it dries out.

Paddle Plant Pests and Diseases

As long as the plant is properly maintained and watered, it doesn’t suffer from significant pests or diseases. 

However, overwatering or overfeeding may cause concerns such as powdery mildew or root rot. 

Hideous insects including mealybugs, mites, and plant scales may further threaten the succulent.

Details on Succulent Pest Control

Kalanchoe Luciae Uses

The plantlet is an excellent choice for full sun succulent gardens, coastal gardens, rock gardens, and Mediterranean gardens. 

They are also perfect for growing in containers and flower beds, where amazing flower arrangements are created. 

The quirky indoor plant looks great with Aloe Doran Black and Echeveria, so decorate along with it.

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