Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Copper spooning


The whole magical business of propagating succulents is one little by-way of gardening that never ceases to beguile me. Right now a pot full of leaves from our Kalanchoe 'Copper Spoons' is producing babies, but it has taken a few months for it all to happen.

This is the parent plant in question, Kalanchoe
orgyalis 'Copper Spoons', a beautiful succulent
shrub which, so far, has reached about two
and a half feet tall (75cm). While it's named for
its superb, lightly furry, copper-coloured leaves,
its foliage colour is more complicated than
that, as you can see in the photo above.
And here are the babies, pale bluey-green and already lightly
furry, emerging from the ends of the leaf cuttings which I
simply laid on top of a lightly moist, sandy propagating mix
a couple of months ago. 
This is the pot in all its 30cm wide glory. I wasn't sure which
method of propagation worked best, so I added some stem
cuttings to the pot, but largely populated it with the leaves,
as this is what seemed to be the go when I searched online.
The pot then spent its first couple of months in my garden
shed, raised up on a little spot just under the window, so
it copped plenty of natural light, but no rainfall.
It's a little forest of copper spoons babies we have here. Almost
all the stem cuttings were duds, and about two-thirds of the
leaf cuttings have produced babies, so leaf cuttings it is!
While the cuttings of some plants need hormone powders, controlled humidity, precise timing and other methods to coax a beautiful little newbie to make its entrance, many good old succulents can propagate themselves simply by tossing a few leaves on the ground. With their moisture-filled leaves, the babies have all the sustenance they need for their first weeks or months of life. It's as if they're breast-fed.

Later on, once they've grown a bit more, I'll pot each one up and hopefully will have some pretty young Kalanchoe 'Copper Spoons' kids to give to gardening friends.

8 comments:

Sue O said...

I agree that propagating succulents is one of the more satisfying gardening ventures.

Anonymous said...

I have some leaves that look like they are drying out still attached to my plant. Can I cut these off and try to propagate them? If I can, how do I cut them off? I don't want to harm my succulent. Thank you for your help :)

Jamie said...

You could give that a try, but I would also suggest you take some perfectly healthy looking leaves from the plant as well, to improve your odds of success. Some are bound to sprout roots.

Mumsandee said...

I also found this beautiful plant. I only started growing succulents just over 12 months ago. A few leaves a few little pieces of plant and my addiction
has grown. I just love these plants.

Mumsandee said...

I also found this beautiful plant. I only started growing succulents just over 12 months ago. A few leaves a few little pieces of plant and my addiction
has grown. I just love these plants.

k said...

Did your copper spoon plant branch naturally, or did you trim the top to promote branching? I have a small one that I don't want to get too leggy...thanks!!

Jamie said...

Hi k

It has just branched naturally, no trimming at all. Plants usually get leggy due to a lack of sunshine, so I'd suggest moving it to the most sunny practical site is the best way to reduce leggy growth. Second best option would be a bit of trimming.
Good luck!

VJ said...

I've never heard of this plant before, but it looks lovely. Hope I can find one locally (Los Angeles). Thank you for posting the information on it.