Saturday, February 28, 2015

My favorite plant this week: Bryophyllum manginii

This week, perhaps due to our partially cloudy skies, my eyes were drawn to the most vivid colors in the garden.  In selecting a plant as my favorite of the week to link to Loree's monthly favorites wrap-up at danger garden, I debated a few possibilities, including Callistemon 'Hot Pink' and Calliandra haematocephala.

Callistemon 'Hot Pink" has only been in my garden about 6 weeks and this is its first flower so I decided it deserves more time to reach its potential

Calliandra haematocephala has already received a lot of attention in this blog so I decided to direct my attention elsewhere for this post

I settled on Bryophyllum manginii, one of the relatively few plants I picked up during a visit to Roger's Gardens with friends last week.

Bryophyllum manginii sitting on my backyard patio

I remember being tempted by this plant last year and, as it was on "special" when I visited Roger's, how could I pass it up?  I even stopped by my local garden center last week and purchased a Talavera-style pot to put it in.  Although priced well below Talavera norms, the pot still cost more than three times the amount of the plant but so be it.  It needed that pot.

The plant was labeled as Kalanchoe manganii 'Bette's Red Bells,' but it appears that it's now classified as Bryophyllum manginii, although Kalanchoe manginii is listed as a synonym on The Plant List.  One of its common names is chandelier plant, which is a fitting description of its arching flower stems.

The evergreen succulent foliage isn't particularly distinctive.

However, the salmon-red, bell-shaped flowers are very pretty, reminding me of those borne by Phygelius.

The plant is native to Madagascar and is very tender.  On-line sources indicate that its best kept at temperatures above 50 to 55F (10 to 12C), which means that I need to exercise care with it even here.  Although the plant was shown in full sun and the tag recommended full to partial sun, other sources reference partial shade.  As long as our temperatures remain cool, I'll leave it where it sits on the backyard patio in full sun but, if it becomes stressed or the temperatures jump back up into the mid-80sF, I'll move it to the side yard patio, which gets just morning sun.

This pretty, tender Bryophyllum manginii is my favorite plant this week.  You can see last week's favorite, Gaillardia aristata 'Gallo Peach,' in my Bloom Day Postscript.  It's still blooming its heart out in one of my backyard borders.

Gaillardia aristata 'Gallo Peach' line the front of this bed along the backyard patio

Visit Loree at danger garden to find her favorite plants wrap-up for February and links to other gardeners favorite plant picks.

All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


  1. Oh, my! What gorgeous plants!!! When I first got a peak of your callistemons, I thought you couldn't do better than that! But you have surpassed that with the Bryophyllum manginii whatever that is when it's at home. Oh, a kalanchoe, equally unpronounceable. Wonder how long the flowers will last on the plant?

  2. Both very nice with the bright colours seemingly popping out from the screen,

  3. The Bryophyllum manginii sure is a stunner, but its pot surely makes it pop. What a lovely find! The two runners-up (Callistemon and Calliandra) are hard to beat, but wow, those vibrant colours are amazing!

  4. Love that plant!! Our local nursery has been getting in a small selection of tropical/succulents each summer so I'll have to keep an eye for that one. :o) Maybe I could even overwinter it indoors.....

  5. 50 - 55?!? That's crazy! I can see why you needed the pot, they go well together. I liked your other two options as well.

  6. How different spring you have with daffodils and tropical plants.
    We have early spring now, and it's time to cut down old dry plants, something that you never need to do?
    The winter months here is pretty calm. If it not will be too much snow.
    A time to do some other things, such as painting,I will post a picture of an anemone which I painted from your photograph. Best wishes

  7. What you have looks more like kalanchoe mirabella.


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