Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is a small, slow-growing shrubby succulent. Its name is derived from the specific epithet ‘fedtschenkoi’ in the honor of botanist Boris Fedtschenko. Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is a perennial frost-tender succulent. It prefers to grow in dry and open ground. The plant is famously known by several common names such as Lavender Scallops, Variegated Lavender Scallops, South American Air Plant, Kalanchoe stonecrop, and Gray Sedum.
One of the interesting facts about Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is that it creates plantlets on the edges of the leaves. When these leaves fell off the plant, they start producing new baby plants. Lavender Scallop is very easy to grow as a houseplant (indoors, and outdoors) and makes an excellent ground cover in favorable climates. The pretty foliage and bell-shaped hanging flowers give a beautiful display to the gardens.
Origin and distribution
Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is native to Madagascar and is now growing wildly in some Southern areas of the United States of America. These succulents grow well in rockeries, arid, gravel, and xerophytic conditions (low water conditions).
How does Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi look like?
Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi has a beautiful appearance. It has upright round stems. The plant usually grows to a height of 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm). The stems are smooth with visible phylloclade scars, which often appear to be bending and touching the ground where they start rooting and giving off new plants. Phylloclades are simple, oval, alternate, blue-green with fine scalloped margins. The margins may turn pinkish or reddish under drought or intense sunlight conditions.
The leaves are blue-green, glabrous, and fleshy with creamy colored variegation along the scalloped edges. Flowers are purple or reddish-brown, tubular, multi-layered, and pendant. Flowers appear hanging in clusters from the upright stems.
When the flowers bloom?
The blooming period for Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is from the late spring to the early summer season when you can see the beautiful flowers hanging in the form of loose clusters.
How to grow and care for Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi?
Lavender scallops require minimal care and you can manage to grow a few at home with your busy work routine. They don’t need a lot of attention and can tolerate a period of neglect. Moreover, the beautiful foliage and blooms of Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi will give an eye-catching display to your gardens.
The succulents like grow under plenty of bright sunshine preferably under full sun. Give your indoor and outdoor succulent plenty of exposure to sunshine particularly during the summer season. They can also tolerate a little shade. But do not keep your succulent in dark or too shady places all the time. It will hinder the normal growth process.
While growing indoors, place your plants near a south-facing or west-facing window to get ample sunlight exposure.
Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is grown outside in the USDA hardiness zone 9b and higher zones. In the lower zones, it can be grown as an indoor plant.
Excessively high temperatures can be damaging, it can cause sunburn or sunscald. Don’t keep your plants outside when the temperature is too high.
It can tolerate the temperatures below freezing for a very short time. Prolonged exposure to below freezing temperatures can easily kill the plants by damaging the tissues. Bring your plants indoors if the temperature goes below 25 °F regularly during the winter season.
If you are growing Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi in the lower zones make sure you provide protection to your plants from frost damage.
USDA zones to grow Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi
It can be grown outdoors in the following USDA hardiness zones.
- USDA Zone 9b: (25-30 °F) -3.9 to -1.1 °C
- USDA Zone 10a: (30-35 °F) -1.1 to 1.7 °C
- USDA Zone 10b: (35-40 °F) 1.7 to 4.4 °C
- USDA Zone 11a: (40-45 °F) 4.4 to 7.2 °C
- USDA Zone 11b: (45-50 °F) 7.2 to 10 °C
- USDA Zone 12a: (50-55 °F) 10 to 12.8 °C
- USDA Zone 12b: (55-60 °F) 12.8 to 15.6 °C
Does the Lavender Scallops have specific humidity needs?
There is no specific requirement for humidity. It can take all levels of humidity. Generally, the humidity at room temperature is just fine for its growth.
Water your plants moderately and infrequently. Proper watering is critical to ensure thicker, lush, and healthy growth of the plants.
Generally do not water your plants more than once a week.
Be careful to avoid overwatering. Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is extremely sensitive to overwatering. Excessive water and moisture can cause root damage or root rot. It can further increase the chances of fungal growth.
Water your plants thoroughly until the soil becomes slightly moist. Let the soil dry out completely before applying the next water. Do not water your plants if the soil is still moist. Wait for another day or more until the soil dries out completely.
In winter plants require very less watering and sometimes can go for a month without water.
Soil or growth medium
They need well-drained, sandy, porous potting soil. You can use an ordinary soil mix just add more sand and perlite to ensure better drainage. If the growth medium has poor drainage it will cause water to build up ultimately resulting in root rot and fungal growth.
You can also purchase a ready-made succulent soil mix easily available in the market. Just fill it into the containers and start growing your plants.
These plants will grow fine even if you do not fertilize them. However, you can feed your plants occasionally to encourage healthy growth.
Feed your plants with a balanced dose of liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer seasons.
A bi-weekly dose of fertilizer during the active growing seasons will promote better and healthier growth of the plants.
Do not feed your plants during the winter season when they are not in the active growth phase.
Propagating Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi
Who does not like plants for free? Surely, we all do.
Luckily, you can propagate your Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi plants easily at home with just a little effort.
Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi can be easily propagated from:
- Stem and leaf cuttings
- From the plantlets growing along leaf margins
Take a clean scissor and gently cut the plant part you want to propagate. Keep the plant part at a warm dry place to develop callous for 2 to 3 days. Do not let the plant parts dry too much, they will lose all the moisture, and will not be able to propagate new plants.
Fill the fresh growth medium in clean clay pots. Clay and terracotta pots give exceptional results for growing these plants. Place the plant part at the top surface of the growth medium. Gently firm the soil around the plant part.
After placing the plant parts keep misting them regularly several times a day until they start rooting. The plants will generally start rooting in 2 to 3 weeks. Once the plant becomes established in the growth medium care for your plants as you do for mature plants.
Propagation is easy if you follow the necessary tips, you can easily start growing baby plants at home.
Repotting or Transplantation
As a rule, these plants must be repotted every two years.
You should also repot your succulents when the growth medium is no longer good and does not drain well.
In case the roots are damaged, and the plants appear unhealthy try to repot your succulents in a new growth medium.
You must repot the plants which are overgrowing the containers. In such a case it is better to repot in bigger containers.
How to do repotting or transplanting?
Gently, remove the plant from the container. Shake off the soil or growth medium adhering to the roots. Shift the plants in a new growth medium. The soil in which you are going to transplant should be slightly moist.
Give your plants extra attention and care and keep a close eye on them until they get established in the new growth medium.
What are the benefits of repotting? Repotting your succulents will encourage better growth. The fresh growth medium and the bigger container will make the roots spread more and give rise to healthy growing plants.
Pruning Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi?
Does Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi require pruning and grooming?
Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is a compact succulent and rarely exceeds 2 feet in size. It does not require grooming or pruning.
However, pruning is recommended in case when the plants have dead or decayed leaves. The removal of spent blooms and flower buds can also ensure more blooming in the coming season.
How to do pruning?
Use clean scissors or gardening shears and cut the unwanted part gently. Throw away the removed plant parts, do not leave them in the garden soil.
Make sure you cut only the unwanted plant part. Do not do excessive pruning it will make your plants thin and weak.
Is Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi poisonous?
Though it is generally safe to humans, keep it away from the reach of children as it can cause mild irritation to them. It is toxic to pet animals such as cats and dogs. They contain cardiac glycosides which can lead to the development of several symptoms in animals such as stomach upset, irritation, excessive slobbering, changes in heart rate, and diarrhea.
If you are keeping pets at home, you must make sure to keep the succulent away from the reach of your animals.
If your pet accidentally swallows a part of the succulent, seek advice from an expert Veterinarian as soon as possible.
Insect pests and diseases
Very few pests have been reported on Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi. It can harbor mealybugs and scale insects.
Keep your plants neat and tidy to avoid insect pest infestations. Regular inspection of your plants will help you avoid any insect pest infestation at an early stage.
What to do if insect pests attack the succulents?
When you see a few pests, you can easily remove them by picking or with a gentle spray of water.
You can also rub the plant parts with 70% alcohol to keep them away.
You can use a nontoxic insecticidal spray to get rid of insect pests. It is generally recommended to use insecticide only when the infestation is too high. Otherwise, treatment with alcohol or neem oil spray is sufficient to throw the insects away.
No diseases have been reported to attack this plant.
From where to buy Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi?
Here are some of the options from where you can shop for these plants.
You can buy these amazing succulents from any local plant nursery or market. Just visit your nearby plant nursery and buy a few Lavender scallops to add to your plant collection.
You can also buy Variegated Lavender scallops from online shopping websites like Amazon, and Etsy. Order these beautiful succulents, just sit back and relax, they will deliver at your doorstep.
The containers in which they come from the market are usually cheap and have poor drainage. Make sure you transfer these succulents to new containers right after you buy them.
Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi will make a great addition to your indoor and outdoor plants. Keep your indoor plants near a windowsill where they get plenty of sunshine for a few hours a day to grow healthy.
In warmer regions, you can easily grow them outside in the garden soil.
It is very easy to care for and requires minimal maintenance.
You can also grow Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi together with Echeveria succulents as they both look great together.
Just grab a few of these succulent to add a spark in your home gardens and cherish their amazing beauty.
We hope this Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi care guide will help you to grow healthy succulent and solve all your gardening problems.
Featured Photo Credit: Frank Vincentz / CC BY-SA