Kalanchoe species

Sweetheart plant, Cathedral bells, Mother-of-Millions

Nonnative to FloridaFISC Category 2 Invasive

Species Overview

Native to: Madagascar, Africa

Many species of Kalanchoe have been distributed globally via horticulture, as popular container and landscape plants, and number of them have escaped cultivation and becoming invasive in many areas. There are ~7 species of Kalanchoe reported outside of cultivation in Florida, with 2 being documented as becoming problematic and both listed as FISC Category II: Kalanchoe pinnata (Cathedral bells) and Kalanchoe x houghtonii (Mother of Millions).

Taxonomic confusion: Kalanchoe x houghtonii is a hybrid of K. delagoensis and K. daigremontiana and as such the reporting and distributions of each are a bit unclear.

Species Characteristics

Family: Crassulaceae

Habit: Succulent herb. stems are hollow, fleshy, dark green.

Leaves: K. pinnata has rounded, scalloped leaves while K. x houghtonii leaves are more fleshy, slender, long and come to a point.

Flowers: bell-like and pendulous, green to red.

Distribution in Florida: South Florida, East Coast up to Nassau County.

Impacts

Kalanchoe reproduces both sexually and vegetatively. In vegetative reproduction, suckers are produced from the base of the plant and daughter plantlets are formed along the edges of detached leaves (epiphyllous buds). These plantlets can also be formed on the inflorescences. High reproductive rates and an ability to thrive in dry arid environments have allowed them to invade coastal dune habitats in Florida where they create carpets of plants, crowding out native species. Because they do not have a deep root system, they have the potential to destabilize these areas by reducing the cover of sea oats and other native plants who’s dense and deeps roots hold sand in place.

Control Methods

Preventive Measures

Do not plant. Do not dump landscape plant material in natural or disturbed areas.

Cultural/Physical

Hand pull, dispose of plant material securely to prevent further spread.

Mechanical
Biological

None known.

Chemical

Foliar: 5% glyphosate product. Glyphosate is an effective treatment because it kills individual leaves that otherwise may produce new plants along leaf margins. Follow-up hand removal of leaves is necessary to prevent leaves from producing new plants.

Consult your local UF IFAS Extension for further assistance with management recommendations.

Learn more about this species

UF IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas: Kalanchoe pinnata, Kalanchoe delagoensis, Kalanchoe daigremontiana

Atlas of Florida Plants: Kalanchoe pinnata, Kalanchoe delagoensis, Kalanchoe daigremontiana

EDDMapS: Kalanchoe pinnata, Kalanchoe delagoensis, Kalanchoe daigremontiana, Kalanchoe spp.

USDA Plant Database: Kalanchoe pinnata, Kalanchoe delagoensis, Kalanchoe daigremontiana

Invasive Species Compendium: Kalanchoe pinnata, Kalanchoe delagoensis, Kalanchoe daigremontiana

View records and images from University of Florida Herbarium (all Kalanchoe species)