Growing Tips: Mother of Thousands Succulent Plant

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Learn if the mother of thousands plant is a good choice to add to your outdoor garden. You can also grow this unique looking succulent indoors.

mother of thousandsCourtesy Betty Fowler
Mother of thousands plant

Question: This mystery succulent has me stumped. What kind is it?” asks Betty Fowler of Redding, California.

Melinda Myers: All the little plantlets, or small plants, that grow on the edges of the leaves inspired one of this plant’s common names, mother of thousands. It is also known as devil’s backbone and alligator plant, and botanically as Bryophyllum daigremontianum.

Like other succulents (check out this adorable bunny ear succulent!), it grows best in full sun and well-draining soils. When the plantlets drop to the soil, they root and grow. This is not a problem when the plant is grown indoors in a container, but when it is grown outdoors in frost-free areas, the plantlets may become a nuisance.

  • Bryophyllum daigremontianum
  • Full Sun
  • Zones 9-11
  • Other common names: alligator plant, devil’s backbone

Discover 7 surprising facts about succulents.

Is Mother of Thousands Poisonous?

If you want to grow this plant, beware: mother of thousands is toxic to dogs, cats, and people. So this succulent plant is a better choice for homes without pets or young children. Check out more poisonous and invasive plants for your yard.

Want to learn more about succulents? Here’s how to grow and care for Haworthia succulents.

Where to Buy Mother of Thousands

3 Mother of Thousands(Kalanchoe crenato-daigremontiana) plantvia JujuSucculents/etsy.com

Consult your local garden center or nursery to find this unique succulent. We also found several sources for this plant on Etsy.com.

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Melinda Myers
Melinda Myers is a nature and gardening writer whose specialty is attracting wildlife, especially birds, to the garden. She contributes regularly to the magazine Birds & Blooms, and lectures widely on creating gardens that please both human and avian visitors.