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Kalanchoe Species, Desert Cabbage, Ice Sculpture Kalanchoe, Flapjack Plant, Paddle Plant

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora

Family: Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Kalanchoe (kal-un-KOH-ee) (Info)
Species: thyrsiflora (thur-SEE-flor-uh) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Alpines and Rock Gardens

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

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:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed


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


Phoenix, Arizona

Carlsbad, California

Clayton, California

Fresno, California

Hayward, California

Livermore, California

Norwalk, California

Oak View, California

Oceanside, California

Richmond, California

San Jose, California

San Marino, California

Santee, California

Simi Valley, California

Walnut, California

Apopka, Florida

Bartow, Florida

Bonita Springs, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Melbourne Beach, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Chadwick, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Baker, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana

Westlake, Louisiana

Southold, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

Alvin, Texas

Austin, Texas

Deer Park, Texas

Edna, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Mc Kinney, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Salineno, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Victoria, Texas

Winnsboro, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 21, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- I have had this plant growing in the ground for over 20 years. The plant was originally in heavy shade and was unhappy. It is now in partial summer shade, mostly full sun in winter and is thriving, blooming yearly. It spreads at moderate speed and I have to cut it back annually. It has survived hard freezes. A freeze of 22 nights in Dec/Jan 2013 damaged it substantially even though covered, but it recovered rapidly.


On Nov 6, 2013, ilko719 from Oceanside, CA wrote:

I live in Oceanside,California.I bought this beautiful Desert Cabbage few months ago.I put it outside in full sun,gave water regularly.When I bought it was about 18" tall,now it is 63" tall and still growing.Every place I looked for info about the size it said max.24".Does anybody know exactly how tall this plant can grow.Thank you.


On Aug 27, 2012, litito from Gore, OK wrote:

Purchased this for a fish planter I was given as a gift. It has grown fast tripled in size. I want to thank member trickiwoo from texas her comment of success with broken leaves growing is great. My puppy had broken several large leaves trying to get away from the cat. The plant has been on the porch with nearly full sun & infrequent watering.


On Nov 18, 2010, stygiana from Tijarafe,
Spain wrote:

One of my favorite Kalanchoe, compact, low growing and with nice blue colour.
Please, note that all photos except PalmBob's ones are wrong, as they show Kalanchoe luciae. The problem is that almost every book and nursery label K. luciae as K. thyrsiflora, so everybody believes K. thyrsiflora is the species which in reallity is K. luciae...
So read PalmBob's message if you have a doubt and use his photos, they are good and reliable.


On Aug 23, 2009, trickiwoo from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Bought this in a 4" pot a year ago. Now fills out a 12' pot with 4 plants in there. About 18" tall & larger leaves measure 7" x 6". May interest y'all to know that when I was potting it up I broke a leaf off & just stuck it in a small pot & now have another plant the size I bought last year. No blooms yet but love the architecture of the plant itself.
When I put mine in full summer sun the leaves took on a wilted look so I put it back under a shade tree so it gets full morning sun & seems real happy. Have also heard this called 'red lips' as the edges take on a red color. Mine do not do that. Think next year I will start it off in full sun & see if it will acclimate to my hot summer sun little by little. Love this plant & want to keep it happy.


On Jul 19, 2007, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Great looking plant that can take down to about 30F before melting. Slow growing in even large pots,but it gets there in time to a good size with blushing red edged leaves. Two problems i have had-it's a snail and slug magnet and also hard to keep passerby's from picking it to death...


On Jul 19, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

I saw this plant growing in a nursery in Carpinteria, California. We bought a small one and have it planted on a landscaped 'island'. We had a very hard freeze last winter and the plant disappeared -- but, it has come back now and hopefully will live to grow and one day bloom (if it doesn't freeze again so hard!!!) We love the architectural shape it displays and the coloring is charismatic.


On Nov 27, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Not sure how I feel about this plant anymore since I am not sure what this plant is. Turns out what I thought was this for so many years was Kalanchoe luciae. Kalanchoe thyrsiflora seems to be a much rarer plant with paler, smaller leaves that rarely color up... still has paddle shaped leaves, but not the humongous ones in most of the photos. Still, SO many nurseries misidentify this plant that it seems almost OK to continue to also do the same... but I will try not to. If your plant flowers and has yellow, fragrant flowers, then it probably IS thyrsiflora... however if it has whitish flowers that don't smell like much, then it is indeed luciae. Also, if your plant is large, with many great reds and other colors aside from just white and turquoise it is very unlikely it is this plant... read more


On Jun 3, 2006, spicerd from Baton Rouge, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This was the first plant I ever picked out for purchase... recently... so, it is a very special friend... now stands guarding one side of the entrance to my house... have managed to propogate two offsets from the main trunk and they're coming along just fine...


On Apr 11, 2006, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I bought it in Houston and brought it down here and since that time I have seen it here in Dallas. Mine is doing fine the leaves are turning a pale pinkish red since I have it full sun with some shade.


On Jan 26, 2005, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Bushy, white-frosted, perennial succulent. Densely covered with oval to inversely lance-shaped, red-margined, pale green leaves, 4-6" long, with blunt rounded tips and leaf pairs united at the bases. In spring, bears panicles of erect to spreading tubular to urn-shaped flowers, fragrant yellow flowers.

Origin South Africa. Increase by offsets.