11 Reasons to Grow Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’

'Pink Butterflies' is one of the most striking varieties of Kalanchoe. In this article, we explore 11 reasons why you should add this unique succulent to your garden!

Kalanchoe Pink Butterflies

Contents

Kalanchoe is a popular succulent, and it can take time to choose just one. With over a hundred species in the genus, there is a kalanchoe for every gardener. Here, we’ll share reasons you should grow kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies,’ one of the most striking varieties.

This particular pink succulent is incredibly colorful with tiny butterfly-like plantlets. These plantlets grow on the outer edge of slender green leaves. They lack chlorophyll, which gives them their noted pink hues. When you look closely at the tiny plantlets, they are variegated with hues of green.

These aren’t some of the easiest succulents to grow. The plantlets are fragile, and the succulent itself is a finicky grower. Even though they may be a bit more difficult, there are still many reasons to grow them. Here are some reasons you should grow this stunning plant. Let’s get started!

They are Drought Tolerant

Close up of a thick, waxy succulent with tiny pink leafy sprouts growing along the edge of each larger leaf.
This variety adds a pop of color to your drought-tolerant garden.

Like many succulents, kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’ is drought tolerant. They can withstand dryer soils when water is in short supply. Deep watering on a less frequent basis is best. Their deep-set root system allows the plant to access water deep in the soil profile during dry conditions.

Once the first 1 to 2 inches of the soil surface are dry, it is time to water again. Always check the moisture level by sticking a finger into the soil; a moisture sensor is also an option. This will allow you to assess whether your succulents need to be watered. It will also allow you to easily monitor for problems that occur in saturated soils, such as root rot.

During the winter, watering can become less frequent as the plant has a period of dormancy. In the summer, watering frequency often increases due to heat. Check often to ensure your kalanchoe is not overwatered; however, it’s important also to avoid conditions where the soil becomes too dry. Drought-tolerant does not mean that it never needs watering!

When planting outdoors, provide the plant with proper sunlight and water. If your region is experiencing long periods of hot and dry weather, consider watering more frequently.

They Prefer Bright Sunlight

Close up of a thick, waxy succulent with tiny pink leafy sprouts growing along the edge of each larger leaf. Plant is in an orange planter in full sun.
This variety prefers more sun than most succulents.

Many houseplants prefer indirect sunlight and can become sunburned when exposed to intense, direct sunlight. This type prefers stronger light than most.

East and west-facing windows will provide plenty of light. Beware of south-facing windows because sunlight can be too intense and cause damage. Kalanchoe prefers full sun to partial shade. If planting with other succulents, be sure they have similar requirements for sunlight.

While it does love hot weather, excessive heat isn’t great for any plant. This kalanchoe can take some scorching temperatures, but it appreciates a little shading to recover during the peak summer heat waves. It will take a beating, but if you often see temperatures above 95, you might want to consider some afternoon shade!

If your kalanchoe experiences sun damage, you can typically save your plant. Move the succulent to a less sunny location and trim damaged leaves. The plant generally repairs itself once it’s removed from the sunny location. Catching problems early is key to saving the plant.

Loves Warmer Climates

A thick, waxy succulent has tiny pink leafy sprouts growing along the edge of each larger leaf.
These plants thrive in warmer climate zones.

You can grow this plant outdoors year-round if you live in warmer climates. They are not frost-hardy succulents and can become severely damaged or possibly die if exposed to freezing temperatures. Those who live in cooler regions can move the kalanchoe outdoors during the summer, but they should provide protection for the coldest months.

If you place them outdoors during the summer, bring them indoors before temperatures get too cold. The first fall frost can be enough to cause serious injury or plant death. In colder regions, it’s best to plant in containers so you can move them indoors more easily.

This succulent is commonly grown indoors. Avoid areas where the plant will experience sudden temperature changes.

You must keep indoor temperatures consistent year-round for this succulent to grow comfortably. Indoor temperatures should be kept between 60 to 80 F.

Easy Propagation

Close up of a hand holding a dozen tiny, green, leaf clusters.
The fallen plantlets can easily be propagated with a little soil and water.

This variety is very easy to propagate due to the plantlets. There are a couple of methods of propagation. The easiest method is to take the plantlets once they fall off. The plantlets will naturally fall from the succulent and can be used to propagate a new plant.

The pink butterfly plantlets will form roots and become independent plants. You can take those plantlets, move them to their pot, and place them in indirect sunlight. Moisten the soil often. You should see established roots within 2 to 4 weeks. You can gently tug on the plantlets to determine if they have established roots.

Another method of propagation is stem cutting. This is a bit more complicated but more reliable than plantlets. Cut off the top 2 inches of the stem using a sharp, sterilized tool. Allow this cutting to sit out for a couple of days to form a callus. Once callused, plant the stem into a pot of succulent soil and water deeply.

You can grow it from seed but be forewarned that it can be difficult. Finding the seeds will be your biggest struggle. Once you find the seeds, the plant will take months to mature enough to transplant to its permeate container. Nonetheless, growing from seed can be done as long as you have a little patience.

It Loves Coarse Soils

A glass planter full of sandy soil with several small potted plants surrounding it on the table and two small garden tools next to it.
This plant will thrive in sandy, coarse soil conditions.

If you can grow succulents outdoors year-round in your climate, this variety is a great option because it grows in coarse soils. It can be difficult to find plants that tolerate sandy, gravelly soils, but this one thrives in them!

Well-draining soils are critical to success. Many succulents or cactus soils on the market are suitable for this succulent. These soils typically have sand or perlite in them to aid in drainage.

Many cactus and succulent potting soils already contain a bit of grit. If you decide to make your own, add a bit of sand, gravel, or perlite.

Unique Leaves

A thick, waxy succulent has tiny bright pink leafy sprouts growing along the edge of each larger leaf.
This succulent is also known as ‘Pink Mother of Thousands’ and ‘Kaleidoscope of Butterflies’.

The top reason to grow kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’ is its uniqueness. Succulents tend to be beautiful rosettes of greens, but this variety adds a pop of color to a sea of green. The pink hues of the plantlets contrast beautifully against other green succulents.

The plant receives its name from the plantlet’s color and shape. The tiny pink plantlets resemble tiny butterflies resting along the edge of the leaves.

Those pink plantlets will have some variegation to them. There will be some vibrant green mixed in with the pink.

The plantlets lack chlorophyll, which is present in the larger leaves and allows the plant to do photosynthesis. In fall, it blooms with tiny pink flowers.

Height

A tall thick, waxy succulent with tiny pink leafy sprouts grows along the edge of each larger leaf.
This succulent ranges from 6 to 36 inches tall.

Many succulents are low-growing and don’t get taller than a couple of inches. This one grows anywhere from 6 to 36 inches tall. This is rather tall for a succulent, which makes them great for adding height to succulent arrangements.

These succulents look great with other kalanchoe varieties, like Kalanchoe ‘Pinnata’ and Kalanchoe porphurocalyx. They also look fantastic with low-growing succulents such as hens and chicks or echeveria varieties.

Proper sunlight, water, and soil will help your plant reach taller heights. If any growth factor is off, the plant can become stressed. Stress can lead to the development of diseases and pests.

Rarely Repot

A thick, waxy succulent has tiny bright pink leafy sprouts along the edge of each larger leaf. Other faded potted plants faded in the background.
With the right soil and proper drainage, these plants will be happy living in the same pot for a few years.

Repot your succulent every two years or so. Repotting plants can be stressful and expensive if you have to do it often. Kalanchoe can stay in their pot for years if conditions are ideal.

If something is off in their growing conditions, you may have to repot more frequently. Starting with good quality potting soil for succulents is ideal. These types of soils allow water to drain from the soil. Ensure your container has proper drainage holes to allow this excess water to leave the pot.

If your container is struggling to drain water, this is a good sign to repot the plant. Soggy soils can lead to root rot. Other times to repot your kalanchoe are a pest or disease infestation, overcrowded container, or newly purchased plant.

When it’s time to repot, choose a container a few inches wider than the plant itself. This will give the plant plenty of room to expand.

Make sure the container has proper drainage holes. Drainage holes are important for the overall health of your plant. Without them, your succulent can develop numerous problems. 

Disease and Pest Resistance

Tiny green bugs crawl on a thick, green, waxy leaf.
Proper care will help keep your succulents disease and pest-free.

Aside from the typical houseplant pests such as aphids and mealybugs, this succulent doesn’t struggle with pests. This is also true for diseases. But good succulent care practices will aid in keeping pests and diseases away.

Watering properly and providing the right light are all important in keeping pests and diseases at bay. Improper care stresses the plant, making it more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Root rot is the number one disease that can develop due to improper watering. This fungal disease starts at the roots and gradually spreads upward through the plant’s tissues. It may be difficult to identify until it’s too late.

Root rot is caused by soil-dwelling fungi that thrive in excessively wet conditions. You may need to improve the soil’s drainage to help prevent the disease from developing. Stressed plants are more susceptible to insect attack, and a plant experiencing stress doesn’t need any more stressors!

Aphids and mealybugs are the most common. These sap-sucking insects are easily treatable if caught soon enough.

If you notice insects on your plants, you must separate the infested plant from other plants in your home. Depending on the pest in question, multiple organic treatment methods are available.

Overall Care

Cluster of tall thick, waxy succulents with tiny bright pink leafy sprouts growing along the edge of each larger leaf.
Finding the perfect location for these plans will be the biggest challenge

The overall care for this variety is rather easy. Once you nail down their sunlight requirements and water schedule, you’ll have beautiful kalanchoe for years. The plantlets will fall from the plant and can be removed or left to develop roots.

If you don’t remove them from the pot, the plantlets will begin to grow roots. These plantlets can quickly cause your plant to become overcrowded.

Overcrowding can lead to nutrient problems and overall growth problems. Occasionally, leaves will die and need to be pruned from the plant. This is rare, but minimal cleanup will go a long way.

The most difficult time for your succulent will be when you first bring them home. Finding the right location with enough sunlight is the most difficult part of owning this plant.

Nailing down the plant’s key requirements might be a bit of trial and error. It’s low-maintenance once you find a great location that provides enough light.

Low Fertilizer Requirements

 A small, orange, plastic container with holes in it, holding tiny pebbles inside, pushed into the dirt.
There are several different methods when it comes to fertilizing your succulents.

Kalanchoe doesn’t strictly need constant fertilizing, but it helps if the soil you’re using is nutrient-deficient. Use a fertilizer optimized for succulents if possible. If not, a balanced slow-release fertilizer applied monthly from spring through mid-fall is usually more than enough.

If using a liquid fertilizer formulation (particularly synthetics), avoid getting fertilizer on the plant’s foliage, and don’t use an undiluted fertilizer; these elements can cause burning to the plant’s tissue. It’s best to fertilize the soil, not the plant’s foliage itself.

Final Thoughts

There is numerous reason to grow this rare and unique succulent. The vibrant pinks and greens are eye-catching and create a beautiful contrast of color. These succulents look great in succulent arrangements, landscapes, and containers. Provide them with the proper care, and they will thrive for many years.

SHARE THIS POST
Hens and Chicks Plant Growing in Garden. There is a single plant near other offsets.

Cacti & Succulents

Do Hens and Chicks Spread Out or Stay in One Area?

Are you thinking of adding some hens and chicks plants to your indoor or outdoor garden? Curious to know if they'll stay in one place or spread out everywhere? In this article, gardening expert Paige Folely looks at the growth radius of these popular succulents, and what you can expect once you start adding them to your garden.