Ask a Question forum: Panda plant (kalanchoe tomentosa) leaves seem to be losing fur

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Tampa, Florida (Zone 10a)
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jolibean
Aug 18, 2018 1:20 PM CST
Hi! I was here back in February after bringing home two little panda plants from IKEA and they have grown quite a bit since then! I even managed to propagate a new plant from one of the leaves... but I am assuming it is not normal for the leaves of kalanchoe tomentosa to be so dark and shiny and hairless. They also seem a bit etiolated, so I'm beginning to wonder if these two problems are due to a lack of natural sunlight, heat, or nutrition. I have it under a lamp inside my room because we live in a townhome that faces west. I tried keeping a potted aeonium outside in the garden but it was miserable, even though I kept it in the same spot we have aloe and an infestation of mother of thousands!

Additionally, the pandas are shooting roots through the drainage hole. Does it need a larger pot? What else could be the matter?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide advice. :)
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Aug 18, 2018 9:01 PM CST
Hi jolibean, your panda plant looks okay to me, no need to repot. I would be more worried if the leaves are drying up and dropping.

Aeoniums go semi-dormant during summer. It will close off its rosettes, drop older lower leaves. So I position them in part shade, and just allow them to do their dormancy stage. I still occasionally water them, just to keep the roots alive. They will perk up again when temperatures goes cooler in Fall.
Tampa, Florida (Zone 10a)
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jolibean
Aug 19, 2018 7:32 AM CST
Thank you @tarev, I will continue to let the panda do its thing, then!

As for the aeonium, unfortunately the whole thing died earlier this summer, including the small rosette in the center. I still can't figure out what I did wrong except for perhaps not providing it with the right amount of sunlight it wanted during dormancy.
[Last edited by jolibean - Aug 19, 2018 9:08 AM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 19, 2018 8:15 AM CST
The fur is essentially a sunscreen. If your plant isn't getting enough sun to need the fur, it may have/produce less fur.

In the sun for most of the day:
Thumb of 2018-08-19/purpleinopp/1b01e5

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Tampa, Florida (Zone 10a)
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jolibean
Aug 19, 2018 9:08 AM CST
Thanks @purpleinopp. Do you think it would be beneficial to move it outside for the remainder of the summer? Is this something I should do gradually, so it doesn't burn?
[Last edited by jolibean - Aug 19, 2018 9:08 AM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Aug 19, 2018 10:43 AM CST
Where you live, plants probably only need to hide from frost occasionally over winter. If it was my plant, it would be outside except on those nights. IDK what you should do, but that's what I would do. But I would also enjoy putting some in less exposed spots to observe the differences, and I like the look of your plant very much. Bigger leaves that are a little farther apart are so much more amenable to caressing. Smiling Good point about trying to avoid sunburn, that's not pretty on any plant.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Aug 19, 2018 12:50 PM CST
Hi jolibean, when you say your Aeonium died, does it feel like the stem has gone too wrinkly dry? You can still maybe salvage some parts. Can you show me a photo? Sometimes, Aeoniums appear dead, but it is just really asleep. If there is still some part of the stem that is still very firm to your touch, there is still potential for recovery. It waits for Fall's cooler temps.

Just an example:
Mar 2016 - had to cut down into short pieces, one of my Aeoniums, it fell off after our wet winter then, and I just stuck them in dry media, positioning them in shade. Just keeping them dry, with no new roots nor any new leaves that needs to be sustained, it will not be able to take in moisture, plus we are heading into our long 6-month too hot and dry season. Makes you think it is dead.
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November 2016 - finally waking up during Fall season
Thumb of 2018-08-19/tarev/3833a1 Thumb of 2018-08-19/tarev/42dad6

Dec 2016

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Tampa, Florida (Zone 10a)
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jolibean
Aug 19, 2018 3:15 PM CST
@tarev I would love to show you a photo but the Aeonium (and it was an Emerald Ice, so pretty)... already had its funeral. It was so small that it didn't have a stem sticking out of the soil yet. The leaves were just turning crispy, brown, and dropping until there was no plant left. Based on your explanation, it sounds like I just didn't give it a chance, and feel awful now! Do all aeoniums go dormant in the summer?

@purpleinopp I'm going to move it around outdoors and see what it likes best, starting with shade first so it acclimates to the new environment without getting burnt. Also, it is really nice to pet, lol. They're my favorite plant. Lovey dubby
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Aug 20, 2018 12:48 PM CST
Hello jolibean, it actually depends on the temperatures you have in summer. In my area, Aeoniums quickly go dormant once we enter our hot and dry period. Our excessive dry heat just pushes it to dormancy. Pretty much once the rains stop in Spring, it is time for the Aeoniums here to sleep. It slowly drops off its outer leaves, leaving just a small rosette that it can sustain for the rest of the dry season. But in other areas here in Cali, like those nearer the oceanside, where it is much cooler, I have seen Aeoniums still growing actively. The variance in temperatures in our inland area is about 20 degrees hotter and drier, compared to the bayside area.

Just try again next time, at least now you know they do go summer dormant. It is always a learning curve for all of us Smiling It also took me awhile to understand that, so now I do not fret anymore if my Aeoniums are not at its best at this time of the year.

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