Care of Paddle Plants


The paddle plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora) is a showy, flowering succulent with large, flat, paddle-shaped leaves. Native to South Africa and parts of southeast Asia, this hardy perennial features clusters of yellow flowers similar in appearance to other kalanchoe species. Paddle plants can reach heights and widths of 2 feet and thrive outdoors in very warm weather. They can also be grown in containers, but their large size makes them rather unsuitable as houseplants. There are other kalanchoes that make better indoor plants than the paddle plant, such as kalanchoe blossfeldiana.

Step 1

Select a warm location for your kalanchoe that it out of direct afternoon sun. Paddle plants are not frost-hardy and will not survive prolonged temperatures below 26 degrees F, according to information published by Desert Tropicals. Direct afternoon sun may scorch the leaves of the plant, so try a planting site where the paddle plant will be exposed to morning sun and dappled afternoon shade.

Step 2

Plant the paddle plant in loose, coarse soil composed primarily of coarse sand mixed with a bit of rich, organic materials and peat moss.

Step 3

Water your paddle plant sparingly during the growing season (late winter through early summer) and do not water at all during the other half of the year. Let the soil dry out completely before watering again. Overly wet or soggy soil can lead to root rot, a fungal disease that will destroy the roots of the plant.

Step 4

Fertilize at the start of the growing season with a fertilizer formulated for flowering succulents. Follow the directions on the label according to the size and age of your paddle plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Coarse sand
  • Peat moss
  • Organic matter (such as leaf mold)


  • University of Illinois: Kalanchoe
  • Desert Tropicals: Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora
  • Plants of Africa: Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora
Keywords: care of Kalanchoe, growing paddle plants, Kalanchoe thyrsiflora care

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.