Mother of Thousands Plant 101: Basics for Beginners

mother of thousands plant

If you’re looking for a unique yet low-maintenance plant to spruce up your collection of houseplants, you can’t go wrong with Mother of Thousands. This plant is an undemanding and forgiving succulent native to Madagascar’s subtropical regions. The slow-growing Mother of Thousands plant only grows outdoors in hotter locations like Hawaii and Florida; it rarely blossoms inside the house.

Not to be confused with the Mother of Millions plant, the Mother of Thousands plant has broader leaves that grow in pairs. Plantlets appear along the edge of the leaves — a stark contrast to the narrow leaves with plantlets many Mother of Millions have.

Growing a Mother of Thousands plant is the best way to grow foliage at home. But proper care is necessary to ensure they’ll thrive for years.

What is a Mother of Thousands Plant?

The Mother of Thousands plant (Kalanchoe Daigremontiana) hails from the Crassulaceae family and is a cousin of the Flaming Katy and jade plants. Apart from the Mother of Millions plant, the Mother of Thousands is often confused with the chandelier plant due to their similar traits and growing conditions.

The Mother of Thousands plant is an unusual yet attractive-looking plant with green leaves forming baby plantlets along the edges, hence its name. Other nicknames associated with the Mother of Thousands plant are Devil’s Backbone, Alligator Plant, and Mexican Hat Plant.

Its plantlets can grow anywhere they land. Getting rid of them is not an option since they are rapid growers. Since the Mother of Thousands succulent is an abundant producer, everything can get out of hand when you drop these baby plantlets wherever.

While this plant provides many plantlets for the propagating gardener, homeowners who don’t want more plants may find caring for the Mother of Thousands plant tedious. Those who enjoy the easier propagation this plant provides use pots to contain the rapid growth of the Mother of Thousands plant.

Another notable quality of this kalanchoe succulent is its drought tolerance. They are also highly adaptable to different environments, which makes them the best plant for new gardeners. So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant to spruce up your garden, you can’t go wrong with Mother of Thousands.

Mother of Thousands Plant History

Mother of Thousands plant, also known as Kalanchoe daigremontiana, is a succulent that originated in Madagascar. It has since spread to other parts of the world, including Australia and the Americas, where it has become popular among gardeners and houseplant enthusiasts.

Despite its popularity, statistics on the Mother of Thousands plant are scarce. However, its ease of propagation through the growth of its tiny plantlets along the edges of its leaves has made it a common sight in gardens and homes worldwide.

Historically, the Mother of Thousands plant has been used for medicinal purposes by the indigenous people of Madagascar. Its leaves have been used to treat inflammation, and it has also been used as a remedy for kidney stones.

Culturally, the Mother of Thousands plant is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to households where it is kept. In Chinese culture, it is known as the “thousand mothers plant” and is often given as a gift to new mothers to symbolize their fertility and abundance. In Mexico, the plant is associated with the Day of the Dead celebrations, where it is used as an offering to honor deceased loved ones.

Mother of Thousands Plant Varieties And Types

There are several varieties of Mother of Thousands Plant, each with unique characteristics that set them apart. Here is an overview of some of the most popular types:

  1. Kalanchoe Daigremontiana: This is the most common variety of the Mother of Thousands Plant. It has a gray-green color with pinkish-brown spots on the leaves. The plant produces small plantlets along the edges of its leaves, making it a popular choice for propagation. 
  2. Kalanchoe Tubiflora: This variety of Mother of Thousands plants, also known as the Chandelier Plant, is a unique variety with long, tubular leaves reaching up to two feet. This plant produces small plantlets on the tips of its leaves, adding to its distinctive appearance and making it a popular choice for plant enthusiasts. 
  3. Kalanchoe Pinnata: Kalanchoe pinnata, commonly known as the “Wonder of the World” plant, is a beautiful variety of the Mother of Thousands plant. Its deeply lobed, dark green leaves make it a popular ornamental houseplant. The plantlets on the margins of its leaves can easily root and grow into new plants, making it an excellent choice for propagation and sharing with other plant enthusiasts. This plant is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for various ailments. 
  4. Kalanchoe Fedtschenkoi: Also known as the Lavender Scallops, this variety is a stunning Mother of Thousands plant. Its long, pointed leaves can reach up to six inches long and have a unique blue-green color with delicate pink edges. This striking color combination makes it a favorite among plant enthusiasts. Similar to other varieties, the plant produces small plantlets on the tips of its leaves that can easily root and grow into new plants, making it an excellent choice for propagation. With proper care, this plant can add a pop of color and texture to any indoor or outdoor space. 
  5. Kalanchoe Delagoensis: It is a fascinating variety of the Mother of Thousands plant. Its flat, rounded leaves grow in clusters and have a unique blue-green color with purple markings. The plant can easily grow new plants by producing small plantlets along the edges of its leaves that can take root and grow. Due to its unique appearance and ease of propagation, this variety is a popular choice among plant enthusiasts looking to expand their collection or share it with other plant lovers. This plant can thrive indoors and outdoors properly, adding charm to any space.

Each type of Mother of Thousands Plant differs in leaf shape, color, and location of the plantlets. Some varieties produce plantlets on the margins of their leaves, while others produce them on the tips. The plantlets may also differ in size and the number of roots they produce. Overall, each Mother of Thousands Plant variety has unique characteristics, making it a popular choice for gardeners and houseplant enthusiasts.

How to Care For Mother of Thousands

mother of thousands plant

A fruitful Mother of Thousands plant develops small clusters of flowers, often arranged on stems. However, flowering doesn’t occur often; in some cases, it doesn’t happen. If the flowering does happen, it occurs during the start of the warm season and produces small lavender flowers. After the flowering season, the primary plant dies, and the small plantlets are dropped to grow new plants.

Initially, it sounds tedious. Like any plant, the Mother of Thousands plant needs proper care to flourish.

The Mother of Thousands succulent is a hardy plant capable of tolerating intense heat. It won’t thrive in colder or more temperate regions. It is also an uncomplicated houseplant. When caring for this plant, keep the following factors in mind.


Like other succulent plants, your Mother of Thousands plant will need a well-drained potting medium. When it comes to mixes, many gardeners mix perlite or sand into standard potting soil, while others choose cactus mixes. Clay pots are also a good idea since they keep the plant hydrated and absorb excess moisture.


The Mother of Thousands plant is a big fan of bright spaces in your home where it can bask under the sun for hours. However, too much sunlight can scorch the leaf, so keep them away from direct sunlight.


Like most Kalanchoe succulent species, the Mother of Thousands plant can live without regular fertilization. Fertilize your succulent monthly, preferably between March and September. Instead of using regular fertilizer, use liquid fertilizer and dilute it in half.

Humidity and Temperature

The Mother of Thousands plant thrives in temperatures between 65°F to 75°F. As mentioned above, ensure the plant is not exposed to direct and intense sunlight. Once you let the plant sunbathe, return it inside before the temperature drops to 40°F.

In terms of humidity, this succulent isn’t a big fan of high humidity. In general, room-temperature humidity works well for this plant.


The Mother of Thousands succulent can tolerate drought but not as much as other species. It will thrive with gradual and regular hydration, especially during the growing season. Still, it can survive if you water it once every few weeks, even during the summer and spring.


Pruning is an essential part of caring for Mother of Thousands plants. Regular pruning can help keep the plant’s size in check and encourage bushy growth. It’s best to prune when the plant grows in spring or summer. Always use clean, sharp pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant.

Among the most common pruning problems is removing too many leaves or plantlets. Pruning should be done sparingly and only when necessary. Doing so can help maintain the Mother of Thousands Plant’s unique appearance and promote healthier growth.


Mother of Thousands plants is self-pollinating, meaning they can pollinate themselves without the help of insects or wind. However, you can still manually pollinate the plant by gently tapping the flowers to release the pollen. It can help increase seed production and encourage the growth of new plantlets.

Issues with pollination might arise if the plant is not receiving enough light or has been exposed to temperatures that are too cold. If this happens, try moving the plant to a brighter spot or protecting it from cold drafts.

Common Pests And Diseases

Common pests and diseases affecting Mother of Thousands plants include mealybugs, spider mites, and root rot. Symptoms of pests and diseases can include yellowing leaves, wilting, and stunted growth. To treat and prevent these issues, it’s essential to maintain proper watering and avoid over-fertilizing. You can also use insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat pests and improve plant health.

Caring for Mother of Thousands Plants is relatively easy if you follow best practices and avoid common mistakes. The basics for beginners will help you start taking care of these beautiful and unique plants. The Mother of Thousands Plant can thrive and bring joy to any home or garden with proper care. So, if you’re looking for a statement piece, this is the plant for you!

Mother of Thousands Plant Companions

Companion planting is growing different plants together to create a beneficial relationship. Certain plants can complement each other by attracting beneficial insects, improving soil health, and repelling pests.

Companion planting has several benefits, including reducing the need for pesticides and improving crop yields. Companion planting can help create a more diverse and healthy garden ecosystem for the Mother of Thousands Plant.

  • Friendship Plant: One popular companion plant for the Mother of Thousands is the Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata). A Friendship plant is a low-maintenance plant that complements the Mother of Thousands Plant’s unique leaf shape. It also provides a ground cover and attracts beneficial insects.
  • Cornflower: Another excellent companion plant for the Mother of Thousands plant is the Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus). A cornflower plant attracts pollinators and gives any garden a beautiful color. They also have a shallow root system, which makes them ideal for planting alongside the Mother of Thousands Plant.
  • Aloe Vera: This succulent is a great companion for Mother of Thousands, as it can help repel pests and provide natural healing properties. Like the Polka dot plant, Aloe Vera can help improve soil health and reduce the need for chemical treatments.
  • Lavender: This fragrant herb can help attract beneficial insects while deterring pests that can damage Mother of Thousands. Lavender also has a calming scent and can add color to the garden.

How to Properly Propagate Mother of Thousands

It’s easy to propagate the Mother of Thousands since it produces from the plantlets, not the seeds. As the main plant heads towards its dormancy period during winter, the plantlets are usually easy to remove. They’ll fall off naturally. You can also remove the plantlets from the leaf, especially if they’re ready to detach.

During propagation, lay the plantlets on a well-drained pot’s surface and damp potting medium to ensure strong rooting. Directly plant the plantlets onto the soil, ensuring each plantlet is ½-inch apart. Next, spray the plantlets and the soil with water to keep them hydrated. Finally, cover the pot with plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse.

Avoid overwatering your Mother of Thousands plant. Giving them too much water increases their tendency to rot, making them unusable.

Adjust the plastic wrap regularly to avoid crushing the plants as the plantlets grow. Place a toothpick in the soil to create a tent over the plastic wrap. When the plantlets are an inch taller, remove the plastic wrap and keep them in the sun to encourage growth.

Potting and Repotting Mother of Thousands Plant

In general, you only need to repot if fallen plantlets have taken root in the pot of the main Mother of Thousands succulent. Remove and dispose of them or replant them in another container that has good drainage.

To repot, fill 1/3 of the new pot with cactus potting soil (or you can create a mix of sandy soil). Tamp down the soil before you plant your Mother of Thousands plant. To remove your succulents, turn the pot upside down and gently squeeze the sides to loosen the roots. Carefully slide the plant out of the pot.

Remove any roots that look dead or are broken. Also, trim back roots that are rotting or look mushy. Handle tender roots with care to avoid breaking any of the healthy ones. If your Mother of Thousands plant has long roots, trim them so they can easily fit into the new pot.

Next, place the succulent into the new pot, positioning the top of the roots an inch below the top of the pot. Add about two to three inches of soil before tamping the soil down. Avoid filling the pot with too much soil.

Finally, water your soil with room-temperature water. Let the excess water drain out of the bottom of the pot.

Mother of Thousands Plant FAQs

1) How often should I water a Mother of Thousands plant?

Mother of Thousands plant should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. It typically means watering every 1-2 weeks, depending on the plant’s environment and humidity. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot and other issues.

2) Can a Mother of Thousands plant grow in low light conditions?

Mother of Thousands plant can survive in low light conditions but thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. They may become leggy and produce fewer plantlets if grown in low light. Consider supplementing with artificial light to ensure healthy growth.

3) Is a Mother of Thousands plant toxic to pets?

Mother of Thousands plant is toxic to pets, particularly cats and dogs. Ingesting the leaves or plantlets can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Keep these plants out of reach of pets and seek veterinary care if ingestion is suspected.

4) Why is my Mother of Thousands plant losing its leaves?

Mother of Thousands plant may lose leaves due to overwatering, underwatering, or poor lighting conditions. They may also shed leaves naturally as they age. Adjust watering, lighting, and other care factors to prevent further leaf loss.

5) How do I prune a Mothers of Thousands plant?

To prune a Mother of Thousands plant, use clean, sharp pruning shears to remove any dead, damaged, or leggy leaves or stems. Prune when the plant is actively growing in the spring or summer, and avoid cutting into the stem’s woody tissue.

6) Is the Mother of Thousands Succulent a Poisonous Plant?

The tiny plantlets stems, and leaves can be toxic to pets and small kids. Keep the plant well out of reach if you have either or both.

7) Why is the Mother of Thousands Plant’s Leaves Curling?

There are two reasons behind the curling problem: your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight or you’re overwatering. Try moving it to a different location or giving the plant less water.

8) Should I Pinch Off the Dead Leaves?

The Mother of Thousands plant prunes itself whenever its leaves are too dry or damaged. However, you can always pinch off any dead leaves so your plant will grow healthier.

Improving your home’s yard can mean growing a few plants. If you’re looking for a beautiful, forgiving, undemanding houseplant, the Mother of Thousands plant is the perfect addition to your home.


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