The Copper Spoons plant, Kalanchoe orgyalis, is a succulent native to Madagascar where it grows in dry, rocky habitats at elevations of up to 4,000 feet. It gets its name from its distinctive leaves, which are spoon-shaped with tiny, copper-colored hairs that give the leaves a velvety, leathery appearance. The undersides of the leaves are a silvery-gray color. The leaves are arranged in a rosette pattern and can grow up to 6 inches long. The plant produces small, yellow flowers that bloom in later winter to early spring.
This popular plant is also known as the Cinnamon Bear Plant, the Leather Plant and the Shoe Leather Kalanchoe, all due to the appearance of its leaves.
The plant is a slow-growing plant that is easy to care for and great for beginners. It makes an attractive addition to any home or outdoor space.
How Much Light Does A Copper Spoons Plant Need?
The Copper Spoons plant likes plenty of light but prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight in the middle of the day can result in the burning of its leaves.
If doesn’t receive enough light, it was grow tall and leggy as the plant searches for more light.
How To Water Copper Spoons Plant
The Copper Spoons plant is a drought-tolerant plant used to dry conditions. Consequently, it does not need a lot of water.
As a succulent, this plant stores water in its leaves, and the leaves can be a great indicator of whether the plant is being over or under-watered. If the leaves start to turn dark brown or soften, it’s a sign that the plant is getting too much water. However, if the leaves start to look wilted and shriveled, the plant needs more water.
Err on the side of caution when watering and allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.
If you’re unsure whether the plant needs water, it’s better to wait another day or two. It’s better to underwater a Copper Spoons plant than to overwater it.
In the winter, water less often.
Best Temperature for Kalanchoe Orgyalis
Kalanchoe orgyalis, Copper Spoons plant, prefers a warm climate between 59 – 86F (15 – 30℃). At temperatures of about 90F (33℃), it starts to enter dormancy and will stop growing until the temperature cools.
These plants don’t tolerate low temperatures and shouldn’t be planted or left outdoors when frosts are likely.
Best Soil for Copper Spoons Plant
Copper Spoons plants thrive in a well-draining, sandy loam that is slightly acidic. This type of soil is perfect for growing Kalanchoe orgyalis, as it allows the roots to breathe and prevents the plant from becoming waterlogged.
Soil suitable for Copper spoons plants can be purchased from most garden centers or online retailers. If you are making your own, simply mix equal parts sand, peat moss, and perlite.
Be sure to provide adequate drainage by putting your Copper Spoons plant in a raised bed (if outdoors) or in a pot with drainage holes.
Copper Spoons plant’s native environment is dry, rocky soil and it has evolved to survive on very few nutrients. It can survive without any fertiliser at all.
If you do choose to give fertilizer to the plant, it’s important to do so sparingly and only during its active growth periods, which are spring and fall.
A good rule of thumb is to use about half the amount of fertilizer recommended on the package. In terms of what type of fertilizer to use, a general-purpose fertilizer will work just fine. Just make sure you don’t use one that’s too high in nitrogen, as this can cause the leaves to turn yellow.
Do not fertilize in winter, during its dormant period. Copper Spoons plants can also have a dormancy period in summer, especially if the temperature is very high. It’s best to avoid fertilizing these plants during summer too.
Kalanchoe orgyalis is a slow-growing plant and shouldn’t need much pruning. However, if you do want to restrain it’s size and shape, here are some tips on how to prune your Copper Spoons plant:
1. First, decide what shape you want your plant to be. Do you want it to be round and full, or more slender and upright?
2. Use sharp, sterilized shears or scissors to make clean cuts.
3. Start by removing any dead or dying leaves.
4. Next, shape the plant by trimming off any stray or long leaves. Make your cuts just above a node (where the leaf meets the stem).
5. Finally, give the plant an overall tidy-up by removing any leaves that are damaged or discolored. Again, make your cuts just above a node.
Are Copper Spoon Plants Toxic?
Copper Spoon plants are, unfortunately, toxic to both humans and animals.
The toxicity of Copper Spoon plants is due to the presence of saponins, which are a type of glycoside. These substances can cause stomach upset and vomiting if ingested.
In addition, contact with saponins can cause skin irritation.
If you do have one of these plants it’s important to keep the plant out of reach of children and pets and to wash your hands after handling it.
Pests And Diseases
The Copper Spoons plant is susceptible to a number of common pests and diseases.
Mealybugs are small, white, wingless insects that feed on the sap of plants. The tell-tale sign of a mealybug or aphid infestation is honeydew and waxy fibres on the plant’s leaves. Honeydew is a clear, sticky liquid that is not harmful to the plant, as such, but it does slow down the photosynthesis process which in turn, inhibits growth. Mealybugs can cause the leaves of the Kalanchoe orgyalis to turn yellow and eventually drop off. Treat with an insecticide spray.
Example of honeydew on leaves
Scale insects are small, brown or black insects that attach themselves to plants and feed on the sap. These insects can cause the leaves of the Kalanchoe orgyalis to turn yellow and eventually drop off. Treat with insecticide spray.
Powdery mildew which is a white, powdery fungus that forms on the leaves and stems of plants. It can cause the leaves of the copper spoon plant to turn yellow and eventually drop off. Apply a fungicide spray to treat and water plants by soaking the pot rather than by watering from above.
Example of powdery mildew on leaves
Root rot is a fungal disease caused by water pooling around the roots of the plant. It’s caused by over-watering and poor-draining soil. It causes leaves to turn yellow, wilt and fall off.
To treat, remove the plant from its current soil. Try to remove any damaged, mushy roots and then repot the plant in well-draining soil. Only water when the soil feels dry to the touch.
The Copper Spoons plant is slow-growing and you shouldn’t need to repot very often.
If you notice that your plant is becoming pot-bound and roots are starting to show out the bottom of the pot, repot in a pot that is only slightly larger than the current one. A pot that is too large will hold additional water in all that extra soil and that could increase the possibility of root rot occurring.
Water your Copper Spoons plant thoroughly in its current pot and allow it to drain completely. Then, gently remove it from its current pot.
Use a well-draining potting mix formulated for succulents. Tease out any tangled roots and trim away any that are damaged or dead. Place your plant in the new pot and fill in around it with fresh potting mix.
Water again and place the pot in a bright spot, but away from direct sun.
This plant can be propagated from seeds, cuttings or leaves, although propagating from cuttings and leaves is easier and results in a mature-sized plant more quickly.
- Cut a stem from the mother plant using a sharp knife. Make sure that the stem has at least 2-3 leaves on it. Or, if propagating from a leaf, twist a healthy leaf until it breaks free from the stem
- Allow the cut end of the stem or leaf to callous over for a few days.
- Fill a small pot with a well-draining cactus or succulent mix.
- Plant the stem in the pot and water lightly.
- Place the pot in a bright, sunny location, but not in a spot that gets direct midday sun.
- Water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch.
- Wait for new growth to appear. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Once your plant has rooted and begun to grow, you can transplant it into a larger pot or even outdoors if you live in a warm climate.
Just be sure to acclimate it slowly to its new environment and protect it from frost damage.
Overall, Copper Spoons plants are a beautiful and unique addition to any garden or indoor space, and their vibrant foliage adds a touch of tropical flair. They are relatively easy to care for, requiring little water and as they are slow growing, they rarely require repotting or pruning. Kalanchoe orgyalis is a great plant for those new to owning succulents.