How to take care of Panda Plant?

Not only is the Panda Plant or the Kalanchoe Tomentosa fuzzy, but it is easy to look after too!

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Jimena Bolívar

May 16, 2021


How to take care of Panda Plant? Water, Soil, Sunlight, Humidity, Repot, Propagation, etc. Thumbnail

Introduction

I love the Panda plant because of its foliage. They are easy to grow indoors and may even be groomed into trees! I even have a few tall ones coming out of hanging baskets. This decoratively versatile plant can grow as much as 1.5 feet in length.

The Panda Plant or the Kalanchoe Tomentosa requires well-drained soil. It thrives at an indoor humidity level and temperature of 60-75 ºF (15-23 ºC). It is best kept in indirect bright light, combined with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.

Panda Plant 101

The oval-shaped fuzzy leaves of the Kalanchoe Tomentosa are unlike any other. This is how it gets its name the panda plant. There are even red-brown spots on the edges of the leaves. And hence, it gets the name of cat ears too.The panda plants only flower outdoors, but their leaves are beautiful for both offices and homes.The grayish-green color is an absolute visual delight for any room!

Panda plants with brown spots on leaves

  • Scientific Name: Kalanchoe Tomentosa
  • Native to: Madagascar
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Kalanchoe
  • Flowering: May produce small bell or tube-shaped flowers outdoors, but not indoors
  • Toxicity: Poisonous to cats and dogs
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 9a

Caring for the Panda Plant

With gentle and proper care, the Panda Plant can be groomed into a beautiful tree!

Here are a few basic needs of the Kalanchoe Tomentosa:

  • Ideal soil: A well-draining soil with perlite or sand
  • Drainage Needs: Well-drained soil, preferably a cactus potting mix
  • Water Requirements: Minimal watering using the soak-dry method
  • Sunlight Requirements: Medium to bright light, with a few hours of direct sunlight
  • Temperature: 60 to 75 ºF (15 to 23 ºC)
  • Humidity: 40% or lower which is the average humidity
  • Ideal pH: 6.1-6.5 (slightly acidic)
  • Frost-Resistance: Poor. Don’t leave the plant outside during winter or when it’s cold.
  • Fertilizer: Only during the growing season in spring and summer
  • Pruning: For dead or discolored leaves, and to trim the height if needed
  • Propagation: Can be propagated by cutting healthy leaves
  • Repotting: Not required often. Repot when the plant gets bigger than its pot.
  • Toxicity: Can be toxic to animals, especially cats and dogs

1. What is the Ideal Soil for the Panda Plant?

The Kalanchoe Tomentosa needs a well-draining succulent mix.

The Panda Plant requires an aerated, well-draining potting mix. For easier drainage, you can add sand or perlite.

Want to make sure the pH value is just right for your panda plant? I’d recommend you to get this amazing 3-in-1 soil tester!

3 in 1 Soil Tester

This 3-in-1 soil tester will help you monitor pH value, humidity and light!

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2. What are the Sunlight Requirements of the Panda Plant?

Your Kalanchoe Tomentosa will need a few hours of direct sunlight.

The panda plant thrives in medium to bright sunlight. A few hours of direct sunlight can also stimulate proper growth. Around 5-6 hours are sufficient for the Kalanchoe Tomentosa.

A panda plant outdoors in the sunlight

The age of some panda plants can play an important role too. If your panda plant is small and planted in tiny pots, you place it beside the window. Another good space would be a shelf that gets bright, indirect sunlight.

Warning

Never leave your Panda Plant in direct sunlight!

A few hours of direct sunlight is fine. But longer than that can get your Kalanchoe Tomentosa sunburned! To avoid

Pro-Tip

Even distribution of sunlight is key!

Rotate the plant when it’s placed in direct sunlight. This will lower the chances of scorching the leaves and help the plant grow.

3. What is the Humidity Requirement of the Panda Plant?

Your Panda Plant will be happy in indoor humidity!

The Panda Plant doesn’t require high humidity. It fares well in average humidity, which makes it an ideal indoor plant.

Warning

Too much humidity may damage your plant!

High humidity levels are a big no for the Kalanchoe tomentosa. Make sure to keep it inside if it’s very hot and humid outdoors.

4. How Should I Water the Panda Plant?

Maintain a time interval between soaking and drying for to thoroughly water your panda plant!

The panda plant requires minimal watering. Since it is a succulent, wait for the soil to dry before watering. During winter, there will be little need and frequency to water.

If your Kalanchoe tomentosa begins to droop, it’s a sign of underwatering. Always water the soil thoroughly. Never spray the plant directly with water. Do not pour water directly from the top either.

Warning

Be mindful of where the water hits!

Never allow water to touch the fuzzy areas of the leaves of your Panda plant. Rotting is very common on this gentle plant’s fuzz! If water gets there, brush it off or clean it with a dry cloth or a tiny brush.

Pro-Tip

Place a dish beneath the pot!

Using a dish will help you understand when and how much to water. As soon as water drains out of the dish, stop watering. You should place a dish under the pot of your Panda plant. But be careful to never let water stand in the dish.

5. How to Fertilize the Panda Plant?

A drop of fertilizer monthly during the growing season is enough for the Kalanchoe Tomentosa!

The panda plant requires fertilizer only once a month. A nutrient-rich diluted mix should be given only during the growing season, which is in spring and summer.

6. How to Prune the Panda Plant?

Use tiny scissors to trim off dead or discolored leaves. You can also prune your panda plant if you don’t want it to grow too tall.

7. How to Repot the Panda Plant?

Repot your Panda Plant only when it gets bigger than its pot.

The panda plant grows at a very slow pace. You will not have to repot it often. The only time you might need to repot the Kalanchoe Tomentosa is after every two years.

A good sign of repotting is when your Panda Plant reaches 1.5 feet in height.

Warning

Pick a pot that’s just the right size!

Avoid using extra-large pots as they can hold plenty of water. Too much water can cause root damage.

Pro-Tip

Layer the soil before repotting!

It is essential and good practice to put a layer of pebbles in the new pot before you fill it up with soil. This allows for drainage to be smoother and easier.

Things You Should Know about the Panda Plant

The panda plant is easy to propagate but can be toxic for your pets!

Two panda plants in the outdoors

1. How to Propagate the Panda Plant?

You can cut healthy leaves of a Panda Plant to propagate it!

The panda plant can be repotted very easily using its leaves. Before you begin propagating this beautiful plant you need to cut out healthy leaves. Give them at least a week to dry before repotting.

Keep these tips in mind when propagating your Kalanchoe tomentosa:

  • Give the leaf at least two days to dry completely
  • The soil in the new pot should be slightly moist for easy rooting
  • Let the leaves get comfortable in their new habitat for a few weeks

In around a month, the leaves will begin to form firm roots.

Warning!

Make a healthy cut!

Be careful while cutting the leaf from your Panda plant. You can do it using a sharp knife or you can do it by hand as well. Just twist a healthy leaf and pull it in a way that none of the leaf remains on the stem. Make a clean cut without damaging the stem.

2. How Toxic is the Panda Plant?

The Kalanchoe Tomentosa should not be eaten by your pets! Keep it away from them!

The Panda Plant can be highly toxic to domestic pets. It is known to cause symptoms of nausea and diarrhea. In worse cases, it can lead to vomiting too. Always keep your plant away from pets.

Pro-Tip

Layer the soil before repotting!

It is an essential and good practice to put a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the new pot before you fill it up with soil. This allows for better drainage.

3. What are Common Issues with the Panda Plant?

Sunburns

Keep the 6-hour direct sunlight in mind. Never leave the Kalanchoe Tomentosa outside for too long. You can recognize scorched leaves by their brownish-yellow color and withered texture.

Root Rot

Root rotting happens because of overwatering. One sign can be that the leaves of your panda plant are turning yellow. There may also be dark spots emerging on the leaves or the stem. If this happens, you’ll need to delay the next watering session till the topmost soil is dry.

Pests

Mealybugs are the pests most likely to attack panda plants. The trickiest part is that these bugs can be hard to detect. You’ll have to take a closer look to see if they’re not hiding in the depths of the plant. Use an insecticide spray to get rid of these. You can also wipe them off using a small, clean brush.

Conclusion

The Panda Plant needs a well-draining, slightly acidic soil with a pH value of 6.1-6.5. Don’t forget to give your Panda Plant at least 6 hours of sunlight. A temperature between 60ºF to 75ºF (15ºC to 23ºC) is the most ideal for this fuzzy plant. Keep it indoors and in partial shade plus save it from high humidity.

Curious to learn more about the soil of succulents? Check out these amazing homemade succulent soil recipes!.

3 Super Easy Homemade Succulent Soil Recipes That Will Nurture Your Plant!

When it comes to plants, good soil is vital. So here are some homemade soil recipes for your beloved succulents

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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