Donkey Ears, Life Plant

Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri

Family: Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Kalanchoe (kal-un-KOH-ee) (Info)
Species: gastonis-bonnieri (gas-TON bon-nee-ER-ee) (Info)
Synonym:Bryophyllum gastonis-bonnieri



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Late Fall/Early Winter




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Plant is viviparous

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Irvington, Alabama

Chandler, Arizona

Clayton, California

Huntington Beach, California

Lakewood, California

Norwalk, California

San Jose, California

Big Pine Key, Florida

Bonifay, Florida

Bonita Springs, Florida

Boynton Beach, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Clearwater, Florida

De Leon Springs, Florida

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Lake Wales, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Melbourne Beach, Florida

Miami, Florida (3 reports)

New Port Richey, Florida

Odessa, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Saint Augustine, Florida

Sarasota, Florida (3 reports)

Tampa, Florida (2 reports)

Umatilla, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Saint Marys, Georgia

Melrose Park, Illinois

Choudrant, Louisiana

Gulfport, Mississippi

Enid, Oklahoma

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas (3 reports)

Deer Park, Texas

Houston, Texas

Katy, Texas

Mcallen, Texas (2 reports)

Mission, Texas

Plano, Texas

Port Lavaca, Texas

Raymondville, Texas

Rockport, Texas

Salineno, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Spring Branch, Texas

Woodway, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 9, 2013, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Got this plant at a plant exchange and am excited about it.


On Mar 1, 2013, desoc from Rockport, TX wrote:

A friend gave me a small bag of seeds and I planted them in several pots. All of them grew like crazy and the largest pot had stalks over 3 feet tall. They developed tiny green buds with pink tips and when they opened up the flowers were hanging bell shaped. Beautiful! They also dropped babies everywhere on my rock patio and now I have probably hundreds of tiny plants growing everywhere! I have started several small pots for friends. I was a little upset to learn that after blooming the plant would die, however my stalks have tons of new starts so maybe the entire plant will not die???


On Apr 26, 2010, himothra from Sarasota, FL wrote:

Just pulled seeds from a huge, deep red variety. Can't wait for results. Hope to pull some roots, too (made a phone call for permission ; )


On Apr 4, 2010, richellerichell from Cairns
Australia wrote:

I have had this plant for nearly 3 years, and it has produced so many babies, that I have given to my friends and planted. I live in a very tropical region and it loves being in the sun. I went on holiday and the weather has dropped temperature by 6 degrees and has been continuously raining for 3 weeks and when I got back it has grown a big stalk and is about to flower! I was so excited until I read that it is monocarpic? (hope thats the right word) I can't believe that it's going to die, I am so sad now! I hope its babies live on in its name! Sniff sniff sigh......


On Oct 10, 2009, Cholalupe from Melrose Park, IL wrote:

I just saw this plant in a local garden store and was amazed to see that it does really well growing on a hanging basket. The leaves look very lovely hanging.

First I did not know what it was named, my father brought it back from a trip to Mexico. All he new about it was that in Mexico it is used for medicinal purposes. He just brought one plant and has now overgrown to three plants. We live in Illinois and at the moment get to see them turn a wonderful pinkish red color. So add one vote to it doing very well in the harsh Windy City climate.


On Aug 24, 2009, teez122 from Miami, FL wrote:

Love the pic. I have one of these. Im anxiously waiting for it to bloom. I would hate to see it go after its blooming stage. Do they always die after blooming?


On May 13, 2008, rntx22 from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is so wonderful! I just don't know what to do with all the babies! It's sad to just throw them out.

My original plant sent up a tall stalk with corral flowers, then eventually died. You can easily grow new plants from the babies at the ends of it's leaves. Mine turns kind of orange when it gets too cold, but bounces back when it warms up again.


On Jan 8, 2008, lilacis from San Antonio, TX wrote:

My plant has the one stalk, with flowers, that have stop blooming, I would like to know what to do with the flowers at the top. Will it just die back down, or do I need to cut it back?
In side the flowers is a small seed.


On Dec 22, 2006, jaloteam from Miami, FL wrote:

I received this plant perhaps a year ago. I potted it in a large pot and off she went! It is absolutely prolific putting out babies from the tips of the leaves which eventually grow too heavy and fall off. Plant them and they take off immediately. Once we planted a leaf that had broken off and it proceeded to propagat at each of the noches along the edge. The mother plant eventually started to send up 3 stalks which grew to a 3-4 foot height and formed an umbrella of small bell like flowers. I don't know what happens when these flowers and the stalk finish blooming. It is an impressive plant and exceptionally easy to grow and to propagate.


On Nov 1, 2006, vegoddard from Saint Marys, GA wrote:

I've had this plant for many years. I just loved the young plants forming along all sides of the leaves. The leaves are so heavy that they sometimes tear and I just stick the leaves down in the pot, they are so easy to root. My plant remained basically the same size year after years, that is until I decide to repot it. The plant began to grow taller by the day. I snipped the very top plant in hopes that would branch out instead of growing one fairly fragile stem, it put on two double stalks. Now it is budding and about to bloom. I continually walk past it when I'm working in the yard just to see if the flowers have opened, I like an expective mother!


On Aug 14, 2005, Crasulady2 from Valley Village, CA wrote:

Happenstance and Zenomorf plants looks more like the plant that I have. It is from Madagascar, so likes our hot dry climates, let those babies form on the tips and don't cut them off, the leaves should hang down, and it will form a beautiful basket plant with all the babies hanging down from each other.

I think I learned something again here. Always learning.

This plant should be very gray with the wine/bown colored blotches. It is very easy to start with just the leaves. NOrma