Kalanchoe tomentosa (Panda Plant Succulent)

Kalanchoe tomentosa care

Kalanchoe tomentosa, also known as the Chocolate soldier plant, panda plant succulent, panda paw succulent, tomentosa succulent, panda ears plant, or the fuzzy succulent, is an extremely drought-tolerant succulent with long-lasting flowers and chocolate-colored leaves that make it an excellent choice for low-maintenance landscaping.

Its deep red flowers appear in winter and are very showy, especially when set against the plant’s chocolate-colored leaves (which become lighter and more mottled in color during warm summer months). Chocolate soldier plants can grow up to 5 feet tall, making it an impressive addition to any garden or landscape.

A beautiful flowering plant with lush, green leaves, the chocolate soldier plant often blooms in late winter or early spring. These plants are available as both houseplants and outdoor perennials, although they will not survive the coldest of winters if left unprotected from the elements.

Kalanchoe tomentosa prefers to grow in full sun to partial shade and should be fertilized regularly while its growing season. Of course, there are several varieties of Kalanchoe tomentosa available at nurseries, but this plant has been growing and blooming since it was first documented in 1753.

Origin and distribution

Kalanchoe tomentosa is a fuzzy succulent that originates from Madagascar. It’s also known as the panda paw succulent or panda plant because of its furry, black-and-white leaves. The plant is distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions, and it’s commonly used as a houseplant. The chocolate soldier plant prefers temperatures in the 70s F and needs bright light with ample airflow.

If you notice any yellowing leaves, adjust your watering practices accordingly to prevent over-watering; similarly, if you notice brown patches on your plant, adjust your watering practices to prevent under-watering. Be careful not to get water droplets on the lower leaves while watering.

Unlike many other types of plants, kalanchoe tomentosa thrives in dry environments and may require less frequent watering than other plants do; in fact, some people believe this type of succulent will grow even better without much moisture at all.

Maintaining this plant should be easy for most people since it does well indoors as well as outdoors (in areas where there are no frost risks). One thing to keep in mind: don’t overwater the plant – especially during winter months when growth slows down – and provide plenty of air circulation so that the soil doesn’t become too wet.

Panda plant succulent propagation

Kalanchoe tomentosa care

Kalanchoe tomentosa, or chocolate soldier plant, is a fuzzy succulent that’s also known as panda paw succulent or panda plant. This easy-to-grow plant can be propagated from stem cuttings or by division. To propagate from stem cuttings, snip a 4-6 inch piece from the tips of stems that have at least two sets of leaves.

The thicker the stem, the better. Dip in rooting hormone and stick in moist soil with organic material such as peat moss or vermiculite on top. Cover the pot and place it in a warm spot out of direct sunlight until plants sprout roots and new growth appears. The best time for propagation is during spring and summer when plants are actively growing.

You can keep your plants trimmed up so they don’t become too leggy. Be sure to fertilize monthly with an all-purpose fertilizer diluted according to package directions, but avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers which will produce lots of foliage but few flowers.

In general, this species is not sensitive to frost and it should survive a light frost without any problems; however, it does not like extreme heat conditions and should be watered more often during periods of intense heat.

Kalanchoe tomentosa care information

Kalanchoe tomentosa care

Kalanchoe tomentosa, or chocolate soldier plant, is a tropical succulent that’s a relatively easy plant to care for and can be a great addition to any indoor succulent collection. Here are some tips for general care:

Light requirement

This plant requires a lot of light, so be sure to place it in a sunny spot. It can tolerate some direct sun, but it’s best to keep it out of the hottest afternoon sun. If you live in a hot climate, this plant will do best in a shady spot. The leaves may burn and turn brown if exposed to too much heat.

Soil/potting mix

For best results, use a well-draining cactus or succulent potting mix. If you’re unsure whether your potting mix is well-draining, err on the side of too dry rather than too wet. Chocolate soldier plants are susceptible to root rot, so it’s important to make sure the potting mix is well-aerated and doesn’t hold onto water.

Add a layer of gravel or sand to the bottom of the pot before adding the potting mix to help with drainage. Avoid using any potting mix that contains peat moss as this will increase the likelihood of root rot. When in doubt, go for a commercial cactus mix that has an adequate amount of coarse material like perlite and pumice in it.


Water Kalanchoe tomentosa when the soil is dry to the touch. Allow the plant to dry out between waterings, as too much water can lead to root rot. When watering, be sure to avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can cause them to brown. If you notice the leaves beginning to brown, it is an indication that the plant is not getting enough water.

Be sure to check the soil before watering, and if it is dry, give the plant a good soaking. If you do get water on the leaves, use a towel or tissue to dab off any excess moisture.


If you want your Kalanchoe tomentosa (Chocolate Soldier Plant) to thrive, you need to fertilize it regularly. Fertilizing helps the plant get the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy.

You can use a variety of fertilizers, but make sure you choose one that’s specifically designed for Kalanchoes. Apply the fertilizer according to the instructions on the package, and be sure to water the plant afterward.


The Chocolate Soldier Plant is a tropical plant that thrives in warm weather. It prefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and can tolerate brief periods of cooler weather.

However, if the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant will start to experience leaf damage. Kalanchoe tomentosa is also sensitive to drafts, so make sure to keep it away from any windows or doors that might let in a chill.


The Kalanchoe tomentosa, or chocolate soldier plant, is a succulent that originates from Madagascar. It’s a low-maintenance plant that can tolerate some neglect, making it ideal for those who are new to plant care. One thing to keep in mind with this plant is that it prefers moderate humidity levels. If the air is too dry, the leaves will start to curl and drop off.

The ideal humidity range is 40%-60%. If you’re unsure of what your current humidity level is, try using a hygrometer to measure it. Ideally, you should mist your plant every day or so. You can also use an indoor humidifier if necessary. Keep an eye on the soil as well: if it becomes too dry, add water until it has absorbed enough liquid before allowing it to drain again.


This species of Kalanchoe is succulent, so it has thick, fleshy leaves that hold water well. When pruning, be sure to remove any dead or dying leaves, as well as any that are significantly smaller than the rest. You can also trim back any leggy growth to encourage a fuller plant.

As with all succulents, be sure not to over-water your Chocolate Soldier Plant; wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again. If you don’t know when to water, then set a timer to every five days and observe the color of the potting mix. If there is any wetness left after those five days have passed, then you should probably take some time to check and see if there’s anything that needs tending.

If you’re noticing discoloration on your plant or browning at the tips of its leaves – which could indicate rot – you may need to re-pot this succulent in the fresh potting mix soon.

When to repot

Kalanchoe tomentosa, or chocolate soldier plant, is a succulent that typically doesn’t need to be repotted often. However, you may need to do so every two to three years, or when the plant becomes pot-bound.

The best time to repot is in the spring before the plant begins actively growing. Use a high-quality cactus mix and pot of an appropriate size. Kalanchoe tomentosa can handle being overwatered as well as underwatered, so it’s easy to maintain.

Dormancy/Winter rest

Kalanchoe tomentosa care

Kalanchoes prefer a warm, dry climate, they go dormant in the winter, when they should be kept fairly dry and cool (around 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit). During this time, they will drop their leaves and stop growing.

When spring arrives and the days start getting longer, they will start to grow again. Some kalanchoes are able to tolerate light frosts, but if your plants do not come back after a cold spell, don’t worry! Simply cut off the top of the plant and let it form new growth from its base. You can also buy new plants during this period.

Kalanchoe tomentosa flower & fragrance

The Kalanchoe tomentosa, or chocolate soldier plant, is a succulent that produces small, bell-shaped flowers. The flowers are a deep red color and have a strong chocolate fragrance. This plant blooms in the spring and summer months.

Growth rate

Kalanchoe tomentosa is a fast-growing succulent that can reach up to 12 inches in height. It has thick, fleshy leaves that are dark green in color with brown spots. The Chocolate Soldier Plant gets its name from the small, chocolate-colored flowers that it produces.


Kalanchoe tomentosa is considered toxic to humans and animals if ingested. Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you suspect your pet has ingested the plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.

USDA hardiness zones

Kalanchoe tomentosa thrives in USDA hardiness zones 10-11. It prefers high humidity and regular watering but can tolerate a dry environment with occasional watering.

Pests and diseases

Kalanchoes are generally very tough and easy-to-care-for plants, but they can be susceptible to mealybugs, aphids, and red spider mites. These pests can cause the leaves of your plant to turn yellow or brown and the plant may drop its flowers.

If you see any of these pests on your plant, you can remove them by hand or with a quick blast of water from the hose.

For most people, this will take care of the problem. However, if it doesn’t work after a few tries, then it is recommended that you bring your plant in for professional pest control treatment before things get worse.

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