The Kalanchoe genus contains about 120 different species of the Crassulaceae family. Most of these species are native to Madagascar, and so they prefer warmer climates.
The plants in this genus are known to be beginner-friendly and low-maintenance. This goes back to the fact that they’re succulents.
Succulents like kalanchoes require lots of sunlight with infrequent watering and well-draining soil. They grow healthy and strong with very minimal care!
With Kalanchoe being a huge genus, it’s encouraging to explore its species more and pick the one that best suits your garden or house.
That said, we created a list of the 14 most common kalanchoe types. You’ll get to know a little about each species, including how it looks and the best growing conditions for it.
1 – The Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
Flaming Katy or (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) is probably the most common kalanchoe species out there. The plant is a perennial succulent that thrives in hardiness zones 10 to 12.
This plant loves warm temperatures and is sensitive to cold weather. So, if you live in a hot area, blossfeldiana might be the perfect kalanchoe type for you.
People usually plant blossfeldiana indoors, but it can be grown outdoors too! But keep in mind that it needs quite a bit of space, as it can reach about 1.5 feet tall and 11 feet wide.
What’s beautiful about this plant is that it has a longer blooming period. Its blooms can last up to 8 weeks if its blooming conditions are optimal, which isn’t common in the succulent world.
Flaming Katy produces bright-colored clusters of small flowers. Their colors can be yellow, orange, red, pink, or white. What’s more, Katy has large and fleshy green leaves that make its blooms’ colors pop against them.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana has other names besides the Flaming Katy, such as Madagascar widow’s-thrill, florist kalanchoe, and Christmas kalanchoe.
2 – The Chandelier Plant (Kalanchoe mangini)
Kalanchoe manginii, also known as Bryophyllum manginii, is one of the most beautiful and unique-looking succulents you can introduce to your garden.
What’s unique about this perennial succulent is that it has arching branches that carry small, fleshy, glossy-green leaves that turn red in full sun.
To top it off, the plant produces panicles of small, bell-shaped flowers that hang from its arching branches.
The flowers look like a hanging chandelier. That’s why many call it the chandelier plant. They’re also red and like to show up during the summer.
This plant is hardy in zones 9 to 11. Other names for it include peach bells and Madagascar wax bells.
3 – Felt Bush (Kalanchoe beharensis)
This is a large, evergreen, succulent shrub that can be grown outdoors and indoors. This plant usually reaches about 3 to 5 feet tall, but it can reach up to 10 feet, looking like a small tree.
Kalanchoe beharensis is best known for its large, olive-green leaves that are covered all over with fuzzy hairs. This gives it a felt-like texture. That’s why it’s called felt bush and also velvet leaf.
The leaves look like elephant ears that are arranged decussately in a pot, which earned it its famous name, elephant’s ear kalanchoe.
You don’t need to do much to care for this plant. Just give it plenty of sunlight and make sure the soil is slightly moist. Also, keep it away from any frost threat. It grows in USDA hardiness zones 11 and 12.
4 – Cathedral Bells (Kalanchoe pinnata)
Kalanchoe pinnata is another perennial succulent Kalanchoe, and it grows in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11.
The plant is easy to grow and maintain. It’s drought-tolerant and pest-resistant, making it ideal for beginners. You can grow it outdoors as well as indoors, reaching up to about 6 feet.
The plant is well-known for its beautiful foliage and mesmerizing flowers. Kalanchoe pinnata is blessed with large and glossy-green leaves that have brownish crenate edges.
Usually, it blooms in the spring producing beautiful, bell-shaped flowers in pastel colors that sit on top of its erect stems.
These flowers look like Cathedral bells, hence the name. It’s also called the air plant or life plant.
5 – Common Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe rotundifolia)
Common kalanchoe is characterized by having clusters of fleshy, rounded, or lobed leaves at the base of its stems. They’re pastel green with orange backsides.
Although the plant is named “rotundifolia,” whichmeans “round leaves” in Latin, its leaves aren’t always round.
From fall to early winter, this succulent produces orange-red inflorescence flowers on its tall, erect stems. When the flowers mature, they often turn red and become twisted.
This plant can reach up to more than 3 feet tall. It can be grown in gardens or flower beds as a specimen. It can also be grown in containers.
Kalanchoe rotundifolia is native to Zimbabwe and South Africa. However, it can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b.
6 – Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
Kalanchoe tomentosa is an evergreen, perennial succulent that thrives in USDA hardiness zones 11 to 12. The plant is native to Madagascar like many other kalanchoe types.
This is another kalanchoe on our list that has a velvety or felt-like texture to its leaves. This goes back to the fact that its leaves are covered with soft, fuzzy hairs called trichomes. It’s actually how the plant got its name. The name “tomentosa” means “covered with hair.”
The leaves are silvery-green with chocolatey-brown crenate edges. They’re arranged in a star-like shape that you’ll find very appealing.
Kalanchoe tomentosa has lots of nicknames besides the panda plant, such as chocolate soldiers, plush plant, cat ears, and white lady.
7 – Milky Widow’s Thrill (Kalanchoe laxiflora)
Kalanchoe laxiflora is a small succulent shrub that grows well in USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b. It’s native to Madagascar, where it grows in rocky mountains and dry soils.
The plant is known for its thick, fleshy, green/grayish-green elliptical leaves on its tall stems. The stems can grow to about 20 inches tall.
Its leaves have red color along its margins, but when they get older, it turns into more of a red-violet color.
Moreover, laxiflora grows orange-reddish, bell-shaped flowers that bloom in the spring. The flowers are arranged in inflorescences that rise about 1 foot tall or even more.
You can grow it outdoors or indoors in containers. However, if you live in an area with colder winters, make sure to shelter it from the frost and cold drafts inside your house.
8 – Flower Dust Plant (Kalanchoe pumila)
Kalanchoe pumila is another small succulent shrub on our list. The plant has dense foliage that forms a clumping bush.
With its grayish-green foliage and white, waxy hairs all over its leaves, the plant has a dusty or frosted look to it.
Late winter or spring is when you see this plant’s blooms. It grows small purple-pink, urn-shaped flowers with yellow anthers. These flowers give any area a nice pop of color.
The plant is hardy in zones 9 to 11, meaning that it thrives in full sun. However, it can handle partial shade too. You can grow this plant in flower beds, hanging baskets, or as a border plant.
9 – Christmas Tree Plant (Kalanchoe laciniata)
Kalanchoe laciniata is native to many places, including Brazil, Africa, India, and Yemen. It likes hot climates and is winter hardy in USDA zones 10 to 11.
Like almost all kalanchoe types, laciniata is low-maintenance. It needs a lot of sunlight exposure and can also withstand partial sun exposure.
The foliage of this plant looks amazing grown in larger pots or as border plants. However, you can grow it anywhere you like in your garden as long as it has well-draining soil and receives enough natural light.
Kalanchoe laciniata has thick and fleshy green leaves that take different shapes, usually compound or dissected. The leaves grow on a 2-inch tall stem taking the shape of a Christmas tree, hence the name.
This plant is a flowering succulent. It bears yellow, light orange, or greenish–white tubular inflorescence flowers.
10 – Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe laetivirens)
Kalanchoe laetivirens is definitely among the most unusual succulents. The plant has large leaves that can be about 3 inches wide and 8 inches tall.
They’re usually dark-green or bluish-green, with serrated or crenate edges. What makes it unusual is that there are baby plantlets that grow around the entire plant from the serrated edges.
These baby plantlets can be a shade or two darker than the leaves or have a bluish color to them. Either way, it gives the plant an unusually attractive look.
In the early spring, the plant grows bell-shaped pink flowers, adding more beauty to the plant and its surroundings.
You can grow this succulent indoors or outdoors. We think it looks more attractive when grown in large pots.
11 – Pink Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’)
Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’ is a variegated form of kalanchoe and houghtonii. Variegated means that the plant doesn’t have chlorophyll, therefore it’s not green.
This kalanchoe species is similar to Kalanchoe laetivirens in the sense that it has leaves with crenate edges from which baby plantlets grow.
These plantlets are variegated, which is why they’re pink. This doesn’t go for the whole plant, though. The rest of the plant is green, containing chlorophyll.
The pink plantlets on top of the plant’s long, slender leaves look like tiny, pink butterflies, hence the name.
Pink butterflies plant is hardy in zones 10 to 11. It requires lots of sun exposure with infrequent watering and well-draining soil.
12 – Donkey Ears (Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri)
Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri has large, ovate leaves that are usually pale green with a hint of bronze near the stems. They’re covered all over with dark spots and a waxy, white coating.
Donkey ears plant also has serrated edges with baby plantlets growing out of them. However, it doesn’t have as many plantlets as kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies” and Kalanchoe laetivirens.
This succulent is a fast-growing one that begins to flower when it’s about 2 to 3 years old. It can be grown as a biennial or short-lived perennial, usually in pots and hanging baskets.
When it flowers, it produces reddish to pinkish-orange tubular flowers that are arranged in terminal inflorescence. They’re borne on a tall, thick stem, about 2 to 3 feet tall, that has a violet hue to it.
The plant is winter hardy in zones 9 to 11. It’s best grown in well-draining soil with lots of sunlight exposure. However, don’t place it in extreme sunlight exposure to avoid burning the leaves.
13 – Pendant Flowered Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe ‘Tessa’)
Kalanchoe ‘Tessa’ is an evergreen perennial succulent that is native to Madagascar. The plant has small and fleshy oval leaves that make the perfect background for its panicles of flowers.
This plant blooms in winter and early spring. They’re tubular, drooping flowers that are striking pinkish-red with yellow margins, growing in clusters.
Tessa is a slow grower. It can take 5 to 10 years to grow to its ultimate height, which is 1.6 feet. But when it does, it forms larger clumps that are worth all the wait.
14 – Pies From Heaven (Kalanchoe rhombopilosa)
Kalanchoe rhombopilosa is definitely a unique-looking succulent. The plant has silvery-green leaves that are arranged in an upright, circular pattern.
When you look at it from above, the leaves’ arrangement looks close to an apple pie. The plant almost looks completely silver because the foliage is covered with a thin layer of white fuzz that hides the green color of the leaves.
In addition, the leaves have dark brown markings on them. Although the leaves are thick and fleshy, they’re extremely fragile and can fall off easily.
The pie-looking plant also grows beautiful blooms that are usually greenish-yellow to pink and are marked with purple lines. Spring is its blooming season.
Kalanchoe rhombopilosa is native to Madagascar, so it prefers warmer climates. It’s also winter hardy in zones 10 to 11.
There you have it; 14 kalanchoe types that are all easy to grow and maintain. Each plant on this list has its own unique characteristics, so you’re guaranteed to find one that suits your needs.
All you need to do now is pick your favorite kalanchoe, head down to the nearest plant nursery, get your new kalanchoe, and decide on the best suitable location for it.
Enjoy your new plant!
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.