The Kalanchoe daigremontiana is a medicinal plant, of tropical origin, which has been used for centuries in many places in the world for the treatment of various diseases, sometimes even serious ones.
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The Kalanchoe Daigremontiana plants are kept in the open air with a solar exposure of about 60%. Once you receive the plant, you should not put it immediately under full sun exposure, rather do it gradually.
The Kalanchoe daigremontiana (also known as Bryophyllum) is a plant of the Crassulaceae family, native of the large island of Madagascar. The plant has juicy and fleshy oblong-lanceolate leaves. It has an upright trunk, and, with time, it starts to become woody from the bottom. During the winter, if kept warm, the plant blooms with beautiful tubular flowers, from gray-pink to pink-purple.
In Latin America, where the cultivation and medical use of this plant is more widespread, it is also called by many other names, such as Arantes, Mother of Thousands, Spine's Backbone and Mexican Kalanchoe.
In Italy the Kalanchoe daigremontiana is considered only an ornamental plant, but in some tropical countries and recently also in Spain, thanks to the work of the botanist Josep Pàmies, this plant is primarily used as a medical remedy for the treatment of numerous diseases, such as burns, infections, ulcers, diarrhea, hypertension, diabetes and even cancer.
For more information watch the video by Josep Pàmies:
Do not take the leaves during pregnancy as they can stimulate the uterus. It is not advisable to take the plant continuously over long periods of time. It is suggested to take the leaves every day, for a month in a row, and then take a break of 15 days.
The plant's composition includes components like bufadienolides which are cardiac glycosides, therefore patients who have suffered from heart disease should consult with their doctor.
The Kalanchoe does not withstand temperatures below zero degrees. Hence, unless you live in Southern Italy, it is advisable not to plant it in the ground, but keep it in a pot, so that you can move it in the winter time in other places (inside your home, or in a greenhouse).
The plant can be kept either in the sun or in the shade. The important thing is to keep it in a position sheltered from the winds, especially in case of cold wind.
It is better to choose a light and well-drained soil. For example, a mixture of river sand and peat is a good choice. As in the case of Aloe, also the Kalanchoe daigremontiana fears radical rots, so the flowerpot dish should be avoided.
The plant needs little water in summer and very little water in winter.
In summer I suggest watering a little the soil when it is completely dry. Generally, watering is good every 2 days. In spring/autumn watering every 5/6 days, in winter every 2 weeks. In the summer season do not water during the warm hours, nor during the evening hours of the winter season to avoid freezing.
From my experience, this plant does not suffer any kind of diseases or parasites. The only real issue may be snails, that enjoy eating its leaves.
Plants of the genus Kalanchoe do not need compost.
Once in a while you should remove the oldest leaves at the bottom.
Kalanchoe daigremontiana produces small shoots on the sides of the leaf. Just gently detach these shoots and place them on the ground and these will root within a few days, making new little plants.
Warning! Precisely because of its characteristic of reproducing quickly, the Kalanchoe daigremotiana is considered a real weed. So better keep it away from the garden, or from plant pots to which you particularly care about, otherwise you will find yourself invaded by Kalanchoe in a short time.
As previously mentioned, it is a tropical plant, which does not withstand temperatures below 0 °, if you keep it in the garden or outdoor it is necessary to cover it with appropriate cloths or to move it in the house in colder periods. If you want to reposition it in the sun, do it gradually: doing so you will avoid damaging the leaves and you will get a beautiful ornamental plant, also perfect for preparing juices.