How to Care For Mother Of Thousands?

Mother of Thousands can be easily cared for with lots of indirect bright sunlight, low humidity, intermittent watering, well-draining soil, and temperature ranging from 65°F to 75°F. On the sides of the leaves of Mother of Thousands grow little offshoots that fall and develop roots wherever they fall and need proper handling.

Mother Of Thousands

Bryophyllum daigremontianum (Mother of Thousands) is a lovely and fascinating house plant that you will fall in love with. If you want to know how to take care of Mother of Thousands, this article is for you.

Mother Of Thousands Plant

Mexican Hat Plant, Alligator Plant, and Devil’s Backbone are some of the alternative names for the Mother of Thousands plant. An indigenous of Madagascar, this plant has huge blue-green leaves that are slender and pointed, measuring up to 6-inches long and 3-inches wide and the plant can reach 18 to 35 inches in height.

The offshoots that grow on the sides of the leaves are the most distinctive feature of this plant. These little offshoots will fall from the main plant with ease, attempting to grow roots wherever they fall on getting suitable soil.

This makes the Mother of Thousands a nuisance plant, with the little offshoots attempting to thrive and multiply in a variety of soils.

As it is the mother of tens of thousands of other plants, that’s how it got its name. If you’re planting Mother of Thousands indoors, propagation occurs itself with the little offshoots falling into any closer plant pots and growing roots.

Mother of Thousands Varieties

Some of the Mother of Thousands varieties are as follows :

Bryophyllum delagoense (Kalanchoe delagoensis)

It is famous as Mother of Thousands, Mother of Millions, and Chandelier plant.

It reproduces with plantlets that grow on the margins of the leaves. These plantlets fall and develop roots soon, thereby growing into new plants.

Bryophyllum fedtschenkoi (Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi)

It is famous for Lavender Scallops, South American air plant,  Kalanchoe stonecrop, and gray sedum. It is grown in the tropics and temperate areas and has lovely metallic green foliage that can turn pink or red in bright sun or in parched conditions. In winters, it blooms with reddish-brown or purple flowers that are bell-shaped, dangling from the stem in bunches.

Bryophyllum gastonis-bonnieri (Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri)

Bryophyllum gastonis bonnieri is widely popular as Leaf of life,  Tree of Life, and Sprouting Leaf. 

It has waxy red candelabras and large rosettes of purple-blotched, light green foliage and has some of the biggest leaves of all the species.

Bryophyllum х houghtonii (Kalanchoe х houghtonii)

Bryophyllum х houghtonii is indegenous to Madagascar and is popular as Mother of Thousands, Mother of Millions hybrid, and Good-Luck Plant.

It has V-shaped leaves and can grow about 75 cm. It is grown in various tropical areas. It can be grown from seeds and from the plantlets growing on the edges of leaves. It spreads fast and it is difficult to get rid of this plant as the seeds are viable for a long time in the soil that germinate in favourable conditions

Bryophyllum pinnatum (Kalanchoe pinnata)

Bryophyllum pinnatum is also popular as Cathedral Bells, Life plant, and Air Plant. It is named as“Life Plant” or Miracle Leaf as the small plantlets grow on the edges of the leaves. The plantlets on falling develop roots, thus growing into a new plant. The plant blooms with bell-shaped flowers that hang downward in bunches from the stem.

Mother of Thousands Bloom

When grown outdoors, Mother Of Thousands bloom occasionally only in favorable conditions and the flowers are gorgeous pink and tube-like in appearance dangling on the stem of the plant. They bloom only when the plants are mature, usually in the late fall and early winter when it is not very cool.

How to Care For Mother of Thousands?

Mother of Thousands can be easily cared for by keeping a few things in mind:


Mother of Thousands will require lots of sunlight, and in summers, it needs indirect sunlight to avoid sunburning its leaves. In winters, keep the plant in direct sun, and in the fall and early spring, when the sun isn’t as scorching, provide enough sunlight to the plant each day.

When Mother of Thousands is kept indoors, it will flourish best in an east-facing window as it can get direct sunlight early in the morning. North-facing windows are not good to keep the Mother of Thousands due to insufficient light.

From early June to late September, south and west-facing windows provide excess heat for your Mother of Thousands, so change the place to keep your plants accordingly. 

With sufficient light, the leaves of your Mother of Thousands will be bright green with red demarcation and with less light, it gets elongated and is thin having more space among the leaves giving it a scattered appearance. 


Mother of Thousands thrives best in temperatures of 65°F to 75°F (16 to 24°C). In winters, don’t keep it in the direct heat as it can directly harm the leaves and dry the plant soon. 


A terracotta pot with holes in the bottom is good for Mother of Thousands so the excess water can drain easily. Also, Mother of Thousands’ roots are soft and need well-draining, airy soil. Place some stones in the bottom of the pot for better drainage.

Small pots are ideal to plant Mother of Thousands as the plant will be bushy and the pot can be changed when the plant grows. Growing it in larger pots will make the plant larger with larger foliage. Always plant the offshoots individually as these plants don’t allow the other plants to develop around them and will supersede them.


The Mother of Thousands thrives in gritty, well-draining soil. A cactus-specific potting mix can be used too. You can make your own sandy potting soil by simply mixing a little coarse sand with the usual potting soil. You can also add pumice, perlite, and vermiculture to it to make the soil light, loose, airy and well-draining. Soil that retains moisture is not good for the Mother of Thousands plant.


Ensure thorough watering of the Mother of Thousands plant and allow the soil (top 2 inches) to dry out before giving water again. Water only the roots, and avoid watering the leaves as they are susceptible to rot.

As the roots are very delicate, ensure that the water is normal as very cold or hot water can harm the roots. In winters, water your Mother of Thousands occasionally, and the plant should not dry excessively or it can die.


Prune your Mother of Thousands plant quite often. If the plant has become curvy and thin, nip the upper part of the plant above a big leaf as more leaves will grow on the lower part of the stem this way. 

Propagating Mother Of Thousands

Propagating Mother of Thousands is simple with many offshoots growing on the edges of the leaves. Choose two or three of the offshoots from a leaf and if you want to propagate them after some time, keep these offshoots in a poly bag to retain their freshness till you use them.

Put some cactus soil in a terracotta pot and plant the offshoot in it. Sprinkle it with some water. It will take some time to grow the roots and as the plant grows large, you can change it to a larger pot. 

You can also plant the offshoots into the soil, about ½ inches away from each other. Sprinkle some water on the soil and avoid giving more water. Put plastic wrap on the pot to give a  glasshouse effect.

Keep the pot in full sun and the soil and plantlets should be kept moist, but avoid overwatering your plant. As discussed earlier, excess water can rot the plant. Mother of Thousands likes low humidity, so remember this for offshoots as well.

Observe the offshoots during their growth and rearrange the plastic wrap to avoid pressing the plants. A cloth cover can also be placed over the plastic wrap.

As the offshoots grow about an inch long, take out the plastic wrap and place them in the sunlight for further growth. These plants can bloom with small pink or purple flowers on maturity.

When the plants become large, take them out to plant them individually in separate pots. As the roots of these plants are very delicate, dig wide into the soil to prevent any injury on the roots.

When and How to Repot the Mother of Thousands?

As Mother of Thousands grows larger for the pot, repot it to a larger pot. It is easy to find when the plant needs repotting. If repotting is not done, the roots will be pot bound or will come out of the drainage holes  of the pot.

Signs showing that the Mother of Thousands needs repotting:

  • Plants that are larger for the pot will dehydrate sooner, even in low temperatures.  
  • When the leaves and stems of Mother of Thousands show slower growth or no growth at all, the plant needs repotting.

Spring is the best season to transplant the Mother of Thousands into a larger pot. The longer duration of sunlight and the warm temperatures enhance the development of the repotted roots.

Select a new pot one size up from the one the plant is already in. It is better to select a pot about 2-inches more in height and diameter than the present pot.

The new pot should have many drainage holes. Mother of Thousands can grow in pots of any size but will appear unstable in larger pots. For repotting, put the cactus potting soil or your own mix into the pot so that one-third of the pot is full of soil, and then level the soil. 

Place your Mother of Thousands on the earth with your palm down, and open out your fingers all over the plant’s stem. Then, carefully press the pot from the sides to loosen the roots and turn it upside down. Slip the plant smoothly out of the pot.

Separate the damaged roots and cut the squishy and rotted roots. Be cautious while managing the delicate roots. If the roots are longer, cut them to adjust them to the new pot.

Carefully place your Mother of Thousands into the middle of the new pot, positioning the top of the roots about 1-inch below the top of the pot. Add about 2 to 3-inches of soil. Press the soil slightly to compact it and avoid overfilling it by keeping a little space in the pot to give water to it.

Water gently with water at room temperature, so that the soil can soak up the water. Water more times to ensure the soil is saturated and the extra water comes out of the drainage holes of the pot. Now the Mother of Thousands is ready to grow and flourish.


Q: Can I grow Mother of Thousands in a Terrarium

Ans: Mother of Thousands can be easily grown in a terrarium as they love the bright but indirect sun.  

But this plant does not allow the other plants to flourish as it grows many offshoots that easily develop roots after falling and soon supersede. 

To tackle this problem, remove the offshoots from the terrarium before they develop roots, and Mother of Thousands looks beautiful with the other plants in the terrarium. 

Q: Is the Mother Of Thousands a poisonous plant?

Ans: Different varieties of Mother of Thousands are poisonous with stem, leaves, and offshoots, all being toxic due to the presence of cardio-active glucosides. It is lethal for pets, birds, small animals, livestock, and little kids. Keep this plant away from kids and pets in the house.

Q: Does Mother Of Thousands bloom?

Ans: Indoors the Mother of Thousands blooms rarely. Outdoors, Mother of Thousands will bloom when the plant matures and the conditions are favorable. The flowers are pink in color, hanging gently over the main stalk of the plant.

They bloom in the late fall and early winter when the weather is not very cold. The plant dies after blooming and its offshoots start growing in its place.

Q: Should I nip the Dead Leaves?

Ans: You can remove the dead and disfigured leaves from the plant. The plant appears healthy after removing dead leaves. 

Q: Can I Fertilize my Mother of Thousands?

Ans: You can fertilize the Mother of Thousands every three months from March to September. In the fall and winter, Mother of Thousands needs no fertilizer. Use a liquid fertilizer diluted to half of its strength.

Q: Why are my Mother Of Thousands leaves curling?

Ans: The leaves of your plant can be curling if your Mother of Thousands is deprived of sunlight or it is overwatered. Place your plant in the sun for some more hours daily and give it less water. 

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