Kool Kalanchoe: How to Tell the Difference between Mother of Thousands and Mother of Millions

You may have seen this succulent in your friend's garden and been tempted to take a cutting home with you, but did you know there are two types of Kalanchoe, Kool and otherwise? I will tell you the difference between the mother of thousands and millions in this post. Yes, that is an actual thing! Stay tuned to find out more.

If you're like me, you love plants, but you're not quite sure how to take care of them. You may have even killed a cactus or two in your day (it's OK, we all make mistakes). Fear not, my plant-less friends, because I am here to tell you about the Kool Kalanchoe. This easy-to-care-for succulent is perfect for people like us. Trust me; this is one plant you won't want to miss out on.

In the plant kingdom, a few standout species seem to have it all—they're easy to care for, come in various colors and shapes, and can be used in indoor and outdoor gardens. If you're looking for a versatile addition to your garden, you should consider adding a kalanchoe plant to your collection.

But before you do, you need to know how to tell the difference between the mother of thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana) and the mother of millions (Kalanchoe delagoensis). Keep reading to learn more.

Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana)


The mother of thousands is a succulent plant native to Madagascar—formerly known as Bryophyllum daigremontianum, also known by various common names, including alligator and Mexican hat plants. The plant is easily distinguished by its large, flat leaves covered in small, window-like structures. These windows allow the plant to absorb more light, which helps it grow faster than other plants.

The mother of thousands can also reproduce rapidly; each leaf can produce up to 20 new plants. As a result, the plant can quickly become invasive if not kept under control. Some gardeners find the mother of thousands a bother. Still, it can be a beautiful and exciting addition to any home.

Flowers


The mother of thousands plant has an atypical appearance of flowers. Each flower contains male and female reproductive organs, and the plant can self-pollinate. As the flowers mature, they open up to reveal numerous tiny seeds. Once pollinated, the seeds detach from the plant and are spread by the wind. 

The plant has become invasive in many other parts of the world due to its rapid growth rate and its ability to produce many seeds. A single mother of thousands plant can produce over 3,000 seeds per year. Consequently, this plant has become a problem in many gardens and agricultural fields. While its flowers may be pretty, the mother of thousands plant is not a plant to be taken lightly.

Propagation

The mother of thousands plant is a fascinating creature. It propagates by producing plantlets on the margins of its leaves. These plantlets eventually drop off and take root, creating new plants. Since the mother of thousands plant is succulent, it can store water in its leaves. This enables it to survive in dry environments. 

The mother of thousands has been introduced to other parts of the world and is considered invasive. The plant gets its name from the thousands of plantlets it produces. However, only a small percentage of these plantlets survive to become new plants. The mother of thousands plant is a fascinating example of how plants can grow new ones on their own.

Pruning

The mother of thousands plant is a beautiful succulent but is not drought-tolerant. It prefers to grow in moist, well-drained soil. The plant can also be sensitive to frost. If the temperature drops below freezing, the plant will die. As a result, it is crucial to protect the plant from cold weather.

If you want to keep your mother of thousands plant under control, you will need to prune it regularly. Start by trimming back any leaves that have fallen off the plant. Then, cut back any leaves that are more than half their original size. Finally, remove any leaves that are yellowing or browning. Pruning also helps the plant make more flowers and keep it from getting too big.

Soil


The mother of thousands plant can be a bit tricky to grow, but with suitable soil, it can thrive. The best soil for this plant is a well-draining cactus mix. This type of soil will hold moisture without becoming waterlogged, and it will also provide the plant with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

In addition, the cactus mix will help keep the plant's roots cool and prevent them from rotting. Suppose you are having trouble finding cactus mix. You can also use light potting soil with added perlite or sand to achieve similar results. With the right soil, your mother of thousands plant will be sure to thrive.

Mother of Millions (Kalanchoe delagoensis)


The mother of millions is another succulent plant that has aggressive reproductive habits. When the plant blooms, it produces small, green flowers surrounded by up to eight miniature plantlets. These plantlets eventually fall off and take root, spreading the mother of millions far and wide. This plant is considered an invasive species in many parts of the world as it can quickly overpower native vegetation.

However, its rapid reproduction ability has also made it a popular choice for gardeners looking to fill empty spaces in their gardens. Regardless of its reputation, the mother of millions is a fascinating plant that will add interest to any garden.

Flowers

The mother of millions gets its name from its tendency to produce large numbers of small flowers. While the flowers are pretty, they are also poisonous. Ingesting even a small amount of the nectar can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. 

As a result, many people choose to avoid this plant altogether. However, for those willing to take the risk, the mother of millions can be a beautiful addition to any garden. Just be sure to exercise caution when planting them near other delicate flora.

Propagation

The first step is to find a healthy mother of millions from which to take your cuttings. Once you have your cutting, let it callous over for a few days before potting it up in well-draining soil. After thoroughly watering, place the pot in a sunny location. Keep an eye on your new plant and water when the soil has dried out completely.

With patience, your cutting will soon take root and grow into a healthy mother of millions. So go ahead and multiply your plants—there's no need to be stingy with these hardy succulents.

Pruning

Spring is the time for fresh starts, including giving your mother of millions a good pruning. These fast-growing succulents can quickly become leggy and unruly, so it's essential to provide them with trimming now and then to keep them looking their best.

The good news is that pruning is easy—just cut off any long, straggly stems at the base. You can also remove any dead or dying leaves. When you're finished, your mother of millions plant will be neat, and it will start to produce new growth soon. So get out your pruning shears and give your plants a fresh start this spring.

Soil

The best soil for a mother of millions is no soil at all. That's right; this plant does best when grown in sand or grit. Too much soil can be harmful to the mother of millions, as it can cause the roots to rot.

So if you're looking to give this plant the best possible growing conditions, make sure to use a very light and well-drained soil mix. And don't forget to keep an eye on your watering schedule—too much water can also be detrimental to this plant's health.

Differences between Mother of Thousands and Mother of Millions

Suppose you're looking to add some greenery to your home. In that case, you might be wondering whether to choose a plantlet known as the "mother of thousands" or the "mother of millions."

The two plants are so similar that it would be impossible to tell them apart for first-time viewers. The names of these plants come from the fact that they can make many offspring, but there are some key differences between them.

Bloom Time

There is no clear winner between these two plants in blooming time. Both plants produce an abundance of small flowers and bloom for an extended period. However, mothers of thousands tend to bloom slightly earlier than mothers of millions, with flowers appearing in late spring or early summer.

On the other hand, the mother of millions typically blooms in mid-to-late summer. So, if you're looking for an early injection of color in your garden, mother of thousands is the way to go. But if you want your garden to look its best during the dog days of summer, the mother of millions is a better choice.

Leaves

There are two types of mothers in the plant world: those who have thousands of leaves and those who have millions. Both types of plants are characterized by their large number of leaves, but there are some key differences between them. The mother of thousands tends to have smaller leaves and more upright plants, while the mother of millions is more likely to spread.

Plantlets

A mother of thousands typically produces plantlets along the edges of its leaves. In contrast, the mother of millions produces them on the undersides. In addition, the mother of thousands generally has larger leaves than the mother of millions. As a result, if you're looking for a plant that will create a dense ground cover, mother of millions is probably your best bet.

On the other hand, if you want a plant that will add some vertical interest to your space, mother of thousands is a better choice. Whichever plant you choose, give it plenty of room to spread out; after all, that's what they're known for.

Propagation


Mother of thousands propagates by producing plantlets on their leaves. These plantlets eventually fall off and take root elsewhere, starting new plants. On the other hand, the mothers of millions produce plantlets all over their bodies. Animals eventually move these little plants to new places when they brush up against them.

Size

The mother of thousands is an impressive sight to behold. With its large, glossy leaves, it's no wonder this plant is a popular choice for gardens. However, don't let the name fool you—the mother of millions plant is quite a bit smaller than its cousin, the mother of thousands plant.

While the mother of thousands can reach up to 3 ft (0.91 m) in height, the mother of millions typically only grows to about 2 ft (0.61 m) tall. In addition, the mother of millions has narrower leaves and produces fewer offsets than the mother of thousands. So, while they may share a common name, these two plants are quite different in size and appearance.

Stems

The stem is an integral part of any plant, but it can be exciting to compare the stems of these two succulent plants. The stem of the "mother of thousands" is skinny and fragile, while the stem of the "mother of millions" is fleshy and thick. The main difference between these two stems is their function. The thin stem of the mother of thousands plant is designed to support the plant's leaves and allow them to reach sunlight.

The thick stem of the mother of millions plant, on the other hand, is designed to store water and nutrients. As a result, the mother of millions is much more drought-resistant than the mother of thousands. While both plants have stems that serve an important purpose, the difference in their structure reflects their different adaptive strategies.

Similarities between Mother of Thousands and Mother of Millions

The mother of thousands and the mother of millions are two plants that are often confused for one another. Despite their differences, these two plants share a common trait. Both plants are native to Madagascar, and they both have striking leaf patterns that resemble a cluster of tiny seeds. They are both known for being invasive species that can quickly take over an ecosystem. Because of this, you must be able to tell the difference between the two before you plant them in your garden.

Toxicity

The mother of thousands and mother of millions plants are both beautiful and dangerous. Both plants are toxic and can cause serious health problems for birds, cats, dogs, and cattle. The mother of thousands plant is particularly dangerous because it can reproduce rapidly, spreading its toxins far and wide.

The mother of millions is also toxic, but its dangers are less well-known. Both plants contain harmful chemicals that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. Suppose you suspect that your animal has come into contact with either of these plants. In that case, it is important to seek veterinary help immediately.

Are They Harmless or Invasive?

The mother of thousands and mother of millions are two of the most popular houseplants. And for a good reason, they're easy to care for, look beautiful, and propagate straightforwardly. But there's a dark side to these plants that many people don't know about.

Both species are highly invasive, and if you're not careful, they can quickly take over your yard or garden. Even worse, they can be challenging to control once they've established themselves. So if you're thinking about one of these plants in your home, do your research first. You may end up regretting it later.

How to Care for Them?

They are nearly identical in appearance, nomenclature, and care requirements, as they are both native to Madagascar. Here are some helpful tips for taking care of it for those who want to get one soon.

Soil

What do the mother of thousands and mother of millions have in common? They're both great at growing things! But they need the right kind of soil to thrive. Well-drained soils with plenty of organic matter are ideal for these two plant species. Mulching can also help to conserve moisture and keep roots cool. They can bring beauty and life to any garden with the proper care.

Sunlight

Both the mother of thousands and the mother of millions need plenty of sunlight to flourish. They will do best in bright, direct light but can also tolerate some shade. If you live in a hot area, it's crucial to ensure that leaves don't get too hot in the afternoon.

Pests and Diseases

Both plants are susceptible to mealy bugs, aphids, and other common garden pests. These pests can cause damage to the leaves and flowers, and they can also spread diseases. To prevent infestations, it's crucial to inspect your plants and remove any pests you see regularly.

Temperature

The mother of thousands and mother of millions are both tropical plants, so they prefer warm temperatures. They will do their best in temperatures ranging from 65° to 85° Fahrenheit (18-29°C). If the temperature drops below 50° (10°C), the plants may start to experience stress.

Watering

The mother of thousands and millions needs to be watered regularly, especially during hot, dry periods. They prefer to have their roots in moist, well-drained soil. Over-watering can cause the plants to rot, so it's essential to let the soil dry out between waterings.

Where to Buy Mother of Thousands or Mother of Millions Plants?

If you're looking for any of these plants, your best bet is to buy one from a reputable nursery or garden center. These plants can be challenging to find in the wild, and they're often mislabeled when sold by roadside vendors. It's important to ensure that you get a healthy, appropriately labeled plant.

FAQs

While these two plant species may look similar, they have some distinct characteristics. Here are a few frequently asked questions that can help you tell them apart:

What’s the Difference Between the Two Plants?

Mother of thousands and mother of millions are both members of the Kalanchoe family, but they have some key differences. For one, mother of thousands plants has significantly larger leaves than those of mother of millions plants. Additionally, the leaves of mother of thousands plants are usually more deeply lobed, and they often have a reddish hue.

Mother of millions plants, on the other hand, tend to have smaller, more delicate leaves. Another key difference between these two types of plants is their flower size. Mother of thousands typically has much larger flowers than mother of millions. Finally, the mother of millions generally blooms later in the season than the mother of thousands plants.

Which Plant is More Difficult to Care For?

In the plant world, there are two champions when it comes to looking after offspring: the mother of thousands and the mother of millions. Both of these plants produce large numbers of babies, but which one is more challenging to care for? The answer may surprise you.

Although both plants need plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil, the mother of millions is more tolerant of drought conditions. If you're forgetful about watering, your mother of millions is more likely to forgive you than a mother of thousands.

How Long Do Kalanchoe Plants Live?

The answer to the question is not as simple as it may seem. While most Kalanchoe plants will last for several years with proper care, some factors can influence their lifespan. For example, kalanchoe plants grown indoors typically have a shorter lifespan than those grown outdoors.

This is because indoor conditions can be more stressful for plants, causing them to age prematurely. Additionally, Kalanchoe plants frequently exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures may also have a shorter lifespan. With proper care, however, Kalanchoe plants can provide years of enjoyment.

Why Do Kalanchoe Leaves Curl?

Have you ever noticed that kalanchoe leaves curl when they get old? It's not just because they're dried out - it's a survival mechanism. When a kalanchoe leaf gets old, it starts to lose its ability to photosynthesize.

The leaf curls up to reduce its surface area to prevent itself from losing too much water. This helps the plant conserve moisture and survive in arid conditions. So next time you see a Kalanchoe leaf that's starting to curl, don't throw it away-it's just doing its best to stay alive.

Final Words

The next time you're out on a walk and see a kalanchoe plant, take a closer look. The mother of thousands has smaller leaves and produces more flowers. In comparison, the mother of millions has larger leaves and fewer flowers. With this easy identification guide, you'll be able to identify any Kool Kalanchoe in no time.

Posted by Harry Winston

Harry is an expert when it comes to decorating the interior of your dream home - as well as the tabletop with all sorts of delicious dishes. Whether you need culinary tips or interior design guides, you can rely on his expertise. When not writing about food or furnishing, Harry looking into these topics to stay on the top of current trends and new innovations.