If you’re an avid plant fan, then chances are you’ve heard of a variety called Mother of Millions, or Mother or Thousands. Perhaps you’ve been wondering whether or not these plants are actually interchangeable, just with slightly different names.
Believe it or not however, despite their immense similarities in terms of appearance, they are in fact two different plant varieties, with albeit confusingly related names.
If you actually take a closer look at these two different plants however, you will actually begin to notice some distinctive differences between the two, it’s all just a matter of identification.
If you want to learn how to tell a Mother of Millions from a Mother of Thousands, look no further, because we can show you how. Below, we’ve compiled a super handy identification guide that will help you.
About Mother Of Thousands
So, why not jump straight in and take a closer look at the plants in question. First we’re going to be taking a look at the illustrious Mother of Thousands, Kalanchoe daigremontiana, which goes by many names. Some of these include Mexican Hat Plant, because of its unique shape, Devil’s Backbone and Alligator Plant.
It is a succulent plant, and is grown from just one stem. The plant comes originally from the Madagascan region, and therefore likes a lot of sunlight in order to grow.
Mother of Thousands is considered to be a poisonous plant and is best suited to a household that doesn’t have any pets or young children, as it’s harmful to human beings also.
The plant is known to grow to a great length, and if it’s taken care of well, it can grow up to 40 inches in length.
The leaves themselves have something called plantlets attached along the sides of the leaf – usually along the full length of the leaf. When the plant grows, these plantlets will drop down from the plant itself. If there’s enough room and adequate conditions for them to grow, these plantlets will take seed and form into additional Mother of Thousands plants. Hence the plant’s name.
Despite being a plant well loved by many all over the US, because of their plantlets, they’re considered to be a weed in other regions of the world where they grow and multiply freely.
About Mother Of Millions
Mother of Millions are very similar to Mother of Thousands, and they share many similar characteristics. For example, Mother of Millions also form plantlets on the surface of their leaves, although the plantlets only grow on the end of the leaves and not all the way down the side. Given the right conditions, the plantlets drop down, take root and grow, resulting in more Mother of Millions plants.
Mother of Millions, Kalanchoe delagoensis, is often known in the plant world as the chandelier plant, as it grows in little sprouts that cascade downwards.
The sprouts, or leaves, are cylindrical in shape, and they can also acquire little spots on the surface of the leaves.
The plant can be grown both outside and inside, and they do well in most weather conditions, and survive best with bright light.
These plants are also considered to be incredibly beautiful to owners, and if they’re taken care of properly, they may produce flowers which bloom from the end of a long stalk and can be considered to have a ‘chandelier’ appearance. These can vary in terms of color, but typically tend to be reddish shades.
The Key Similarities And Differences Between The Two Plants
Now that we’ve provided you with a brief overview of both of these two different plant varieties, we can move on to discuss some of their key similarities and differences in greater detail. This will help identify the two plants.
One of the key differences between the two plants is the plantlets that grow on the surface of their leaves. In the Mother of Thousands, the plantlets grow along the sides of the leaf for the full length of the leaf. Whereas, in Mother of Millions plants, the plantlets grow just on the tip of the leaves. The plantlets can fall to the ground and sprout more plants.
Both do very well in hot weather, and are very resistant to drought. When it comes to hardiness, both plants survive quite well in the right conditions, but Mother Of Millions is considered to be hardier than Mother Of Thousands.
When you see separate pictures of these plants, they look confusingly similar to one another. If you want to really tell the difference between these two plants, it’s best to place them side by side so that you can get a closer look.
You will notice that Mother of Millions has far thinner, narrower leaves. Mother of Thousands, on the other hand, has far bigger, broader leaves. Mother of Millions will also have more leaves growing on the plant in general, hence the name ‘millions’.
In addition to this, as we mentioned earlier, Mother of Millions, if taken care of properly, will begin to sprout large orange, reddish flowers. Mother of Thousands does not.
How To Look After These Plants
Now that we’ve taken a look at how to identify these two separate varieties of plants, we can move on to discuss their care. Their care routine is very similar, and isn’t all that difficult. In fact, they are a plant that we’d recommend for beginners, as they’re designed to survive.
Both plants originate in Madagascar, where the climate is very hot, and this is their favorite temperature. But, despite this, they are able to adapt to pretty much all weather conditions. This includes cold temperatures, and mild frost too.
They don’t need a whole lot of watering, so if you forget to water these plants for a while, there’s no need to worry, as chances are that they’ll still be in the same condition that you left them.
The most difficult thing about caring for these plants is making sure that they don’t spread. As we mentioned above, their leaves have something called ‘plantlets’ attached to them, which drop off as they grow and form new plants. These can grow and spread very rapidly if not monitored.
They can even become a pest and start traveling to neighboring gardens too. Therefore, it’s important to remove the plantlets if you’ve seen any sprouting from the soil. If they’re left to their own devices, then you could find them overcrowding your entire garden, and pushing other plants out of the way.
In general, if you want to prevent spreading and don’t want the hassle of picking them out of the ground, simply place them in a single pot, and away from any surfaces where they can take root.
See of full guide to taking care of Mother of Millions plants.
Are They Poisonous?
Mother of Millions and Mother of Thousands plants are considered are considered toxic because they contain a group of organic compounds called cardiac glycosides. Cardiac glycosides are chemicals that affect the heart, and they are found in several plants.
When ingested, cardiac glycosides can cause a variety of toxic effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and irregular heartbeats. In severe cases, cardiac glycoside poisoning can even lead to cardiac arrest and death. As a result, these plants are toxic to pets and humans.
Additionally, the leaves of the mother of millions plant contain small plantlets, which can easily detach and grow into new plants. If these plantlets are ingested, they can cause choking or blockages in the digestive tract.
Therefore, it is important to keep mother of millions plants out of the reach of children and pets and to avoid handling them without gloves, as contact with the sap or leaves can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction.
So, if you have any pets, or your neighborhood has pets wandering around, you’ll want to take this into consideration before planting them in your garden.
They can also be toxic for birds, so if you have a bird feeder in your garden, which attracts regular bird-visitors, it’s also probably not a good idea to have this plant growing freely in your garden.
If you want to keep things as safe as possible, simply grow your plants indoors instead.
Why Are The Bottom Leaves On My Mother Of Thousands Dying?
Some of you might have noticed some leaves withering away on the bottom of your plant and dying. Although this isn’t too common, it can happen from time to time. If you notice these symptoms, it’s typically a result of your plant getting too much light.
Try moving it to a cooler, darker area for a while to see how it fares. As well as this, try giving it a little bit more water.
How Do You Fix A Leggy Mother Of Millions?
If your Mother of Millions is getting ‘leggy’, where the stem has grown incredibly tall, and you don’t have many leaves to fill in all the gaps, it means the plant is not getting enough light and is growing tall searching for more light. If you’ve been struggling with this, try to move it somewhere with brighter light.
To sum up, Mother of Thousands and Mother of Millions are separate plants. They both come from the same family, and have a very similar appearance. Their care is also very similar. They are great plants for first-time succulent owners.