What Is a Flapjack Succulent
The plant, also known as the Kalanchoe thyrsiflora plant, is a member of the Crassulaceae family that is actually native to South Africa. There are many names to this beauty; you can find it flapjack, dog tongue, paddle plant, and desert cabbage.
Benefits of Flapjack Succulents
When you think about cacti and succulents, they are really not hard to take care of. Flapjack succulents are really gonna be a great start in your plant-parent career. They are easy to take care of and require very little maintenance. They are colorful and will really bring some energy to your home or garden. On top of this, if maintained right, they are the type of plants that you can have for years.
How Do Flapjack Succulents Work
The plant is a part of the Crassulaceae family, a part of the Kalanchoe genus of the more than 30 available genera in the family. The plan can grow up to 30 inches (75cm). WOW! Yet it takes them about 3-4 years to grow that much. Still impressive when you think about how little succulents are. The leaves are fleshy. Usually, a grey-green color and have a rounded shape. They usually have a red tint at the tip of their leaves. Yellow flowers can be seen around April and May. They might be tiny, but despite their health, they definitely have such a strong smell. Unfortunately, the plant dies right after the flowers pop out. You can cut away the dead plant so the remaining stem can keep on living.
Pros and Cons of Flapjack Succulents
- Easy to take care of
- Doesn’t require frequent watering
- You can have it for years
- Sensitive to cold temperatures
- It will die after the bloom
- The leaves and the flowers are poisonous to your pets
Flapjack Succulent Requirements
These usually depend on the environment that you want to grow your succulents. Indoors, they need the best spot for the light. You also need to ensure that the sunlight is not coming directly from the glass window to protect succulents from sunburns. In the outdoors, either direct sun or some shade is ideal for your plant but be careful about the advanced summer days. Especially in the burning days of the summer, growing succulents in shady places might be a good idea.
Soil is better as dry as possible when it comes to flapjack succulents. Soggy soil types will have the same effect, just as over-watering, which will sadly cause your plant to rot. To create quick-draining DIY succulent soil for your flapjack, all you need to do is regular potting mix, coarse sand, and pumice – and a little of your time. If pumice is not readily available, perlite will fit in perfectly.
Water is not a big need when it comes to succulents in general. Same with flapjacks, the proper watering techniques require you only to water your plant when the soil gets completely dried. In winter especially, you need to cut back on the watering significantly. In the aspect of water, if you have Echeveria, you better need to separate them.
Temperature and Humidity
When we talk about the humidity, flapjacks are well adapted to grow in such dry environments but cold… not really. Cold is not appreciated by this succulent. If you are not living in an area that generally has either hot or moderate temperatures, you better have a flapjack as an indoor plant.
Fertilizer is not a must when it comes to succulents in general. So over-fertilizing will definitely not help your plant but even will cause bugs to appear. So fertilizing the plant during the active growing period will be the best decision to take care of your flapjack.
Pests are a big concern of all plant mothers. After all, non of us would want our children to be sick. Unfortunately, general pests that affect the rest of the succulent and cacti families are also a big risk for flapjacks. The biggest ones are mealybugs, white flies and fleas. If you don’t take care of them as soon as possible, they can seriously harm your plant; you may notice that your leaves start to fall off after a slight bump appears.
How to Grow Flapjack Succulents
Being a monocarpic plant, the Kalanchoe Luciae plant will die once the flower bloom is over. When the flowers die after the blooming season, the whole plant generally dies. Therefore the tiny offsets need to be replanted in separate containers. Repotting succulents helps them to grow better in the next season.
Step 1 – Wait for the flowering to be done
Waiting really helps your plant’s tiny offsets to get as many nutrients as possible from the mother plant.
Step 2 – Cut the offsets
Once the flowers start dying, you can get a sharp knife or scissors to cut off the offsets (you can also cut the leaves)
Step 3 – Allow the part to callous
This can take up to 2-3 weeks. You need to keep the soil moist and keep the succulent away from direct sunlight in that period.
Step 4 – Plant the stems again
Once the stems are formed, you can plant them again in the succulent soil and take care of them as you are supposed to be.
Keep in mind that this needs to be done after every flowering season. Well, you will end up with such a large plant or maybe so many little roots, but this will definitely allow you to have a healthy succulent. Plus you can give your new growths as presents to friends and family.
How to Care for Flapjack Succulents
Caring for any cacti or succulents is not a big deal, but here are some tips and tricks that will make your life even easier if you are the type of person that any plant dies in your hands, then some tips and tricks on how to properly take care of a flapjack succulent.
Step 1 – Getting one
Believe it or not, yes, this is the first step because Kalanchoe Luciae can be easily mistaken for Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora, as both seem pretty similar.
Step 2 – Prepare the soil for planting
They end up dying if you plant them in soggy soils. So they need their soil to be dry to just like their environment.
Step 3 – Prepare the ideal environment
Keep in mind that flapjacks love some sun and appreciate the shade if the sun is too burning for them. However, they need to get at least 6 hours of sun every day to be healthy and they are definitely not tolerating cold temperatures so if you have harsh winters, make sure to have the plant indoors.
Step 4 – Water moderately
Basically, they only need water once their soil becomes actually dry. So the best way to water them is basically to soak them.
Step 5 – Use fertilizer only in the blooming season
Succulents, in general, don’t need a lot of fertilizer to live, so using it only in spring and summer is enough. That’s it, as soon as you follow the vert basics and go with the flow, your flapjack succulent should be completely healthy for long, long years.
Do’s and Don’ts With Flapjack Succulents
- Water moderately
- Have a dry soil type
- Keep it in warm/hot temperatures
- Get some premium hanging succulents to complete the atmosphere
- Over-water your plant
- Leave it under burning sunlight- especially behind a window
- Leave it close to your pets
Quick Tips for Growing Flapjack Succulents
- Some succulents prefer full sunlight exposure and flapjack is definitely one of them. So you can leave your flapjack outside under the direct sunlight if the sun is not burning too much. It will even like it!
- Intense exposure to sunlight will cause the tips of their leaves to turn red. So doing that, you can create such a vibrant decorative plant for both indoors and outdoors.
- Replanting allows your plant to grow healthier since the mother plant is dying after every flowering season.
- Wear gloves when taking care of the plant since it is very poisonous. It will hurt both you and your pets.
- You can actually forget that you have the plant when you have a flapjack succulent. It will definitely survive that amount of time with no water. Well, of course, don’t forget for half a year.
- You need to rotate your succulents now and then make sure all the plant places get the same amount of sunlight. Sun exposure in flapjacks is directly related to the growth rate. You don’t want to end up with an unsymmetrical flapjack.
- You need to dust your flapjack frequently. Don’t be harsh on them; use a brush; a cloth may hurt their leaves.
FAQ About Flapjack Succulents
Will my flapjack succulents die after flowering?
It sadly will. The flower season indicated that the spring bloom of the plant is reaching an end.
Can I plant my flapjack succulent only in rock?
No, not really. Flapjack succulents need soil to grow. Even though rocks will provide very good drainage to your plant, they will definitely not replace the soil.
Are flapjack succulents poisonous?
Both for you and your pets. Both the leaves and the stem are poisonous for all pets; the flowers are even more poisonous. So be careful handling it and taking care of it. You may want to wear some gloves.
Do flapjack plants need sun?
Oh, they surely do; in fact, they love the sun. Leave the best sunny corner in the house for this pretty girl.
How often should you water a flapjack plant?
So rare. You will be surprised about how rare you will be watering your plants, especially in winter. The basic rules say that you need to water your flapjack succulent only when the soil gets really, really dry.
How big do flapjack plants grow?
Flapjacks shouldn’t be mixed with other succulents as they can get pretty big. They can go up to 75cm tall in a period of 4-5 years. Even though that is actually possible most plants will stop growing half this length.
Why is my flapjack plant dying?
There are several reasons why your flapjack might be dying. The most common is that your plant has actually done with flowering, so now it is just dying. That’s normal, yet many new plant parents don’t about this natural life cycle of flapjacks. Other reasons obviously might be too much water or too little sunlight. Since the plant shouldn’t be watered frequently, too much water definitely causes the plant to die. Some of the early signs of dying succulents are weird-shaped and dried leaves.
Flapjack succulents are huge and colorful members of the succulent family. They are extremely easy to take care of and they don’t require much work. They thrive in very dry and hot conditions, so they are really good plants for new people. They can be both taken care of indoors or outdoors and will brighten up your atmosphere with bright red colors. However, they are poisonous both for you and your pets, so they need to be handled with attention. With a little bit of care, they will be your best friend for many years.
Photos from: rissix / depositphotos.com, aninalonte.gmail.com / depositphotos.com and RealityImages / depositphotos.com.