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The chandelier plant lives up to its name: Leaves branch out in all directions, and tiny plantlets decorate each leaf, some with roots trailing from them.
Native to Madagascar, the chandelier plant is used to hot, dry climates and is extremely resilient. Because the plantlets line each thin, long leaf, it means the chandelier plant spreads rapidly—they pretty much survive no matter where they land.
If you have a black thumb, this may be the plant for you. It's also called "mother of millions" for the tiny plants that line the leaves, and even if you kill one, chances are there's another growing somewhere near it. It's nearly impossible to kill this plant, and in some areas, it's even considered a weed or invasive species.
- Botanical Name: Kalanchoe delagoensis
- Common Name: Chandelier plant or mother of millions
- Plant Type: Succulent
- Mature Size: Up to 3 feet tall
- Sun Exposure: Bright, partial sunlight
- Soil Type: Well-draining cactus mix
- Soil pH: 6.0 to 6.5
Like we mentioned above, this plant is quite possibly one of the easiest to take care of. They can be grown indoors or outdoors depending on the weather, and they're rather drought tolerant.
Similar to other succulents, you can tell if the chandelier plant needs more sunlight if it starts to stretch. If it's indoors, it'll probably do best in an east-facing window where it will get bright morning light. It could also do well in south-facing windows, but you may want to keep it a couple of feet from the window to prevent the leaves from burning.
Outdoors, the plants are rather tolerant of different conditions. They can't withstand super cold temperatures or freezing, but as long as they have enough sun and are watered occasionally, they will do well. If anything, you have to worry more about the plant spreading where you don't want it rather than wanting to plant more.
When it comes to watering, less tends to be more. This variety of plant is susceptible to root rot if given too much water, and the plant itself can rot and become squishy when overwatered. Because this plant is so hardy, it doesn't need regular fertilizing.
Best Growing Conditions for Chandelier Plants
Bright sunlight and warmer climates are best for chandelier plants. They're native to Madagascar, where they receive few nutrients from sandy soil. The sun is essential to making sure your plant can photosynthesize properly—as it needs a ton of energy making little plants at the tips of its leaves.
Because it's so hardy, this plant can pretty much survive anything. Sun ensures that the plant doesn't stretch out and start to look leggy, and having the ground cleared around the base will ensure that the baby plants take quickly. That being said, the baby plants have been known to grow through concrete, so they're pretty tough.
Make sure that the soil is well-draining and rather sandy. A 2:1 perlite-cactus soil mix will allow for water to pass through without keeping the roots wet. For extra drainage in containers, you can add pebbles.
No gravel for drainage? You can smash up a terracotta pot (or use an already broken one) and use the pieces as drainage at the base of a container.
How to Propagate Chandelier Plants
In reality, chandelier plants propagate themselves. The plantlets at the end of each leaf tend to grow roots before they fall off the leaf and root in soil.
You can, however, also grow the plant from stem cuttings.
What You Need
- Well-draining soil mix
- Sharp scissors
- Rooting hormone (optional)
Instructions for Stem Cuttings:
- Cut a piece of the chandelier plant with a few leaves on it.
- Let the ends callous.
- Dip in rooting hormone after the stem has calloused and healed (normally takes a few days).
- Stick the stem in the soil.
- Keep it out of direct sunlight and water when the top inch of soil feels dry. It should root within a couple of weeks.
Common Growing Problems
If anything, the biggest problem is that the chandelier plant spreads more quickly than it can be managed. Because each leaf can produce hundreds of plantlets, which are easily blown off by the wind, it may be best to keep this plant in a contained area if you don't want a ton of it.
One thing that will kill this plant is absolute neglect. It does need a good watering every couple of weeks, and you should water it when the top inch or so of the soil feels dry. Do place it in a place where it can receive bright, indirect sunlight, but know that direct sun can burn the leaves.
Another issue you may encounter is mushy leaves. Normally, this is due to overwatering. Cut back on water immediately, and allow the plant to dry out before watering again. If you take it out of the pot and notice rotting roots (they'll be brown and mushy), cut them off and plant it in new, dry soil.
Potting and Repotting
Really, you only need to repot this plant if you notice roots coming out of the top or bottom of the soil. This means they have run out of room and are looking for somewhere new to grow. You can also start a pot with some of the baby plants if you want a fuller looking container or garden. With all the plantlets this one produces, you'll have a full, lush garden in no time!
- Succulent Plant Care. "Kalachoe Delagoensis ‘Chandelier Plant’ Care and Toxicity."