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How to Care for a Kalanchoe Flapjack

The Kalanchoe Flapjack (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora ‘Flapjack’), also known as the paddle plant, desert cabbage and dog tongue plant, is a tropical succulent that can grow up to 2 feet tall and wide. The Kalanchoe has thick paddle-shaped leaves that are green throughout the summer and turn burgundy at the edges during cooler temperatures. The Kalanchoe Flapjack blooms between mid-winter and early spring with a tall flowering stalk that produces clusters of yellow funnel-shaped flowers. Usually grown indoors in most regions, the Kalanchoe can be grown outdoors only in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11, where minimum winter temperatures don’t drop below 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Position your Kalanchoe Flapjack in full sunlight to partial shade. If you’re growing the plant indoors, place it beside a sunny window.

Keep air temperatures around your Kalanchoe from 68 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime. Provide cooler nighttime temperatures of about 50 to 60 degrees to promote the deep reddish color on the leaves but avoid temperatures below 45 degrees.

Water your Kalanchoe twice each week during the spring, summer and early autumn. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Feed your Kalanchoe thyrsiflora once every two weeks during the spring and summer with a water-soluble 10-10-10 NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium) or similar balanced fertilizer. Follow the dosage directions on the label.

Keep your Kalanchoe dry during the winter and don’t fertilize the plant. Water your Kalanchoe Flapjack once every week or two, only if you’re growing it in a pot indoors.


If you’re growing your Kalanchoe thyrsiflora in a container, use a potting mix that is sterile and preferably one made for cacti or succulents.

Avoid getting any water or fertilizer on the leaves of your Kalanchoe Flapjack. Also avoid over-watering your Kalanchoe, because this can cause the plant to stretch, rot and eventually die.

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