Kalanchoe beharensis
Common Name: velvet leaf kalanchoe 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Crassulaceae
Native Range: Madagascar
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to August
Bloom Description: Greenish-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 11-12 where plants are easily grown in well-drained, sandy loams in full sun. Plants usually appreciate some part afternoon shade. Plants thrive in heat and humidity, but are intolerant of frost. Plants have excellent drought tolerance. Allow soils to dry out before re-watering. Avoid overwatering. In St. Louis, this kalanchoe may be grown in a container that is overwintered indoors in a sunny window.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Kalanchoe beharensis, commonly called velvet-leaf, felt bush or elephant's ear kalanchoe, is a succulent tree-like shrub that is native to Madagascar. It typically grows to 3-5' tall in cultivation, but may reach 12-20' in ideal growing conditions. Trunk, stems and branches are woody. Large concave leaves (to 5-14" long by 3-14" wide) are hastate (arrowhead-shaped) and irregularly lobed. Each leaf is covered with felt-like hairs, with mature leaves displaying a rusty brown color. Greenish yellow flowers bloom in spring and summer.

Genus name comes from the corrupted and unintelligible Chinese name of one species of these succulent herbs or sub-shrubs.

Specific epithet is in reference to Behara, Madagascar where this plant grows.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to scale, mealy bugs and mites. Potential disease problems include root rot and powdery midlew.

Garden Uses

Interesting tropical.