Q: My wife and I have been trying for a year to identify this plant to no avail. It was a hand-me-down plant, given to us last fall. It was an outdoor plant, we took it inside when the weather got cooler and then back outside when the weather got warmer. For most of the summer, it stayed about the same size.
All of a sudden in September it has more than tripled in size and now has what appears to be bud blooms at the very top. It is over 4 feet tall now.
We have brought it back inside due to the cold weather. Any help you can give us in identifying this plant would be greatly appreciated.
A: It’s a Kalanchoe thyrsiflora….a real tongue twister.
Thank goodness someone named it with something we can pronounce! The common name is flapjack plant, due to the big floppy leaves.
This South African native is not winter hardy here but it is excellent for a sunny patio or deck if you can take it indoors for winter. Make a well-drained soil for it by mixing perlite and potting soil in a 1:1 ratio. Fertilize once in May and once in July.
Flowering is not unusual. The flower spike will remain for several months before it makes seed.