Ask a Question forum: What's up with this?

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Sep 27, 2014 10:02 PM CST
I bought an unidentified plant at Wal-Mart. Plant ID forum identified it as a Kalanchoe, but not which one for sure. Here it is in June a while after I purchased it.
Thumb of 2014-09-28/needrain/aa9d9b

Toward the end of July, the growth rate got more rapid.
Thumb of 2014-09-28/needrain/ae9eb4

That rapid growth is continuing. I don't see evidence of a bloom stalk. It shouldn't be reaching for light since it's in the same conditions as it was earlier and doesn't seem to be orientating toward the direction of the strongest light.


I don't know what it's doing besides suddenly growing fast. Or why. Any ideas?

Donald
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Sep 27, 2014 11:27 PM CST
I always confuse the two..either Kalanchoe thyrsiflora or Kalanchoe luciae. But either way..your plant is so amazingly tall! Lovey dubby
Maybe it is about to make some blooms.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Sep 28, 2014 4:56 AM CST
I believe that is what it is doing. Smiling
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 28, 2014 5:58 AM CST
I have nothing to offer for identification or explanation about your plant, but, hey, has anyone noticed all the other plants in the photos?
Wow, it's true everything IS bigger in Texas!
What are you using for soil mix and for fertilizer? Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Sep 28, 2014 12:08 PM CST
Greene,

I'm not consistent with either soil mix or fertilizer. I'm somewhat careless in my habits. In my rural area, about the only potting soil available is Miracle Gro. I'm not fond of it and I believe the quality now is inferior to what it was a few years ago. I reuse all potting soil. I dump it back in empty potting soil bags and I usually add stuff to it when I use it - compost, alfalfa pellets, oak leaves, really anything organic I might have at the time and then I may mix that with new potting soil or pine bark or ground up tree limbs (I was given a huge pile when they trimmed the power lines in exchange for allowing them to park the equipment in my field). I don't measure much, just mix up what I have until I get something that seems right for the plant. Lots of perlite or sand or both for succulents. Chunky stuff when I want it drain fast. I may or may not toss in a bit of granular fertilize if I happen to have any on hand. I tend to have a light hand with fertilizer, so when I get around to using it, plants get a weak solution until they give me a clear sign they'd like it stronger. Seems to me different plants respond to fertilizer really differently. Some never seem to need it, a few react negatively, some are picky eaters and some eat heartily. That soluble Miracle Gro stuff is usually what they get. Sometimes I might sprinkle a bit of dry fertilize on something. My whole thing is to adjust something when it seems to be needed.

As for that Kalanchoe, I never got around to re-potting it so I have no idea at all what the soil mix is and because I'm unfamiliar with growing it I haven't given it any fertilize at all. I haven't even watered it regularly. Never more often than once a week. It has grown steadily until the rapid growth spell it's in now set in. In the same spot. All that changed is the natural length of the days and the corresponding location of the sun above and decreasing temperatures of the season. I just can't see any sign of a bud at the top, but the leaves are going to be microscopic if they keep getting smaller.
Donald
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Sep 28, 2014 12:13 PM CST
This is a bloom stalk, and this tends to be the time of year they do that. I checked the database but there isn't actually a picture of a beginning bloom stalk so I have proposed yours..... Smiling
The main plant will likely not survive after the bloom period but you should get plenty of pups along the base.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Sep 28, 2014 1:30 PM CST
It's monocarpic? There aren't any pups showing at this point. Will they put in an appearance when it blooms? Maybe?
Donald
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Sep 28, 2014 2:34 PM CST
Yeah they tend to start making babies when the bloom cycle starts (and this will last quite some time).
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Sep 28, 2014 8:00 PM CST
Hi folks. This plant was the subject of a discussion on another site. It seems that Kalanchoe thyrsiflora is rarely if ever available for sale. The plant that is commonly sold by that name is actually Kalanchoe luciae.

This link was given by purpleinopp in answer to a question I asked regarding the difference between the two.
http://www.smgrowers.com/info/kalanchoeluciae.asp

The following is from a post by user palmbob on the other site. He has written a number of articles about cacti and succulents among other plants:

"Main reason I do not think that is Kalanchoe thyrisflora is that K thyrsiflora is virtually unknown in the plant trade (despite its frequent usage as identification for K luciae). I have yet to see this plant in a single private collection or for sale (though occasionally I think it is offered by the Huntington, who has the only collection of this plant I know of)."


[Last edited by Moonhowl - Sep 28, 2014 8:10 PM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Sep 28, 2014 9:25 PM CST
When you acquire an unlabeled plant, it is really difficult to nail it down with certainty. When I put this on the Plant ID forum some time ago and did my Google search for images as best I could, I ended up being satisfied that it was Kalanchoe. That was as far as I got. My personal data entry reads "Kalanchoe - maybe thyrsiflora, luciae or tetraphylla – maybe aka 'Flapjack Plant" and that's where I left it. If it truly blooms successfully, perhaps that can be narrowed down? Maybe?
Donald
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Sep 29, 2014 8:52 AM CST
Blooms would certainly be a boon to getting the right ID. Looking forward to seeing flowers.
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Sep 29, 2014 12:04 PM CST
A lot of my gardening friends and I, call it the Flapjack kalanchoe. It does put out a long stalk with a flower stalk that isn't very exciting; the leaves get huge. I usually cut it off and then the "babies" start to form at the base so you can share with friends !
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Sep 29, 2014 5:14 PM CST
Personally I think the tall flower spike is pretty remarkable. A matter of taste I guess.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Sep 29, 2014 5:29 PM CST
Oh, yeah, Hetty. It is really cool. The tip is less than 1/4" today! The leaves have a different shape. Visible now between the stalk and the upper small leaves are growths with stems. I think the buds, if I can ever identify one as a bud, will be up and down the upper portion of the stalk as well as at the tip. I don't do well with close-up photos, but I'll probably try in a day or two.
Donald
Name: Michael Hamilton
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b)
Region: Texas Hibiscus Plumerias Cactus and Succulents
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Blondmyk
Oct 5, 2014 10:43 AM CST
I was just at Walmart and found three of these...they were MONSTEROUS in size compared to everything else around them. I considered buying one, but have been paying attn to my pocketbook lately and decided I really didn't need another plant right at the moment.

I post this for anyone who is looking for one...Walmart seems to have them right now...at least in South Texas.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 9, 2014 8:29 PM CST
Ha! I took photos today and it sort of looks like a skeleton's bony spine, don't you think? Very Halloweenish Smiling . It is now 49" from the top of the pot to the tip of the plant. The wind blew it over so I had to relocate into one of the stove pipes to secure it. Lucky, no damage from the spill. Still growing. As always, I had trouble getting a closeup, but the one here isn't blurry even if it's not great for detail. I had occasion to be in a neighboring town and dropped by a privately owned nursery. They have a bunch of what looks to be the same plant. They are calling them 'Flapjack Plants', but they have on the label Kalanchoe luciae as well. I have to go back next week. What should I look for on the label? The originating source? I'm tempted to get another one. They have several with pups and mine isn't showing any yet. They are $25 plants, though, way more than I paid for this one.

Here's the skeleton spine:


Closeup of the buds forming:


Donald
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Oct 10, 2014 7:07 AM CST
Wow, that is impressive!
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 10, 2014 8:23 PM CST
I had to bring it inside for the night. A little storm system came through with high wind and some hail. I measured it again. 51 1/2" from the top of the top of the container. It grew 1 1/2" in just over 24 hours! It looked taller, but I thought I must be imagining it. It has really grown fast since it started the bloom stalk. This weather system is going to leave some cooler temps behind. I wonder if that will slow it down.
Donald
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Hibiscus Sempervivums Sedums Dragonflies
Herbs Roses Foliage Fan Annuals Cut Flowers Ferns
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orchidgal
Oct 12, 2014 7:52 PM CST
OMG -- $25.00 !!! All my gardening friend's have at least a few of these. Good job we swap and give each other plants. I wouldn't be forking out that kind of money. I'll check on mine tomorrow and see if it's looking good enough for me to take a photo.
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore

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