Kalanchoe Species, Chandelier Plant, Devil's Backbone, Mother of Millions, Mother of Thousands

Kalanchoe delagoensis

Family: Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Kalanchoe (kal-un-KOH-ee) (Info)
Species: delagoensis (del-uh-go-EN-sis) (Info)
Synonym:Bryophyllum delagoense
Synonym:Bryophyllum tubiflorum
Synonym:Kalanchoe tubiflora
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Good Fall Color


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From leaf cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Jones, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Chandler Heights, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Maricopa, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Vail, Arizona

Brea, California

Brentwood, California

Canoga Park, California

Capistrano Beach, California

Carlsbad, California

Hayward, California

Long Beach, California

Los Angeles, California(2 reports)

Mission Viejo, California

Murrieta, California

Napa, California

Pleasant Hill, California

Pomona, California

Rowland Heights, California

San Diego, California


Vista, California(2 reports)

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Clermont, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Eagle Lake, Florida

Fountain, Florida

Homosassa, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

North Fort Myers, Florida

North Port, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Cloud, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Satellite Beach, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Titusville, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Metairie, Louisiana

Morgan City, Louisiana

New Iberia, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Long Beach, Mississippi

Lucedale, Mississippi

Cleveland, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Memphis, Tennessee

Alvin, Texas

Andrews, Texas

Austin, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Houston, Texas(3 reports)

Manchaca, Texas

Roanoke, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 27, 2015, debylutz from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

It's not the prettiest succulent but its flowers are beautiful. I grow mine as a potted plant and have not found it to be invasive. Any stray plantlets I find in my other potted plants are easily removed.


On Sep 5, 2014, Wyattcorvus from Velp,
Netherlands wrote:

The plant can be a bish

But there are ways to contain it

I have birds so i am really scared they eat it
And the plant is really toxic for al humans and animals wen eated

Buttt if you keep this plant in a huge fase or a huge glass aquarium
Then it will only make babys in that closed area

Be carefull with this plant even cows die fast because of it

Its a amazing creation just a little dangerous snakes are too ;)


On Sep 18, 2013, offshoredreams from Titusville, FL wrote:

I have to give this plant a positive rating due to its will to live! They do pop up everywhere and it amazes me how do they get there. I have always called them frog plants from when I was a kid. My grandmother had them. Maybe I called them that cause their leaves look like frog legs and now that im older I say its because they jump up everywhere. It truly is a maintenance free plant. Throw some plantlets on the ground and forget about them. If all plants were like this one gardening would be a breeze.


On Jan 14, 2013, Aprylicious from Clermont, FL wrote:

Oh my...This plant reproduces insanley! A couple were given to us last summer and now they are everywhere! We have one about 4' tall and one that is easily 6'. But they have started growing everywhere else in the garden! Has anyone found a method of eradication? One or two would be great...but they are quickly taking over. :-(


On Nov 24, 2012, bepah from Brentwood, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Just to add to the confusion, Kew has just assigned this plant to a new genus Bryopyllum delagoensis......the plant remains the same, however,....


On Jul 11, 2012, pooparella from Napa, CA wrote:

I had this plant in somewhat full sun indoors, where it grew like crazy but got leggy and floppy, with a zillion tiny plantlets. I decided to put it outside in part shade with other succulents, and to my surprise, it now grows slowly with hardly any plantlets at all! I'm not horribly sad because it's become low maintenance, but it is interesting. Perhaps the people who find the plant invasive can try putting it in deeper shade.


On Mar 13, 2012, Anniesfollies from Carlsbad, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

A friend gave me a piece of this plant several years ago and I've enjoyed it ever sense. It puts on such a spectacular flower show even from just a small 4" plant and it's just outside my kitchen window so I enjoy it daily when blooming. From the one small piece I have planted several other small pots but I find that not all of them bloom. I'd like to be able to tell which ones will and won't so I can toss the non-bloomers and plant up a few more of the bloomers for a better show each winter.
Yes it is invasive; I find new babies in the surrounding pots but they are easy to pull out and move to another pot or the trash. (Don't accidentally add this to a compost pile!) The pots are on a table over a cement patio, it gets limited water, and is in a mostly shady spot, all of which ... read more


On Feb 3, 2012, adam1983tt from Eagle Lake, FL wrote:

A clipping of this plant was given to me by a neighbor about two years ago. I was attracted to its height, its bright red teardrop flowers and its unique ability to be "trained." I was able to make it grow into a spiral by replacing an adjustable table over it every couple of days. A very handsome plant. However, IT IS VERY INVASIVE!! In only a few days, it had spread hundreds, maybe thousands of tiny sprouts across my side yard, completely taking over the area. It took many hours, over a few weeks, of pulling each and every one of those sprouts up to clear the ground of the invasion. I still want to possibly grow one or two in a planter for a decorative accent on my porch, but I am so afraid of it spreading again. I am not positive of this, but I would assume because of its invasive natur... read more


On May 16, 2011, Plants4myPots from Palm Bay, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I "rescued" a couple little ones that were growing across a sandy rock last year, 'cuz I thought the speckled leaves/stems looked neat. Since then I found out they flowered, and have witnessed their profuse reproduction habits. As an exclusively container gardener, I've found this plant easy to contain for a few reasons... At first, it did spread itself to a couple of other containers, but they are easy to pull out, especially when repotting. Also, because I want to try to get a larger container full of mature plants that will flower spectacularly, I have been pulling the babies off the plants before they have a chance to fall off and just toss them all into one container. This seems to have been working well so far, and since I often want to "putter", but don't always have something ... read more


On Aug 3, 2009, DracoVolans from Crestline, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Ok, I like weird-looking things, and this is one I found in my Mother-in-Law's container-garden on her porch in Santa Monica... and fell in love with it for it's leggy, alien appearance. She had several growing seemingly randomly in the pots, and I was house-sitting at the time... I took a pair of the smaller plants, leaving the many that were there.

I had no idea this little beastie was considered a WEED!

It grew where I put it (in a pot, to hopefully contain it's "seeding" habit), and later asked the M-I-L what it was. She had no idea, but also said she hated them and has since ripped out all of the others that I'd left behind. Pity- I would have taken 'em all.

Now that I know the species, it's "problems", and that it has lovely blossoms, ... read more


On Jun 7, 2008, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have to give this a negative for central Florida, despite the fact that it is "interesting" and blooms profusely in winter, even with little or no water. However, once it gets into a planting bed it is almost impossible for me to get rid of it, a few tiny plantlets seem to survive my weeding it out every time, and then they reproduce like crazy again. Throw it on the trash piles and it just keeps growing and flowering. Leaf width varies a lot, with plants in moist shade having wider, flat leaves and those in dry sand having the narrowest and most "tubular" leaves.


On May 25, 2007, amorie from Keystone Heights, FL wrote:

Here in central Florida (Keystone Heights), they seem to be holding their own. We have a few naturalized patches, the biggest being in a bamboo leaf litter area that gets morning sun. This is in a sandhill community; very sandy, fast-draining soil.


On Sep 15, 2006, MaceB from Vancouver, WA wrote:

I have always had this plant as an oddity and share it with friends that show interest in them " kind of like bread starts :) ". Lived in cooler to now Washington type climates and never had the " too unruley " growth problems. I enjoyed them as a kid and was happy to find some up here. I'm greenhousing a number of the leaf attached babies for next spring. They need to be covered at least and housed up here, Don't get many spring survivors in the outdoor open garden.


On Sep 4, 2005, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant gets a lot of attention from visitors. It has not spread from it's original place, but it seems to be doing very well. We started a couple of broken off bits in pots for indoor pots, and they are doing OK. Not at all invasive here.


On Jan 27, 2005, hspivey from Homosassa, FL wrote:

I live in "Central" Florida, about 75 miles north of St. Pete/Tampa and this plant was in an area next to the house divided by low bricks from the yard. Not in a true raised planter. It is against the house wall on the east side and gets the morning sun. There are a number of them and they began blooming around New Years day. We had a freeze five or six days ago, down to 24 degrees, so before it hit I went out and cut four of the umbles off with about a foot of the stem and put them in a vase with water in the house and they are still happily blooming. The ones left outside were damaged by the cold but the plant bases seems to have done fine. I don't think they can grow out into the yard because of frost. They survive the frost if they are under the roof line so I have no problem with th... read more


On Jul 15, 2004, MistyEE from Plant City, FL wrote:

I love these guys!!!
I actually got two different kinds of plants from the same clipping. The one I have that blooms, (I call it the "male"), doesn't have the little leaf-buds at all. Sometimes he has 1 baby at the very tip of his leaf, and the baby can grow as large as a regular plant just as it is. The other kind (I call the "female") has little leaf buds all around the leaves, and even some of the leafbuds get leafbuds! They never produce the stalk and flowers.
I have seen how easily they spread, but I just scoop them up and give them their own little pot. I have given these to many friends as gifts adn they seem to do great in almost any condition. The babies remind me of "Audrey 2" from Little Shop of Horrors, when they start to mature.
I am sorry some of ... read more


On May 18, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I've never had a problem with this plant being invasive, but my back porch is a pretty severe environment and it's hard to take root in concrete. It's just a funky plant that sprawls around on the floor, five feet away from its pot.


On Mar 5, 2004, plantoclaire wrote:

In Australia, we call them "Mother of Millions", that's a much better name because there are so many of them. I reckon each one would produce at least a million plants.
They are a big problem in Queensland Australia, a Class 2 weed. I spend 2 hours in a group once a month just removing them all and I hate them. There's got to be a better way of extinguishing them than this. They compete with native grasses and are so feral species. I hate the person who decided to bring them from Madagascar to Australia!!!


On Oct 3, 2003, Vlynne from Long Beach, MS (Zone 8b) wrote:

"Mother of Thousands" is such an appropriate name for this plant. They grow everywhere, don't need dirt, they grow in orchid bark, between the leaves of bromeliads, in leaf litter on a cement patio, as well as in every pot within 50 feet of the plant. I don't know how they get there, either, but unwanted plants are easy to remove.

I put up with this mild nuisance because I like the umbels of trumpet-shaped flowers. They have to be fairly large to bloom, and a large potful of them in bloom can be spectacular. They don't freeze well, but seem to tolerate everything else.


On Oct 1, 2003, TerriFlorida from Plant City, FL wrote:

What?? There's more than one of these stunningly prolific plants? It's a wonder we aren't drowning in the things... Nevertheless, I purposely brought it with me when we moved 30 miles. Not that I could have escaped it, but I do really enjoy its archetectural accents, its willingness to grow nearly anywhere, and the ease with which the babies can be pulled or scooped away where not wanted. These are very easy pot plants due to their drought tolerance, and in fact will grow in pretty deep shade without much trouble.

You have to love their versatility. Or at least, appreciate it!


On Jul 23, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

You have two different species of plant under this name...K tubifolia is not the same plant as mother of thousands, though it has been called that, too. Both are weeds and once in your greenhouse will never, ever go away... they start to show up in every pot, and I'm not really sure how they get there... carried about by ants, maybe? Both are pretty marginal here in So Cal outdoors, but despite being melted to the ground by frosts, come back spring after spring in more and more places. Good thing they don't have nasty roots- they pull up out of the ground easily (though tubifolia is a lot easier to pull up than the larger daigramontiana (the name I learned of this plant).

This plant bounces back and forth from the genera Bryophyllum to Kalanchoe and back again... and it wi... read more


On Jul 22, 2003, DougC from Los Angeles, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

My climate is Mediterranean; my specimen is 4-5 feet. After flowers expire, tiny new plants develop. Porous (free draining) soil - I use any of the cactus/succulent mixes that can be purchased at Home Depot or plant nurseries.

This species is extremely hardy in my area, invasive growing everywhere and in other potted plants. I have found that every part of this plant will root and grow new plants.


On Jul 20, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Due to intense vegetative reproduction, this plant rarely blooms. But when they do, tubular, relatively big orange flowers come from the top of the plant. Very beautiful, and very hard to see.


On Aug 18, 2002, NMPlantLady wrote:

This plant reproduces via "plantlets" on the tops of the plants ... they fall into the dirt and grow from there. Not cold hardy in winter in most parts of the country. Also known as "Propeller Plant."