There is something sweet about spring. It is a season for new beginnings where you may see new life evident by the buds popping on tree branches, green grass, and vivid colors pushing through the soil.
‘Chocolate Soldier’ gets its interesting name from the rich chocolate color it displays with black markings on its tips. Unlike the smooth, powdery exterior many succulents display, the ‘Chocolate Soldier’ is a shrubby plant with long, oval-shaped leaves densely covered with velvet-like bristles. With age, the delicate stem will eventually become woody.
The ‘Soldier’ blooms during the summer months, creating petite flowers in a golden-ginger color. They have a uniquely fuzzy bell-shaped appearance similar to the succulent’s leaves.
Kalanchoe tomentosa is a versatile succulent that can be planted indoors, in patio pots or garden beds if housed in the right temperatures. When temperatures drop below 36F, give it a home indoors until warm weather comes mid-spring and summer. Protect the succulent from the frost that is associated with those low temperatures.
Bright, full sunlight is desired most for the ‘Chocolate Soldier,’ bringing out that deep chocolate brown. Morning light is favorable over afternoon sun, which can lead to burned leaves. The deep chocolate color can turn predominantly green if the succulent receives minimal sunlight.
As it is the case with most succulent plantings, soil should be allowed to dry between waterings. Saturate the soil completely and water infrequently. To ensure that the succulent thrives properly, plant it in a container with adequate drainage and porous soil.
As garden enthusiasts, spring is an exciting time to prepare and beautify our homes after a long, cold winter. Make room in your container for a Kalanchoe tomentosa variety.