The plant, to which around 30 different species can be counted, belongs to the thick-leaf family and is assigned to the genus Kalanchoe. Most of the descendants are found growing wild in Africa, but the brood leaf is now also often cultivated in living rooms at home. The breeding leaf is very robust and is rarely attacked by pests.

Choice of location and optimal soil conditions

The breeding leaf is predestined for keeping as a houseplant and is therefore preferably cultivated in the apartment. Here the plant feels particularly comfortable in a light and airy location. A sunny location ensures particularly vigorous growth; In addition, the rays of the sun ensure the expression of a pretty leaf pattern. A place on the windowsill is well suited if it is oriented to the southwest. However, the breeding leaf should also be protected from direct exposure to the midday sun. Dry heating air, on the other hand, does not bother the plant. With high humidity, however, the susceptibility of the plant to various diseases can increase; so the crop is particularly often attacked by powdery mildew under these conditions. The breeding leaf can also be cultivated outdoors in summer; then a sunny location should be chosen; But the robust plant also thrives in slightly shady areas in the garden.

However, the breeding leaf should also be protected from strong wind and rain, which is why half-roofed areas are particularly suitable. The plant also thrives on the balcony or terrace. Before the first frost, the plant must then be brought back into the house.

In addition to the optimal location, the substrate for the plant should also be carefully selected, which must have certain properties:

  • loose texture
  • permeable to water
  • light and porous
  • slightly calcareous

Soil that is also used for succulents and cacti is best. Mixtures of potting soil and sand in a 1: 1 ratio can also be used. Since cactus soil is quite expensive, the substrate can be made from granules of clay, lava and pumice.

Particular attention should be paid to the pot so that the breeding leaf thrives optimally. Clay pots are particularly suitable; these let through both water and air and thus meet the requirements of the plant. In the case of plastic flower pots, on the other hand, this permeability does not exist; If such vessels are used, there is a slight risk of rotting because the soil dries very slowly after watering with too much water. Such plastic pots are therefore only suitable if they are always optimally watered. Saucers are ideal as a catch basin for overflowing liquid after watering. Here you can see how much water is left in the vessel. If a planter is used, however, this assessment is not possible;

Care: watering, fertilizing, wintering

As plants from Africa suggest, the breeding leaf stores a lot of fluid in its fleshy leaves. Accordingly, the plant rarely needs to be watered. During the summer months it is enough to water once or twice a week. Young plants also receive a little more liquid if necessary. In winter, a single dose of water per week is usually sufficient to optimally supply the breeding leaf. Basically you only have to water when the plant is completely dry. The optimal pouring amount is very easy to determine; After irrigation, the entire soil can be completely covered with water for a short time. Any excess liquid that has accumulated in the coaster after about five minutes is discarded. This will prevent the roots from rotting. To be able to judge Whether or not re-watering is necessary, however, can also be assessed on the plant itself. To do this, take the leaves between your thumb and forefinger and carefully press them. If the plant feels firm and full, watering is not necessary. If, on the other hand, the leaves gradually lose tension and feel soft, they should be watered again. To avoid waterlogging, the bottom of the pot can also be covered with a layer of gravel. should be poured again. To avoid waterlogging, the bottom of the pot can also be covered with a layer of gravel. should be poured again. To avoid waterlogging, the bottom of the pot can also be covered with a layer of gravel.

Note : The leaves don’t feel firm again until one day after watering!

The breeding leaf hardly needs any additional care; usually no fertilization is required. During the summer months, however, a liquid fertilizer for cacti can be used for improved growth, which is added to the irrigation water. The fertilization can be done monthly during the warm season. There is no fertilization in winter. In addition, little is poured at cool temperatures.The hatching leaf is overwintered at around 10 ° C; then pretty inflorescences form in spring, especially on larger plants. The breeding leaf only grows compactly at these temperatures. Heated rooms, on the other hand, are less suitable; here the breeding leaf forms long and thin shoots in winter. In addition, flower formation is severely restricted.

Repotting and cutting

Repotting and regular pruning are part of the maintenance of the breeding leaf. When repotting, certain aspects must be observed:

  • Repotting is necessary when the roots grow out of the holes in the bottom of the pot
  • The best time to repot is in March after the hibernation period
  • The new pot should have 2cm of space for new soil
  • In the course of repotting, it is worth taking care of the cut

The plant is pruned to reduce dehydration. This can only affect the stem, but also all other parts of the plant or the entire plant. The species Bryophyllum pinnatum, which often dries up completely, is particularly endangered. A sharp knife must be used for cutting; a small saw can also be used. After the cut, the exuding sap should be carefully wiped off. The cut surfaces are to be treated with a wound medicine. After pruning, new shoots form in a flash, which settle near the interface.

Note: After a targeted pruning, the breeding leaf grows bushier.

Special method of propagation

The propagation of the breeding leaf is unique and is one of the most important features of the plant. So the plant is able to reproduce vegetatively. Fully developed small young plants – also called Kindl – grow on the leaf margins, which are often even provided with small roots. These small plants can easily be removed and potted. For this, the plants are placed on moist soil and moved to a sunny place. The substrate must then always be kept slightly moist, but should never be wet. The roots usually develop very quickly. After six months, the breeding leaf usually produces its own small daughter plants. The mother plant loses the children if they are not separated for the purpose of reproduction. When the daughter plants then get on the ground, they root themselves within a very short time. The removal of the child from the mother plant can also take place if no increase is desired; if the small plants are separated regularly, the vigor of the plant is better preserved.

In addition to the cultivation of daughter plants, however, classic methods of propagation can also be used. After flowering, the breeding leaves form plenty of seed capsules, in which hundreds of tiny seeds are hidden that can be used for reproduction. Some varieties, for example Bryophyllum fedtschenkoi, can also be propagated via shoots; these grow out of the earth. But side shoots are also suitable. In addition, plants that have grown too big can be “beheaded”, especially if the breeding leaf has become too big and the stems are only presented as a long, bare stick. On the upper part of the separated plant, roots then quickly form again, and the stem also forms new shoots again.

Pests and diseases

The breeding leaf is rarely attacked by diseases and pests. However, mistakes in care and location can have a negative impact on the plant. If the plant is in a too moist location, the roots rot and the development of “springtails” is favored. Drastic damage is generally not to be expected from this pest, because it is normal soil organisms. However, if the population is very high, springtails sometimes also eat fiber roots. A very simple measure is available for effective control: the pot is placed in a larger cachepot in the sink and flooded with water; the springtails then swim on top and are removed with the rinse water. But deliberately keeping the plant dry also decimates the pest population.

If the plant is cultivated in a location where there is persistent high humidity, the plant can also easily be attacked by powdery mildew. This disease shows a very characteristic damage pattern:

  • white or gray spots on the parts of the plant
  • rolled leaves
  • Poor stature
  • discoloration of the covering in later stages

The powdery mildew can be combated with mild fungicides; lecithin preparations and sulfur-based products are primarily available for this purpose. Various plant strengtheners can be used preventively so that an infestation does not occur in the first place. Broths made from garlic or horsetail help just as well as specifically sprayed salt water.

In addition to the excessively high humidity, further care mistakes can lead to damage to the plant. Too warm overwintering and over-fertilization also have a negative effect on the crop; The breeding leaf develops long thin shoots with such care errors. In addition, the characteristic growth is lost and there is no flower formation.

Naming of the plant: “Goethe plant”

The breeding leaf is also known by numerous other names; The plant is particularly popular as the “Goethe plant”. The reason lies in the enthusiasm that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe aroused for this type of plant. He withdrew from the brood buds for 18 generations, which he called the “pantheistic plant” because of their extraordinary ability to reproduce. With this description, the well-known poet tried to make it clear that the divine can be found within the plant.

Not only Goethe takes a liking to the extraordinary plant, which is particularly impressive because of its ability to grow and multiply. Since the breeding leaf is also very robust and easy to care for, the plant has established itself as a popular houseplant that is suitable for both beginners and advanced plant enthusiasts.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *