Teardrop Plant Care

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Teardrop plants are a succulent Teardrop plants are succulents often grown as houseplants. is often grown as a houseplant.
Teardrop plants are a succulent Teardrop plants are succulents often grown as houseplants. is often grown as a houseplant. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The teardrop plant (Kalanchoe daigremontiana) is a succulent known by several common names, including Mexican hat, alligator teardrop mother of thousands. Teardrop plant leaves are plump and elongated with tiny plantlets growing along the edges. The plantlets drop off the mother plant to grow into new teardrop plants. Teardrop plants are frost tender and can become invasive in warm-climate landscapes, so many gardeners prefer growing the plant in containers or as a houseplant.

Environment

Teardrop plants prefer full sun with well-draining soil. In landscapes, teardrop plants grow in sand-based soil amended with compost. Container- and indoor-grown teardrop plants grow well in a prepackaged cactus soil blend. Teardrop plants thrive in warm-to-hot temperatures with average humidity, but die if temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. After the teardrop blooms its orange flowers, cut off and remove the spent blooms or your teardrop plant dies.

Water

Allow the soil to slightly dry between waterings. Water it until the water drains into the catch pan below the pot. Allow the excess water in the pan to remain in the pan. When the top 2 inches of the soil feels dry to the touch, water the pot thoroughly again. Continue watering in this manner through the growing season. During the dormant winter months, cut back watering, but don't allow the soil to become completely dry.

Fertilizer

If your teardrop is planted outdoors, side dressing with organic matter during the growing months is adequate. Side dressing involves placing 1 to 2 inches of compost or well-rotted manure around the plant’s base. Work this material into the soil surrounding the plant or leave it to slowly work its way into the soil. When teardrop plants grow as a houseplants or in containers, feed them with an equal-balanced fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season, and then monthly at half strength. Stop fertilizing during the dormant winter months.

Propagating

Propagating teardrop plants is very easy, as new little plants are continually being produced along the leave’s edges. Select plantlets on the leaves that developed roots and carefully cut the plantlet from the mother teardrop plant. Plant the harvested plantlets in small pots filled with cactus mix potting soil. Keep the soil slightly moist for two to three weeks until the roots establish themselves. After that, water it in the same manner as the mother plant. Propagation should be done in the spring to midsummer.

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