Scientific: Kalanchoe tomentosa
Common: panda plant, pussy ears, donkey ears
Origin: Rocky soils in Madagascar
Pronounciation: Kal-an-KO-ee tom-en-TOE-sa
USDA 9 (with protection)-11
Landscape Use: Textural and color accent, container plant, tender succulent gardens.
Form & Character: Rounded, soft, warm and fuzzy, loveable, tender.
Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial succulent with an upright, many branched, and rounded habit to 2-feet high with equal spread, often smaller in Phoenix.
Foliage/Texture: Succulent, sessile, densely tomentose, oval, slightly cupped, glaucous leaves with unique reddish to dark brown striped patterten near leaf apex; medium texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Terminal spikes to 12 inches of small, dull flowers, not very ornamental; fruits inconspicuous.
Seasonal Color: None
Temperature: Frost sensitive, and intolerant of heat above 110oF.
Light: In Phoenix, full sun (eastern exposures only) to light shade, avoid completely highly reflected light environments and western, afternoon exposures.
Soil: All soil types, as long as well drained.
Watering: Very infrequent.
Pruning: Light, infrequent tip pruning only to improve rounded shape.
Propagation: Terminal stem tip cuttings, leaf cuttings.
Disease and Pests: Mealy bugs in interior envoronments, root rot in poorly drained soils.
Additional comments: Panda plant is an excellent succulent plant for patio containers or containers at eastern residential entries. The cultivar 'Chocolate Soldier' has leaves that are more red-brown all around the edges, thinner and longer than the standard species. It also grows a bit faster with more of a clumping habit.