Kalanchoe luciae 'Fantastic'

Kalanchoe luciae 'Fantastic'

Scientific Name

Kalanchoe luciae 'Fantastic'

Common Names

Variegated Paddle Plant


Kalanchoe 'Fantastic'

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Kalanchoeae
Genus: Kalanchoe


Kalanchoe luciae 'Fantastic' is a stunning succulent with a collage of foliage colors. It grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall with an equal width. Leaves are thick, rounded, clamshell-like, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) wide, and emerge from the basal rosette. They are like the species with a gray-green color and red highlights but add to these splashes of cream to white variegation, and you have "Fantastic." It produces clusters of pale yellow, tubular flowers, on a single, up to 3 feet (90 cm) long stem from late winter into early spring.


USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Paddle Plant is not cold-hardy, so if you live in a zone that gets colder than 20 °F (-6.7 °C), it is best to plant this succulent in a container that can be brought indoors. It does well in full to partial sun. Grow in well-drained potting soil in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day.

When the soil dries about an inch (2.5 cm) down into the pot or ground, water regularly. Paddle Plant is very drought tolerant. It is susceptible to overwatering, however, so err on the side of not watering when unsure.

Fertilize Paddle Plant lightly during the growing season. Withhold fertilizer during fall and watering for both indoor and outdoor plants.

Protect from slugs and snails, which permanently disfigure the leaves.


Kalanchoe luciae 'Fantastic' is a variegated cultivar of Kalanchoe luciae.


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Paddle Plant (Kalanchoe luciae) (Hamet): An eye-catching soft succulent with a unique form that grows in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland. Its wide, round leaves fan out like clam shells and can grow wavy over time. Moderate stress from direct sun and cool temperatures (around 40F) will induce the pink color of the leaf edges to deepen and spread.

With time the leaves can grow up to 6.0" wide and rosettes produce new offsets at their bases. Paddle Plant is a monocarpic plant after several years it will produce a bloom stalk up to 3.0' tall with pale yellow, tubular flowers. The flowering rosette will die but its offsets will live on. The offsets can be transplanted or left to form dense clusters.

K. luciae grows best in hot, sunny areas with great drainage. It can take a bit more water than other succulents, particularly in hot summers. As a soft succulent, it needs protection from frost, but can overwinter indoors near a sunny window or under a grow light. Plant in containers with drainage holes and gritty, well-draining soil. Water deeply, but only when the soil is completely dry.

After trials by the Royal Horticultural Society, K. luciae won the Award of Garden Merit for cultivation performance in 2012.

Characteristics of Kalanchoe luciae

Kalanchoe luciae is a succulent plant native to Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

The plant can reach more than 24″ (60 cm) in height.

Its leaves are flat, rounded, and can reach 6″ (15 cm) long. They are pale green with red margins during cold seasons. Occasionally, if the temperature drops too low, the leaves may turn completely red.

The plant is usually confused with Kalanchoe thyrsiflora.

Paddle Plant, Flapjacks, Red Pancakes, Desert Cabbage

Among the most dramatic succulent plants, award-winning Kalanchoe luciae (Paddle Plant) is an impressive evergreen succulent with a basal rosette of thick, fleshy, rounded leaves, 8 in. long (20 cm) and 6-8 in. wide (15-20 cm). Resembling clam shells, the jade green leaves are adorned with vibrant red-wine tips during the cooler winter months if grown in bright light. Attractive when not blooming, this Kalanchoe is particularly striking in late winter to early spring when a 2-3 ft. stem (60-90 cm), arises from its center, bearing clusters of pale yellow tubular flowers.

This plant is often confused with Kalanchoe thyrsiflora which sports shorter broad leaves, doesn't turn as red in winter and whose flowers are darker yellow and sweetly fragrant.

  • Winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • Grows up to 1-2 ft. tall (30-60 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). This plant spreads by offsets.
  • Easily grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade.. Drought, heat and salt tolerant.
  • Protect from slugs and snails which permanently disfigure the leaves.
  • The main rosette may die after flowering. If you want new plants, harvest each cluster with a few inches of stem and start them as cuttings.
  • Excellent for coastal gardens, succulent gardensor Mediterranean gardens.Perfect for containers where spectacular floral arrangements can be created.
  • Native to South Africa

Problems and Pests

As long as the plant is properly watered and well taken care of it cannot be attacked by any insect pests or diseases. Occasionally hideous insects such as mites, scales, aphids, and mealybugs can attack the succulents. To get rid of these insect pests rub your plant parts with 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Overwatering can be a serious concern as it can cause root rot and decay. Overwatering can also encourage the attack of powdery mildew disease.

The plant should also be protected from slugs and snails that can permanently disfigure the leaves.

Kalanchoe luciae is a perfect choice for growing in rock gardens, succulent gardens, coastal gardens, and Mediterranean gardens. They are excellent for growing in flower beds and containers where spectacular flower arrangements can be created.

Kalanchoe luciae has two famous cultivars.

  • Kalanchoe luciae ‘Fantastic’
  • Kalanchoe luciae ‘Oricula’

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