Mother of Thousands Plant 101: Basics for Beginners

mother of thousands plant

If you’re looking for a unique yet low-maintenance plant to spruce up your collection of houseplants, you can’t go wrong with Mother of Thousands. This plant is an undemanding and forgiving succulent that is native to Madagascar’s subtropical regions. The slow-growing Mother of Thousands plant only grows outdoors in hotter locations like Hawaii and Florida; it rarely blossoms inside of the house.

Not to be confused with the Mother of Millions plant, the Mother of Thousands plant has broader leaves that grow in pairs. Plantlets appear along the edge of the leaves — which is a stark contrast to the narrow leaves with plantlets many Mother of Millions have.

Growing a Mother of Thousands plant is the best way to grow foliage at home. But proper care is necessary to ensure that they’ll thrive for years to come.

What is a Mother of Thousands Plant?

The Mother of Thousands plant (Kalanchoe daigremontiana) hails from the Crassulaceae family and is a cousin of the Flaming Katy plant and the jade plant. Apart from the Mother of Millions plant, the Mother of Thousands is often confused with the chandelier plant due to their similar traits and growing conditions.

The Mother of Thousands plant is an unusual yet attractive-looking plant that has green leaves that form baby plantlets along the edges, hence its name. Other nicknames associated with the Mother of Thousands plant are Devil’s Backbone, Alligator Plant and Mexican Hat Plant.

Its plantlets can grow anywhere they land. Getting rid of them is not an option since they are rapid growers. Since the Mother of Thousands succulent is an abundant producer, everything can get out of hand when you drop these baby plantlets wherever.

While this plant provides many plantlets for the propagating gardener, homeowners who don’t want more plants may find caring for the Mother of Thousands plant a tedious job. Those who do enjoy the easier propagation provided by this plant use pots to contain the rapid growth of the Mother of Thousands plant.

Another notable quality of this kalanchoe succulent is its drought tolerance. They are also highly adaptable to different environments, which makes them the best plant for new gardeners. So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant to spruce up your garden, you can’t go wrong with Mother of Thousands.

How to Care For Mother of Thousands

mother of thousands plant

A fruitful Mother of Thousands plant develops small clusters of flowers, which are often arranged on stems. However, flowering doesn’t occur often; in some cases, it doesn’t happen at all. If the flowering does happen, it occurs during the start of the warm season and produces small lavender flowers. After the flowering season, the primary plant dies and the small plantlets are dropped to grow new plants.

Initially, it sounds tedious. Like any plant, the Mother of Thousands plant needs proper care to flourish.

In general, the Mother of Thousands succulent is a hardy plant that is capable of tolerating intense heat. It won’t thrive in colder or more temperate regions. It is also an uncomplicated houseplant. When caring for this plant, keep the following factors in mind.


Just like other succulent plants, your Mother of Thousands plant will need a well-drained potting medium. When it comes to mixes, many gardeners mix perlite or sand into a standard potting soil while others choose cactus mixes. Using clay pots is also a good idea since it keeps the plant hydrated and absorbs excess moisture.


The Mother of Thousands plant is a big fan of bright spaces in your home where it can bask under the sun for hours. However, too much sunlight can scorch the leaf, so always keep them away from direct sunlight.


Like most Kalanchoe succulent species, the Mother of Thousands plant can live without regular fertilization. Fertilize your succulent monthly, preferably between March and September. Instead of using regular fertilizer, use liquid fertilizer and dilute it in half.

Humidity and Temperature

The Mother of Thousands plant thrives in temperatures between 65°F to 75°F. As mentioned above, make sure that plant is not exposed to direct and intense sunlight. Once you let the plant sunbathe for a while, return it inside before the temperature drops to 40°F.

In terms of humidity, this succulent isn’t a big fan of high humidity. In general, room-temperature humidity works well for this plant.


The Mother of Thousands succulent can tolerate drought, but not as much as other species. It will thrive if it receives gradual and regular hydration, especially during the growing season. Still, it can survive if you water it once every few weeks, even during the summer and spring seasons.

How to Properly Propagate Mother of Thousands

It’s easy to propagate the Mother of Thousands since it produces from the plantlets, not the seeds. As the main plant heads towards its dormancy period during the winter season, the plantlets are usually easy to remove. They’ll fall off naturally. You can also remove the plantlets from the leaf, especially if they’re ready to detach.

During propagation, lay the plantlets on a well-drained pot’s surface and damp potting medium to ensure strong rooting. Directly plant the plantlets onto the soil, ensuring that each plantlet is ½-inch apart. Next, spray the plantlets and the soil with water to keep them hydrated. Finally, cover the pot with plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse.

Avoid overwatering your Mother of Thousands plant. Giving them too much water increases their tendency of rotting, which can make them unusable.

As the plantlets start to grow, adjust the plastic wrap regularly to avoid crushing the plants. Place a toothpick in the soil to create a tent over the plastic wrap. When the plantlets are an inch taller, remove the plastic wrap and keep them in the sun to encourage growth.

Potting and Repotting Mother of Thousands Plant

In general, the only time you need to repot is if fallen plantlets have taken root in the pot of the main Mother of Thousands succulent. Remove and dispose of them or replant them in another container that has good drainage.

To repot, fill 1/3 of the new pot with cactus potting soil (or you can create a mix of sandy soil). Tamp down the soil before you plant your Mother of Thousands plant. To remove your succulents, turn the pot upside down and gently squeeze the sides of the pot to loosen the roots. Carefully slide the plant out of the pot.

Remove any roots that look dead or are broken. Also, trim back roots that are rotting or look mushy. Handle tender roots with care to avoid breaking any of the healthy ones. If your Mother of Thousands plant has long roots, trim them back so they can easily fit into the new pot.

Next, place the succulent into the new pot, positioning the top of the roots an inch below the top of the pot. Add about two to three inches of soil before tamping the soil down. Avoid filling the pot with too much soil.

Finally, water your soil with room temperature water. Let the excess water drain out of the bottom of the pot.

Mother of Thousands Plant FAQs

Is the Mother of Thousands Succulent a Poisonous Plant?

The tiny plantlets, stems and leaves can be toxic to pets and small kids. If you have either or both, keep the plant well out of reach.

Why are the Mother of Thousands Plant’s Leaves Curling?

There are two reasons behind the curling problem: your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight or you’re overwatering. Try moving it to a different location or giving the plant a bit less water.

Should I Pinch Off the Dead Leaves?

The Mother of Thousands plant usually prunes itself whenever its leaves are too dry or damaged. However, you can always pinch off any dead leaves so your plant will grow healthier.

Improving your home’s yard can mean growing a few plants. If you’re looking for a beautiful houseplant that is forgiving and undemanding, the Mother of Thousands plant is the perfect addition to your home.


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