Help ID my "paddle plant"?? and why is it drooping

Hi, I have this really nice succulent. It has bluish, flat paddle-like leaves that have a white powder-like substance coating them.

It's been putting out new growth (pups), which I have repotted and they are doing great.

I love this thing and I'd really like to know it's true name.

Also, the lower leaves droop. At first I thought I was overwatering, but the leaves are not mushy at all. Anyone know what may be wrong or is the droopiness normal?

Here's pix: The mother plant (I have a chopstick holding the main stem upright); the top of the mother plant and also a baby that I repotted.

Hi Leslie Ann, this is the Flapjacks Plant, which you can see more about here: Kalanchoe thyrsiflora. These are extremely drought tolerant plants, so if you're worried you are overwatering, then you probably are. Give it a good drink, then let them almost totally dry out in between. This is their preferred method of watering, and if the soil is kept too wet, they will pout, and in some cases, die from waterlogged roots.

Most likely what is causing the drooping leaves is lack of light; that and the pale color of the leaves is an indication that the plant needs brighter light with higher intensity - they can take full sun, which turns the leaves a beautiful reddish pink.

Be careful introducing them to full sun; the leaves could sunburn if it happens too fast; acclimate it to a brighter situation by degrees, a half an hour for a couple of days, then gradually more each day so in a week or two, it is fully hardened off.

Hope that helps,
Jacki

Comments for Help ID my "paddle plant"?? and why is it drooping

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 19, 2016
Stay green!
by: Kayla

I was actually doing some research on this plant myself as I have recently bought one, I actually prefer the entire green look not the red and I happened across an article that says the paddles turn red from stress due to direct sun, bright light is just perfect for them and they will stay green that way so while they may be pretty to some you would actually be causing harm to your paddle plant.

Oct 19, 2016
No Permanent Harm
by: Jacki

Turning red is a physiological effect of the brightness of the light but it doesn't actually harm the plant. That's like saying the leaves of a tree turning red in the fall harms the tree.

Nov 12, 2016
What to do with dead center stalk?
by: Mari

Hi - I was so happy to find this webpage...I didn't know what type of succulent I had and learned it was a paddle leaf kalanchoe! We unfortunately left it out during the first frost and the center stalk leaves died off. But the babies below are still healthy. I took off the dead leaves from the center stalk, but should I leave it alone or cut it off at the base? I'm not sure if it will grow new leaves or if it's spent and I need to get rid of it. Please advise! Thank you!

Nov 12, 2016
Cut it off
by: Jacki

Hi Mari, just cut it off. No point in clinging to something that is dead or dying, it will just suck the energy away from the pups which are healthy. Best of luck with it.

Mar 13, 2017
My paddle plant doesn't make babies
by: Kris

I have the same paddle plant as the drooping one. It lived outside on my south facing deck 2 months before I had to bring it in due to cold weather. I bought a grow light to help it through winter. I live Nebraska. It had red edges for a period of time outside but not since it's been inside. I've never saw babies at he bottom of the stalk. Mine is about 8 inches tall and lives in a container about 9 in wide and 4 in deep along with other succulents. I purchased it that way in July 2016 and now it's March 2016. It won't be outdoors again until the end of May.

Mar 13, 2017
Another factor
by: Jacki

Kris, sometimes these plants won't make any pups until they're under stress. A plant that is only eight inches tall in a giant pot won't be stressed enough, as in, root bound. Give it time!

Mar 29, 2017
White powdery stuff
by: Linda

But what about the white powdery stuff on stem and some leaves that someone else asked about, too?

Mar 29, 2017
More about the powdery stuff here
by: Jacki

Linda, lots of people have asked about the powder on these plants, so I've written a page about it here; Why is my Succulent Dusty?

May 17, 2017
Paddle plant got burned
by: Kris

I brought my paddle plant outside last week on my south facing deck which is where it was last summer and pretty sure the leaves are scorched!! I moved it to my covered front porch for now. What do I do for the burnt leaves?

May 18, 2017
Sunburn
by: Jacki

Hi Kris, any plant that has spent the winter indoors runs the risk of sunburn when it's exposed to intense sunlight. I always recommend treating your succulents just the same as tender baby seedling vegetables, and harden them off over a week or two.

Unfortunately, the leaves won't heal, but if they are still partially undamaged, they will still be useful to the plant and photosynthesize.

If they're totally unsightly, cut them off. New leaves will sprout from each axil and these will most likely be a little hardier and less likely to sunburn.

May 18, 2017
Sun burned paddle succulent
by: Kris

How long will it take for new leaves? Mine are 1/4 burnt on each leaf. Can I cut off the just the dead part? I would only have the trunk left if I cut the leaves off😞

May 19, 2017
It will take several weeks
by: Jacki

The new growth with emerge in a few weeks, but the leaves will take a month at least to grow to full size.

Yes, you can cut the damaged part off, leave as much as you are able that will still photosynthesize. New growth won't grow while the leaves are still on the plant though, so if you want to bite the bullet and get it over with, cut them right off.

Good luck with it!

Jun 20, 2017
ground planting
by: Julie

Hi - can you plant the paddle plant straight into the ground or does it need to be in a pot?

Jun 21, 2017
Julies question
by: Jacki

Hi Julie, of course you can plant it in the ground, rather than a pot! However, these are not a cold hardy plant, so if you want it to survive the winter if you get frost in your area, dig it up (or propagate it) well before the risk of frost.

Jul 03, 2017
Plant can't stand in its own
by: Kelly

My paddle plant used to have larger leaves at the base that seemed to keep it balanced. Those have died off and now the plant needs support to stay upright. How can I resolve this? I thought about doing clippings, but i don't have the pups you described.

Jul 03, 2017
Support with a Stake?
by: Jacki

Kathy, can you insert a thin stick like a chopstick or even a piece of wire clothes hanger into the pot right beside the plant to hold it up? Make sure it's getting enough light and isn't stretching to reach it.

Jul 17, 2017
drooping leaves
by: Robbie

I have several of these paddle plants and after the stalk or main plant gets some height to it the bottom half of the leaves start to curl under. What causes this?

Jul 17, 2017
Answer for Robbie
by: Jacki

Robbie, the leaves curl under for a couple of reasons, the main one seems to be that it's not bright enough for it. They like full sun, and if they're not getting it, they show their displeasure in this way.

The other reason is that as the leaves at the bottom of the stalk age, they do eventually fall off or shrivel up. The drooping is the first step in this process.

Nov 04, 2017
spider mites?
by: hannah

my paddle plant is starting to dry up on the edges, but I water it regularly. Another house plant of mine, had spider mites :(. could the leaves dying be from sider mites? should i treat the plant?

Nov 04, 2017
Spider Mites
by: Jacki

The usual look of spider mite damage is that the leaves almost look metallic, and dried out. By all means treat the plant with insecticidal soap.

Jun 05, 2018
Rolling paddle plant
by: Betsy

I have had my paddle plant for about six months. A few months ago when I went to water it, I noticed it was rolling around and looked like it hadn't grown roots into the soil, though I noticed some roots growing up around the leaves.

I did a little research and believed this was from watering too infrequently. I dug a deeper hole in the pot, replanted to paddle plant, and implemented a more consistent water schedule. After 2ish months, I am still having the same problem.

Any ideas why my paddle plant won't stay put? It is pretty small so it is not from the weight of the stalk/leaves. Thanks for the help!

Jun 05, 2018
Note to Betsy
by: Jacki

I think it is most likely still getting too much water. Why would it have to delve deeper into the soil if the water is right there? Try leaving it to dry out almost completely between waterings. Don't worry, they're tough, they can take it.

Sep 10, 2018
Paddle plant falling over
by: Sara

My paddle plant is about 16 inches tall. The leaves at the top are large, fleshy and pointing upwards. The leaves at the bottom are drooping down (they are smaller than the top leaves but not mushy).

The plant is too top-heavy to stand up by itself.

I have tried holding it up with stakes but it keeps falling over. I was thinking of cutting it, removing the bottom leaves, putting it in rooting powder and replanting the top. Any suggestions?

Sep 10, 2018
Note to Sara
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Your plant most likely needs more light to stay compact, which will help it to stand up better.

By all means chop off its head - then new growth will emerge from below the cut, making it more bushy. You may not even need rooting hormone. Just let it dry out (callous) overnight so it doesn't rot.

Oct 16, 2018
When is it safe to report a pup for Kalanchoe Luciae?
by: Crystal

Hi! I have a paddle plant that has stayed compact on my westward facing front porch all spring and summer. I have just brought it inside since the nights are dropping to the 50s Fahrenheit (soon to drop lower). It has one thriving pup thays been in the same pot for about 3 or 4 months now and since fall is their dormant season, when can I safely cut the pup and repot? I read somewhere to wait to repot these plants in February.

Oct 16, 2018
Note to Crystal
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

If you have a grow light and plan to keep it under lights until spring, repot any time. If it's going to be allowed to go dormant, wait until the end of dormancy.

Oct 20, 2018
Paddle plant not growing
by: Lisa

Someone gifted me this plant and told me it will grow like a runner when planted in the ground. Well i planted it, and nothing. Looks just like it did 6 months ago. Should i give up and just put it back in a pot?

Oct 20, 2018
Note to Lisa
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

I don't know where you are, Lisa, but if it's getting cooler, even if there's no frost, there's little chance that it will grow much.

Sometimes it takes a long time for a plant to get established before it takes off.

Growing them in pots makes it possible for them to feel confined more, and make top growth. I would give it more time.

Nov 16, 2018
Petals
by: Valeria

My dog chewed off all the petals from my plant. Will my plant re-grow those petals if the stem is still rooted?

Nov 16, 2018
Note to Valeria
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Petals? Those are parts in the flower. Do you mean the leaves? Yes, it will grow more from the axils (where the leaves attached to the stem).

Dec 05, 2018
Kalanchoe luciae is really tall and skinny
by: Stephanie

My luciae is about 3 years old and just recently it has gotten way too tall and really skinny.it's now in the shape of an L and not bushy at all. I live in Florida and it gets lots of light. Why is it doing this? I've gotten 3 little pups at the base that I've already propagated. Plus it's completely green. No red tips at all

Dec 05, 2018
Note to Stephanie
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

That's the problem with this plant. It requires beheading to force it to bush out and get more compact.

More on that here; How to Prune Succulents and here; Pruning Succulent Plants.

Feb 04, 2019
What happened to my flapjack leaves
by: Sarah

I bought my flapjack not along ago and he was doing great sitting out in the sun. But now he has all these brown spots all over him.

Feb 05, 2019
Note To Sarah
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Sarah, I would need to know more, and see some pictures of what's happening to help. Go to the Ask the Horticulturist page here.

Mar 19, 2019
How Can I Help My Flapjack?
by: Gina

Hello! I got one of these a few years ago, and it seems like it’s been growing too much for its own good. It’s about three feet tall at this point and cannot stand on its own, so I have it staked up in its pot.

It’s currently inside for the winter with an LED, it has nearly flawless leaves with red edges and has given me two babies (removed and repotted). But the taller it gets, the more leaves towards the bottom fall off while new ones keep coming out the top.

It’s just a very long stem at this point with a few good layers of nice looking paddles. What would you recommend I do?

Mar 19, 2019
Note to Gina
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

This is typical of a plant that is just barely getting enough light.

The upper growth is where the energy is going, leaving the lower leaves to fall off.

The best thing to do is chop it off and re-root some nice growth from the top, and maybe a couple of lower bits will make good cuttings, and then the bottom (bare) piece will grow more leaves and become much more bushy.

This is called 'removing apical dominance' otherwise known as beheading or pruning.

More about how to prune succulents here. Although this article shows a different kind of plant, the principles are the same.

Apr 25, 2019
Crusty plant
by: Emma

I bought a paddle plant recently but it only has about 3 leaves but the leaves are crusty in some places. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

Apr 26, 2019
Note to Emma
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Unfortunately, any leaves that are already damaged won't recover their former glory. Patience and time are the only thing you can do. New leaves will emerge.

Jun 05, 2019
Paddle plant turned to green color
by: Ekta

Hey, I bought the plant 2 months back. at that time leaves were dark red borders and looks so beautiful. now its summner and after 2 months all the leaves are turned green. do you know why?



Jun 05, 2019
Note to Ekta
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

The leaves will only be red in full sun, and without over watering. The drought and heat stresses them a bit and gives them the gorgeous color. They're fine, but that coloration is the thing to aim for.

Jun 22, 2019
New leaves soft and drooping
by: Niki

Hi, I have a fairly large paddle plant with 5 separate offsets. It’s been doing great until recently I’ve noticed the upper new leaves are becoming soft and drooping. It’s been under a LED light and I think I’ve been watering sparingly enough. What could be the reason for this?

Jun 22, 2019
Not enough light
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Hi Niki, these plants absolutely need very intense light - one LED is not going to give it enough, even if it's on for the full twelve hours that I recommend. For a big plant, that's like shining a flashlight on the top leaves. The bottom leaves require light too. As soon as possible in your area, get it outside into full sun (slowly, so it doesn't get sunburned).

Aug 22, 2019
Soggy leaves
by: Tamy I

Good evening. My plant leaves are becoming soggy/mushy and falling off. I just moved the plant to morning sun, but I’m not sure what is happening. Is there a way to add a picture?

Aug 23, 2019
Sorry
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

I'm not able to get pictures in the comments, Tamy I but if you start a new thread here I'll have a better idea what's going on.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Kalanchoe thyrsiflora.