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How to grow + care for Mother of Thousands

Want to grow a Mother of Thousands succulent plant successfully? Here’s everything that you need to know about Mother of Thousands care!

I initially got a mother of thousands plant randomly at a plant swap at a local brewery.

I really didn’t know what it was – it wasn’t even labeled – but it looked unique.

I brought it home and over the next few weeks it grew baby plants on the edges of the leaves!

When the grew roots, I popped them off and put them in soil and they grew to big plants!

I was really amused by this plant. It’s easy to care for and obviously propagates itself! It’s a great plant to share with friends.

Here’s everything you need to know about the mother of thousands plant.

What is Mother of Thousands?

Mother of Thousands is the common name for the Kalanchoe daigremontiana plant, originally from Madagascar. Other names include:

  • Alligator plant
  • Pregnant plant
  • Maternity plant
  • Devil’s backbone plant
  • Mother of many plant
  • Mexican hat plant
  • Chandelier plant

The Kalanchoe daigremontiana mother of thousands plant is a really cool succulent! It’s popular because it’s a plant that drops babies into the soil and spreads via those plantlets.

mother of thousands plant

Mother of millions vs mother of thousands plant

It’s worth noting that Mother of Thousands is not the same as Mother of Millions plant – though they are often mistaken for each other.

Mother of Millions is the common name for the Kalanchoe daigremontiana plant. It has wider, flatter leaves compared to the mother of thousands. They look so similar because they both have baby plantlets growing on the edges of their leaves.

Is the Mother of Thousands invasive?

Because they drop so many babies, Mother of Thousand plants can be extremely invasive. Only keep them indoors in pots – letting the plantlets fall outdoors can lead to a huge invasion.

Are mother of thousands illegal?

Mother of Thousands plants are actually illegal in certain parts of Australia due to their invasive nature!

baby plantlets on a mother of thousands plant

Is Mother of Thousands poisonous?

The mother of 1000 plant is considered toxic. It should not be ingested by anyone, humans or pets. Definitely keep them up and away from curious mouths.

They can also cause skin irritation – especially if you touch the milky sap – so be sure to wash your hands after touching them!

Mother of Thousands not producing plantlets

Is your plant not making Mother of thousand babies? It’s probably not super happy. It might be over watered or getting too much (or not enough) light. Mix up the conditions to help it be healthier!

Do Mother of Thousands bloom?

Mother of thousands plants can produce flowers late in their life span. The flowers are purple!

The plants don’t flower reliably and it’s not known how to best encourage it, just keep the plant as healthy as possible!

baby mother of thousand plants

How big do Mother of Thousands get?

My plants have peaked around 18 inches tall. The larger the pot, the taller they might get!

Should I Pinch Off Dead Leaves?

There are 2 philosophies when it comes to dead leaves – some people say wait for nature to drop the leaf naturally. I prefer to cut my leaves off for aesthetic reasons. Here’s how I decide to trim dead leaves.

Can you grow Mother of Thousands outdoors?

Mother of Thousands will survive outdoors in Zones 9-11. However, I say keep it in a pot on a covered patio if you want to keep it outside. You really don’t want it spreading across the yard!

close up of mother of thousands plant

Growing Mother of Thousands in a Terrarium

You can grow these plants in a terrarium but be careful – they tend to take over and can suffocate your other plants. Be sure to scoop out the babies to keep this from happening!

care and keeping of mother of thousands plant

How do I take care of my Mother of Thousands?

Mother of Thousands is a super easy to care for plant! Just remember that it is a succulent and treat it as such.

Mother of thousands watering

Water when the top two inches of soil feel completely dry. Be sure your pot has drainage holes so it doesn’t hold water!

Mother of thousands light needs

Mother of thousands does great in bright, indirect light. They love an east facing window with morning light.

They can live outdoors in the summers, but move them out gradually. A sudden move to direct sun can result in sunburn on the leaves!

Mother of thousands soil needs

Your best bet is to use a cactus soil for these plants. That will be sure they don’t get too soggy! As always, be sure your pot has good drainage so it doesn’t sit in water and get root rot!

When should you repot a Mother of Thousands?

These plants tend to do OK in a smaller pot. You only need to repot them when they get root bound. The roots are very delicate, so be careful!

It’s usually easier to just spread the plantlets out between pots when they are babies to prevent having to move older plants with delicate roots!

Why Are My Mother Of Thousands Leaves Curling?

Curling leaves mean either not enough water or not enough light. Assess your situation and adjust the conditions!

how to propagate mother of thousands

How to propagate Mother of Thousands

Mother of Thousands is easy to propagate by placing the baby plantlets in soil! Here’s my complete tutorial on how to propagate mother of thousands!

Want to show your houseplants some love?!
–> How to clean plant leaves
–> How to propagate a plant (free eBook!)
–> When to repot a plant
–> Rotating houseplants
–> When to cut leaves off of plants

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