Cactus and Succulents forum→No-repot Kalanchoe experiment, runs for 3 years now

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South Germany (Zone 7b)
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dewayx
Oct 12, 2021 1:41 PM CST
Finally got them out of their old fancy pot. It's a 3 year old bonsai-ish Kalanchoe meadow in which i just want to test one thing:
How long can these brave succulent gladiators survive with only rooting on root and their own siblings' leaves and stems.

Water supply is plenty, other nutrients too. Main issue is root space, but they make up for that with a huge bunch of young, vigorous air roots all the way down into their tray. Sprayed with some water mist every day, watered every second.

More experiments are under way, currently testing rock rooting capabilities of old cut off trunks.
Thumb of 2021-10-12/dewayx/b65ff6


Thumb of 2021-10-12/dewayx/9f045a

get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
Name: Stefan
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skopjecollection
Oct 12, 2021 9:45 PM CST
dewayx said:Finally got them out of their old fancy pot. It's a 3 year old bonsai-ish Kalanchoe meadow in which i just want to test one thing:
How long can these brave succulent gladiators survive with only rooting on root and their own siblings' leaves and stems.

Water supply is plenty, other nutrients too. Main issue is root space, but they make up for that with a huge bunch of young, vigorous air roots all the way down into their tray. Sprayed with some water mist every day, watered every second.

More experiments are under way, currently testing rock rooting capabilities of old cut off trunks.
Thumb of 2021-10-12/dewayx/b65ff6


Thumb of 2021-10-12/dewayx/9f045a



1-this is a monocarp kalanchoe, ex or sub genus bryophyllum aka monther of thousands... its not suitable for bonsai growing like others
2- this is horrendously overcrowded and not supposed to look like this, This kalanchoe in particular is supposed to resemble tall nettles, not lawn cut ones...
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Oct 12, 2021 10:49 PM CST
1. Probably why its an experiment.

2. Dwayx did refer to it as a 'kalanchoe meadow'
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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South Germany (Zone 7b)
just mlem on!
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dewayx
Oct 12, 2021 10:56 PM CST
skopjecollection said:

1-this is a monocarp kalanchoe, ex or sub genus bryophyllum aka monther of thousands... its not suitable for bonsai growing like others
2- this is horrendously overcrowded and not supposed to look like this, This kalanchoe in particular is supposed to resemble tall nettles, not lawn cut ones...


I know that it isn't "supposed" to look like that. Of course they aren't really healthy XD

I have 6 "main line" ones that are only cut back after flowering and I like to see myself what happens when certain resources (space for roots or leaves, water, etc) are scarce.
I also have one growing on a Rock :)

So, don't worry, this is supposed to be an experiment and no holy plant that can't be allowed to die
get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Oct 13, 2021 8:30 PM CST
DaisyI said:1. Probably why its an experiment.

2. Dwayx did refer to it as a 'kalanchoe meadow'


If you want to experiment, get a plant that would make relevant data. Its like growing annuals or biannual as bonsai. You need something with a bit more wood in the stem. Ive made a bonsai out of crassula arborescens, aichryson laxum, and now am making one of portulacaria.
And thats a blossfeldiana(white meadow was the only kalanchoe meadow google yielded)
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Oct 13, 2021 8:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Oct 13, 2021 8:33 PM CST

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I see absolutely nothing wrong with the experiment. Thank you @dewayx for sharing and

Welcome!

to the forum.
(location) Virginia (Zone 7a)
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sedumzz
Oct 14, 2021 5:29 AM CST
I think experiment is super interesting, It will be entertaining to see how they grow with limited space. Thumbs up

https://www.houzz.com/discussi...

This might be interesting with other succulents too, though you probably wont get much of a end product Hilarious!

Check out my WANT list: https://docs.google.com/docume...
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 14, 2021 2:34 PM CST
IDK about long term growth, but a serious cram is a great way to have an overabundance of beautiful Kalanchoe blooms over winter, or save plants in general from freezing outside.
https://garden.org/thread/go/5...
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South Germany (Zone 7b)
just mlem on!
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dewayx
Oct 16, 2021 10:32 AM CST
skopjecollection said:

If you want to experiment, get a plant that would make relevant data. Its like growing annuals or biannual as bonsai. You need something with a bit more wood in the stem. Ive made a bonsai out of crassula arborescens, aichryson laxum, and now am making one of portulacaria.
And thats a blossfeldiana(white meadow was the only kalanchoe meadow google yielded)


Thumb of 2021-10-16/dewayx/69240d

A mainline Kalanchoe stem from 4 years ago, to me that's proof enough that lignification in Mothers of Thousands is sufficient for bonsai growth ;)
Bending them isn't hard either, just need to use something more soft/temporary than the usual aluminium bonsai wires.
I use rubber bands, haphazardly thrown together wood constructions and soft packaging foam for insulating the wires when wiring is necessary. Never bitten in, quite low risk of branches breaking.

get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
South Germany (Zone 7b)
just mlem on!
Miniature Gardening Cactus and Succulents Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader
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dewayx
Oct 16, 2021 10:39 AM CST
purpleinopp said:IDK about long term growth, but a serious cram is a great way to have an overabundance of beautiful Kalanchoe blooms over winter, or save plants in general from freezing outside.
https://garden.org/thread/go/5...


Oh trust me, they won't ever bloom XD
Mother of Thousands need far bigger leaves and far better water supply for blooming. None of these will reach the former because it requires the latter... which is impossible at this small of a root system.

Maybe they can get there with more aerial roots, because water supply isn't limited by availability of water but by root system size :)
They could use the tray they are standing in and pretty much use it as like a semi-hydroponics thingy.

Either way, the first plant to start "winning" the race could also outcompete the others. It's nature, after all, and what I'm doing is essentially selecting for the one Kalanchoe that can do the most with the least roots
get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 16, 2021 12:53 PM CST
It sounds like you're having fun with it. : )
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
South Germany (Zone 7b)
just mlem on!
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dewayx
Oct 18, 2021 9:06 AM CST
Me with the watering can: "Who was a good boy this week?" Thumb of 2021-10-18/dewayx/2379f4 Every Kalanchoe in this pot, screeching: "Me, me, meeeeee!"

The two "Sunrunners" as I call them are clearly visible from this angle. Two strong and young Kalanchoes, aerial roots growing on and over the other's stems, catching a lot of water before it gets down into the "lair", where there's basically only roots, dead roots and old stems. They are the only ones with three or more healthy leaf pairs and could get quite far, but a lack of stability will terminate them soon. They will tear their roots out over the course of a year and at the end only hang by a small thread of aerial root down into the tray, getting what nobody else wants.

It's life, it's evolution, and it carries on Smiling
get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Oct 18, 2021 11:05 AM CST
dewayx said:
It's life, it's evolution, and it carries on Smiling


Or maybe a form of Kalanchoe torture. Whistling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
South Germany (Zone 7b)
just mlem on!
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dewayx
Oct 18, 2021 11:24 AM CST
...torture? Well actually it's more like "what if they had no competition?" and shows how competition in nature is necessary.
Think of that Kalanchoe cram everywhere you walk!

Well tbh, grass grows much like that and has a lot of death and misery in between too, just that we mind less :)
get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Foliage Fan Bromeliad Container Gardener Tropicals
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skopjecollection
Oct 18, 2021 11:27 AM CST
dewayx said:

Thumb of 2021-10-16/dewayx/69240d

A mainline Kalanchoe stem from 4 years ago, to me that's proof enough that lignification in Mothers of Thousands is sufficient for bonsai growth ;)
Bending them isn't hard either, just need to use something more soft/temporary than the usual aluminium bonsai wires.
I use rubber bands, haphazardly thrown together wood constructions and soft packaging foam for insulating the wires when wiring is necessary. Never bitten in, quite low risk of branches breaking.


Alrigthy then

this is crassula arborescense var undulatifolia pruned , root and wire trained in a bonsai shape
Thumb of 2021-10-18/skopjecollection/b4615f
meanwhile this is basil which was kept for some reason

Thumb of 2021-10-18/skopjecollection/f2a107
it has a similar shtick to your MoT. see the difference?
Its like trying to make peppermint into bonsai...
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 18, 2021 11:41 AM (+)]
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South Germany (Zone 7b)
just mlem on!
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dewayx
Oct 18, 2021 11:56 AM CST
First up, could we move the future kalanchoe bonsai discussions to The thread "Kalanchoe Bonsai" in Cactus and Succulents forum and secondly... yes. I do see that it is not an ideal succulent for bonsai making. But I see the potential in every sliiightly lignifying plant that has anywhere near a weed or impossible-to-kill status.
I have gathered quite some experience in "ordinary" bonsai over the course of 7 odd years and yes, I'm quite young.
But either I'll look back to these days later on and use them as final proof that Kalanchoes can't be trained as Bonsai whatsoever, a proof that I can just slap into dreaming younglings faces and tell them to give up;
Or, I'll take it as evidence that nearly everything can be trained as or made into a bonsai, and tell people to never stop dreaming as long as those dreams don't harm their mental health.

You have great knowledge, theoretical and practical. I take it as a challenge, and I met a lot of people disbelieving in its possibility.
But either way it turns out, I'll learn from it.

Edit: Peppermint is easier to train as Bonsai than you think, just give it google search!
get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
[Last edited by dewayx - Oct 18, 2021 12:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Stefan
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skopjecollection
Oct 18, 2021 12:11 PM CST
dewayx said:First up, could we move the future kalanchoe bonsai discussions to The thread "Kalanchoe Bonsai" in Cactus and Succulents forum and secondly... yes. I do see that it is not an ideal succulent for bonsai making. But I see the potential in every sliiightly lignifying plant that has anywhere near a weed or impossible-to-kill status.
I have gathered quite some experience in "ordinary" bonsai over the course of 7 odd years and yes, I'm quite young.
But either I'll look back to these days later on and use them as final proof that Kalanchoes can't be trained as Bonsai whatsoever, a proof that I can just slap into dreaming younglings faces and tell them to give up;
Or, I'll take it as evidence that nearly everything can be trained as or made into a bonsai, and tell people to never stop dreaming as long as those dreams don't harm their mental health.

You have great knowledge, theoretical and practical. I take it as a challenge, and I met a lot of people disbelieving in its possibility.
But either way it turns out, I'll learn from it.


Kalanchoe in general? Great for some.

Thumb of 2021-10-18/skopjecollection/6ab802

Not the literal monocarpic weeds though. Nope.
South Germany (Zone 7b)
just mlem on!
Miniature Gardening Cactus and Succulents Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader
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dewayx
Oct 18, 2021 12:47 PM CST
I've seen enough to get to my own decisions and won't give up because of naysayers somewhere in the internet :)
get the mlems in! Don't let them get wet or stale outside, come on!
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Foliage Fan Bromeliad Container Gardener Tropicals
Sempervivums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Sedums Orchids Garden Procrastinator Bulbs
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skopjecollection
Oct 18, 2021 12:52 PM CST
dewayx said:I've seen enough to get to my own decisions and won't give up because of naysayers somewhere in the internet :)


Btw on your other post- the main stem is dying the the branches are trying to root on their own. Separate themselves and start anew. So here areal roots are developing , not because of a lack of nutrients, but for support. This happens when the bryophyllum types etiolate and or deform(originally a rock hugger). . Been there , done that. Naysayers or not.
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Oct 18, 2021 12:54 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 18, 2021 1:13 PM CST

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One person's weed is another person's treasure, right? Smiling

The word lignification is generally overused with succulents, at least if you go by the definition that it results in the accumulation of actual wood and not just old stems that have become brown and hard. Jade plants do not produce any appreciable amount of wood, certainly nothing that would require a saw to cut through, and none of the mother of millions Kalanchoes that I know do so either. We've had this discussion on the forum before, I'm just trying to shed some clarity on the meaning of that specific word as I understand it. There are lots of woody succulents, just not so much in this department.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 18, 2021 1:14 PM (+)]
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