Chandelier Plant/Kalanchoe Tubiflora
This popular, easy-growing succulent is unusual in the way that it propagates itself. Little plantlets form at the edges of the leaves and are easily detached. If potted up, they soon turn into new plants.
This species has long, slender, almost tubular, leaves which are slightly flattened at the tips, and it is from these that new plants are produced. The leaves are attractively speckled in appearance. The new little plants develop slowly and are so lightly attached to the parent that they are easily detached by brushing against them or even jarring the plant. Sometimes they will become lodged in curtains or on the carpet, yet they still seem to develop quite happily. With great care, it is possible to grow them large enough while still attached to the parent that they produce plant-lets themselves.
This is a quick-growing plant that reaches a height of about 90cm (3ft) in about three years, although it will probably need some support to prevent it from breaking. At this stage, it will produce terminal clusters of pinkish, bell-shaped flowers in early Spring.
The Chandelier Plant is easy to grow and tolerant of low temperatures (to 10°C/50°F) if kept fairly dry. It will benefit from good ventilation, but not draughts.
This plant requires a bright situation at all times and, when small, will grow happily on most windowsills.
Water well during the Summer and allow thesurface to dry before watering again. During the Autumn and Winter, keep the plant fairly dry, giving only enough water to prevent shrivelling. The plant will soon begin to rot if kept wet at lower temperatures.
The Chandelier Plant needs no extra humidity -I and will tolerate a dry atmosphere.
Feed regularly every 1-2 weeks during the Spring and Summer. Use afood, or one recommended for tomatoes at about half strength.
This plant will do best if grown in a well-drained compost containing approximately one third grit When young, the Chandelier Plant looks like a little palm tree and is very effective when used in displays. Try planting about 20 plantlets in a small pot and letting them grow: the result will be a miniature forest. Because the plant is so easy to grow, it is ideal for introducing young children to the wonders of the natural world.