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Plant Know-How: Kalanchoe beharensis 'Silver Shadow'

Kalanchoe beharensis, with silvery green leaves that have fuzzy texture, sitting in a white pot, with other white pots in the foreground

If fuzzy leaves give you as much delight as they do us, then Kalanchoe beharensis 'Silver Shadow' is for you! A cultivar of the Kalanchoe's often referred to as 'Teddy Bear' or 'Felt Bush' plants, 'Silver Shadow' has those silvery leaves with texture that feels fuzzy to the touch. That fuzz actually serves as a kind of 'sunscreen' for the leaves, allowing it to tolerate large amounts of direct sun more easily than some other succulent plants. Kalanchoe beharensis is named for Behara, a town at the southern end of Madagascar, where many species of Kalanchoe are native or endemic. 

Beyond the fuzzy texture common to all K. beharensis species, we especially love the 'Silver Shadow' cultivar for the shape of the leaves, which almost resemble an extra jagged oak leaf- a striking silhouette. 

Kalanchoe beharensis 'Silver Cloud' leaf- silvery green in color with fuzzy texture and a shape resembling an oak leaf

Outdoors, Kalanchoe beharensis cultivars can grow to be impressively large, almost bush or tree-like plants, with a woody stem. Indoors, they're less likely to become as large, but can absolutely adapt to being an indoor plant. Like most succulent plants, Kalanchoe are relatively low maintenance, provided they receive ample light and aren't kept in overly moist soil, but read on for our care tips specific to Kalanchoe beharensis

Kalanchoe beharensis, with silvery green colored leaves that have a fuzzy texture, sitting inside a white pot.


Light requirements for Kalanchoe beharensis 'Silver Shadow': Kalanchoe plants do best in direct sun indoors. They should ideally be on a windowsill in a south or west facing window that receives at least 3-4 hours of direct sun, and is very bright the rest of the day. If kept outdoors, partial shade to full sun is best. 

Watering tips for Kalanchoe beharensis 'Silver Shadow'Like with most succulent plants, allow soil to dry at least 2/3 of the way down the pot in the warmer/sunnier months when the plant is actively growing. In cooler/darker months, allow soil to dry all the way to the bottom of the pot. If you need some help knowing how wet or dry your soil is, a moisture meter is a helpful tool that can take out some of the guesswork! A pot with good drainage is especially important for succulent plants since they store water in their leaves and have very shallow roots. As with all plants- ensure the soil is evenly and thoroughly saturated when you do water- the time between waterings will just be longer for succulent plants like Kalanchoe. 

The Best Soil for Kalanchoe beharensis 'Silver Shadow':  For best results with Kalanchoe beharensis, mimic their native Madagascan soil by ensuring good drainage and high mineral content. Our Desert Potting Mix is a great option. 

Is Kalanchoe beharensis 'Silver Shadow' pet-safe? Kalanchoe species are toxic to cats & dogs when consumed. Please use caution when bringing this plant into a home with pets. If you're looking for pet-safe plants, be sure to check out the Pet Safe category of the Plant Care Compendium

How to style Kalanchoe beharensis 'Silver Shadow': Because they can grow to be quite tall/large, its easiest to keep this plant in a pot by itself. We think they look great when grouped with other desert plants with curvier shaped leaves like Kalanchoe luciae (Flapjack plant), Xerosicyos danguyi (Silver Dollar Vine), or most Echeveria species.  

Did you know? Kalanchoe are quite easy to propagate through division (splitting the plant up once it produces an offset plant), stem cuttings, or leaf cuttings. For stem or leaf cuttings, simply let the cut end callus over and then plant in shallow, moist soil. 

Ready to add Kalanchoe beharensis 'Silver Shadow' to your plant collection? We have 4" and 6" plants in-stock at our Eagle Rock shop (sorry, not currently available for shipping).