Last Updated on January 12, 2022 by Grow with Bovees
These two beautiful and aesthetic house plants come from the same family and are quite often confused with one another due to similarities in their name.
There are, however, a few key characteristics that set these attractive plants apart from one another.
Are you quite new to gardening and find it hard to see the differences? Then this article is for you. Continue reading as we take you through the differences between mother of millions vs mother of thousands.
Difference Between Mother of Millions and Mother of Thousands
Seeing as both of these plants derive from the same genus, one can say that they are very closely related to one another. Both species are originally from Madagascar, belonging to the Kalanchoe family, and therefore have similar care needs much like other succulents.
Before we elaborate on these plants’ basic care needs, let us first learn how to tell them apart.
The biggest difference between these two succulents are the leaves. So, if you are in doubt about which is which, have a closer look at their foliage.
Mother of Thousands Plant Leaves
The mother of thousands plant, which is also known as Kalanchoe daigremontiana as well as having other common names such as the alligator plant or the Mexican hat plant, carries leaves that are in the shape of tears.
Their beautiful bluish-green leaves are quite broad in diameter and tend to grow in twos, alternately one leaf on each side.
As the next set of leaves starts to grow, you will notice that they take on a shape which is somewhat rotated. This is their way of making space for the older broad, tear-shaped leaves to get enough sunlight as well.
The leaf edges are ridged, and you will find little buds or plantlets (baby plants) growing from them. A healthy leaf will be filled with these babies all along the edges.
Mother of Millions — Kalanchoe Delagoensis (Chandelier Plant) — Leaves
The mother of millions plants — which are also known as chandelier plants and their biological name being Kalanchoe delagoensis — have rather narrower leaves.
Their beautiful green-gray leaves do not grow alternating in pairs, but you will notice a bunch of four to six leaves which grow out from the leaf nodes of the plant’s stem.
The color of its foliage is beautiful. Displaying colors of purple and gray-green. Another unique aspect of chandelier plant leaves are the plantlets or baby plants that grow out from the leaf tips.
Upon closer observation, one would find a number of two to four plantlets shooting out from the millions plants’ narrow leaf tips. These little plantlets are the reasoning behind the name, Chandelier plant.
Looking at the stem of the mother of thousands plant, you will find that it has a cylindrical shape which has a surface that is smooth to the touch. You will find that this central stalk bears a grayish-green colour.
The stalk is usually central and single, growing straight up towards the sunlight. This single stalk often falls over as a result of the plant’s heavy leaves. Even after falling, it will continue to grow.
The mother of millions, on the other hand, rather than a central stem, has several fleshy stems shooting up from the same plant.
They most commonly have the habit of growing upwards, but they can also grow in such a way that they form little patches resembling bushes.
The mother of millions flowers start blooming in winter, presenting magnificent red flowers.
The mother of thousands plant, on the other hand, shows off lovely clusters of pink flowers. And this succulent plant blooms in spring time.
Propagating With Baby Plants
Propagation of the mother of millions, can be done through the use of their seed.
The mother of thousands, however, cannot grow seeds. Propagation would take place by using the unique plantlets that grow from their leaf edges.
The Toxicity of This Succulent Plant
Plants of the Kalanchoe family — including the two mothers — are considered to be toxic to dogs, cats, cattle and birds, according to the ASPAC — the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
They contain a toxin which is known as bufadienolide which poses a deadly threat as it causes sporadic changes to the rate at which the heart beats. It may even cause the heart to stop beating, in cases of severe toxicity.
Both the mother of thousands and the mother of millions are classified to be rarely severe or mild to moderately toxic.
The first symptoms after ingestion by pets would be an upset stomach and vomiting. These symptoms could be fatal if large amounts are ingested.
Care Tips & Similarities
As mentioned above, these plants are native to Madagascar and their care requirements are the same.
Brief Care Guide
Both of these Kalanchoe plant varieties are easy to care for and grow well with minimal care. They easily adapt to their surrounding conditions. From drought times to mild frost as well as humid and dry conditions.
If the temperature, however, falls below freezing point, move the shrubs indoors. The ideal temperature range would lie between 20-28 degrees Celsius.
Both of these two plants thrive well in bright direct sunlight, but can also survive quite well in areas of indirect light.
Water succulents infrequently but heavily when you do. But, always be careful of over watering, conditions that are too wet, may cause root rot. Watering about once to twice every week should be enough.
When it comes to the soil department, both plants enjoy loose and well-draining soil. One type of soil that is great to add to your container is good cactus soil.
To help the drainage and avoid water accumulation, choose a container that can provide proper drainage. These plants are not fond of sitting in water over longer periods of time.
Both plants have the tendency to grow quite vigorously. to the point where they become invasive to other plants.
In order to control and contain this vigorous growth, most succulent gardeners keep them in containers.
These shrubs are survivors. This makes them disease resistant and resistant to plant pests.
In many areas, both the mother of thousands and the mother of millions, are considered to be invasive species.
They are known to grow quite rapidly and very invasively if not controlled. You might want to consider keeping these rapid growers away from other plants because they grow so aggressively.
These plants are so aggressive that they can easily take over areas in the garden and stifle the growth of other plants surrounding them.
Although very attractive to look at due to their beautiful flowers, some people want to get rid of them due to their invasive nature and rapid growth rate.
They are hard to get rid of because new plants very easily grow from the plantlets or baby plants that fall from their leaves. And although these baby plantlets are easily removed, their seeds can live in soil for a long time from which new plants can grow long after the mother plant is removed.
Our advice is to grow them in shallow pots. This way, they only have their own soil to grow in, and they are unable to take over other beautiful plants in your garden.
Where To Get These Plants
One can get these succulents just about anywhere. If you see them growing publically, for example, grab a few of the plantlets and start growing them at home.
There are plenty of succulent pages on social media platforms such as Facebook where you will be able to find these plants.
You might even have a succulent and cactus club or society in your local area, where you can ask for advice on where to get the mothers.
The mother of thousands and the mother of millions plant are both succulents deriving from the same family. They are two different types of succulents but very similar in looks.
Both are often considered as invasive weeds, but if grown carefully and properly, one should experience minimal issues. Both are toxic to pets.
The main difference between these two Kalanchoe plant varieties lies in the appearance of their leaves.
The mother of thousands carries leaves which grow in pairs. They have broader leaves and the mother plant has plantlets growing from the leaf margin.
The mother of millions, on the other hand, has single growing narrow leaves and their plantlets can be found growing on the leaf tips.
We hope that this information will help you to tell the difference between the two mother plants. Simply look at the leaves, and you will be good to go.