Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora: Paddle Plant & Flapjack Plant Care

What is a Paddle Plant?

If you’re looking to house a plant that’ll add to the aesthetics of your home decor, Kalanchoe thyrsiflora plants are an excellent choice.

Why? The plant has won the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticulture Society, and for all the right reasons.

It’s low-maintenance, eye-catching, and strikingly graceful.

Native to South Africa, Kalanchoe thyrsiflora is known by several names, including flapjack, paddle plant, desert cabbage, white lady, geelplakkie, meelplakkie, or plakkie.


It consists of round, thick, paddle-shaped leaves that are normally gray-green leaves that turn deep pink or reddish on the edges during the winter season.

Given the right time and effort, these gorgeous indoor plants can pretty much please any visitor at your home.

During the spring, mature plants may produce yellow flowers that have a unique fragrance to them.

Note that there is a chance that the mother plant dies shortly after flowering, however, the plant will continue on as the offsets will persist in the soil.

Check out some important tips for growing the flapjack paddle plant.

How to Care for Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

While succulent plants do not require much effort for their maintenance, you still need to consider a few important things while growing the Kalanchoe species, especially if you want their leaves to look fleshy and healthy.

Light and Temperature

The light and temperature requirement depends on whether you plan to grow the Paddle Plant indoors or outdoors.

If you’re growing the Flapjack Paddle Plant indoors, make sure to hang them on a window sill or keep them on a window shelf in a way that they’re exposed to bright light.

On the other hand, if you want to grow them outdoors, keep them in a partial shade, as too much direct light might scorch the plant.



Being succulents, the flapjack plants are drought tolerant, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep them parched on purpose. In other words, you do not need to water them heavily.

As a rule of thumb, remember to water your flapjack plants when you observe that the soil has completely dried out.

In winters, the potting mix will hardly get dry. Therefore, you might not need to water them at all during that time.


For the most part, your Paddle Plant needs to stay in the dry soil. That is, while you do water it, bear in mind that you need a well-draining potting mix.

If your succulent stays in soggy soil for long, it may eventually rot, and you do not want that to happen.

Fortunately, well-drained soil is readily available on the market. A commercial succulent or cactus mix is great for your flapjack plant.

Or you can DIY your potting blend by mixing pumice, coarse sand, and regular potting mix.

If you are looking for a succulent potting mix, we suggest you use this particular succulent mix. It has done wonders for our succulents as it’s well-draining the plants seem to thrive in it.


Paddle Plants may benefit from light fertilization during the growing season (spring).

You can use a typical fertilizer formula for succulent or cactus plants. Add it to the potting mix, and you’re good to go.

Nevertheless, to ensure optimal growth, avoid feeding the plant during the winter season.

For slow-release fertilizer, we highly suggest this slow-release fertilizer. It’s super simple to use, and you don’t need to worry about it once you set it in the soil. It’s been a game-changer for all of our indoor houseplants.

Osmocote PotShots: Premeasured House Plant Food, Feed for up to 6 Months, 25 Nuggets
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There are three ways to propagate your Kalanchoe thyrsiflora.

  1. Leaf cuttings
  2. Stem cuttings
  3. Offsets

Follow the instructions below for your Paddle Plant propagation:

  • Use a sharp blade to cut the specified parts (leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, or offsets)
  • Wait for 2-3 weeks until the part becomes completely parched and forms callous (This would prevent plant infections)
  • For stem cutting, put it into the cactus potting mix (make sure it’s well-draining)
  • Please keep it in bright light, yet away from the direct sunlight. Also, make sure you keep the soil moist.
  • You can leave them in the cactus potting mix for stem cuttings until they begin to form roots. After this, you can follow a regular care routine.
  • For offsets and leaves, once they form a root, you’ll have to plant them in the potting mix.

Also, make sure you’re patient as you propagate your flapjack paddle plant. The Kalanchoe thyrsiflora might take a couple of weeks to show roots.

To speed up and help your plant sprout roots consider using rooting hormones. This will provide the nutrients needed for the roots to grow out faster.

If you’re looking at rooting hormones for the first time, may we suggest this particular rooting hormone? We’ve used it in the past and it simply works – roots sprout every time.

Hormex Rooting Powder #1 - for Easy to Root Plants - 0.1 IBA Rooting Hormone for Plant...
  • NO BAD STUFF: Our root hormone for cuttings is an excellent powder to use...
  • EASY TO USE: Cut a 3" - 6" stem below a node at a 45-degree angle from a...

Growing Problems

Just like any other house plant, you’ll have to deal with Kalanchoe thyrsiflora’s drawbacks. However, you can treat them pretty easily.


Desert Cabbage is an attractive sight for tiny invaders. While you may not notice them, they are likely to be found on the leaf edges.

Nevertheless, you can dip a cotton ball in alcohol or lavender oil and gently pat it on the leaves. This will ensure that no pests remain behind.



Powdery mildew is the typical disease that affects the paddle plant kalanchoe thyrsiflora

Powdery mildew may appear as white mold on plant leaves. While it may not rot the plant, it can diminish its aesthetics. You can mix baking soda, non-detergent soap, and water in a spray bottle and gently spray on the leaves.

Make sure the leaves don’t remain wet for long – pat them dry after a few minutes.

Root Rot

Root rot can appear in the form of yellow leaves, deteriorating the basal rosette structure of the Paddle Plant. Also, it slows the growth, and the plant may eventually die.

To prevent rotting and ensure optimal growth, make sure you do not overwater your Kalanchoe thyrsiflora.


How To Keep Your Flapjacks Plants Healthy?

To ensure their health, you are required to expose them to bright light. Also, keep their water demands in mind. Being succulents, they do not require water like usual plants. Therefore, avoid overwatering, or they’ll rot.

Can Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora Take Full Sun?

No, the Paddle Plant Kalanchoe thyrsiflora cannot tolerate direct sunlight. While they do require bright light, too intense or direct sunlight can affect their growth negatively. So, if you’re keeping them outdoors, make sure to provide them with light shade.

Can You Grow Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora Indoors Or Outdoors?

You can grow the paddle plant both indoors and outdoors. However, the requirements vary depending on where you choose to keep them. For indoor plants, make sure to keep them by the window sill. If you’re growing them outdoors, be wary of harsh weather conditions and direct sunlight.

Is A Thyrsiflora Kalanchoe Edible?

No, do not eat them. Paddle plants are gorgeous plants that are highly toxic. So, if you’re keeping them indoors, make sure to keep them out of the reach of children and pets. Also, wear gloves while handling the plant. They are, however, used for medicinal purposes.


If you’re looking for a low-maintenance yet charming indoor plant, Paddle Plant may be the right option. Also, you can keep them in small pots as they do not have extensive root systems.

Other Kalanchoe Succulent Plants to Consider

There are many varieties of Kalanchoe plants. If you are looking for another type of Kalanchoe plant, check out our other related posts:


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