Miracle Leaf – Kalanchoe Pinnata

Miracle Leaf - Kalanchoe Pinnata

A few weeks ago, I saw a nicely packaged leaf called Miracle Leaf in the Life Division of CitySuper, an upscale supermarket in Hong Kong.  It is selling for HKD $25 (around USD $3.5).  At the back of the package, it says

Baby leaves come out from the narrow parts of the MOTHER leaf.
Put the leaf on the water or on the soil.
Treat well and small bellflowers come out. Suitable temperature is over 20 centigrade.
Place the plant in a warm well-lit place.

Miracle Leaf - Kalanchoe PinnataEven though the description on the packaging of Miracle Leaf sounded quite interesting, it failed to arouse my desire to buy this product. For $25, I could easily get myself something better than just a leaf I thought…  But last week, when I saw a display of a Miracle Leaf growing in the water while I was shopping in the supermarket, I was so attracted to it that I almost bought one home.

Well, for the same reason, I didn’t buy a Miracle Leaf at the end. But instead, I did quite a bit of research and learned more about this Miracle Leaf once I got home.

The scientific name of Miracle Leaf is Kalanchoe pinnata.  It is a succulent plant native to Africa, Madagascar, India and Indian Ocean Islands.  Maybe due to its amazing trait of miniature plantlets forming on the margins of its leaves, and its ability to grow fast and thrive beautifully in many conditions, it is a popular houseplant and has become naturalized in temperate regions of Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean.  In fact, because Kalanchoe pinnata can grow so well, reproduce and spread so rapidly in Hawaii, that it is listed as one of Hawaii’s most invasive horticultural plants.

Miracle Leaf - Kalanchoe Pinnata Miracle Leaf - Kalanchoe Pinnata

The plant’s ability to propagate itself from each and every dropped leaf is quite amazing and should be fun to watch, that I want to grow a pot of Kalanchoe pinnata and witness the process. Now I wonder if I can get a pot for $25 .  😀

36 comments to Miracle Leaf – Kalanchoe Pinnata

  • If I am not wrong, I have seen this plant when I was still a kid. Nowadays, it is not so popular anymore. We call it (in cantonese) ‘on soil grow root’ (sorry I do not know chinese, hence not able to write out the chinese character ;-(). The leaf will just root and grow by just placing the leaf on the soil. But I do not remember the flower as shown in the picture. Very interesting plant!

  • Yes that’s right Sandy! TQ for your confirmation 😉

  • wanda

    I have 2 leaves and I am not doing something right. Mine has not started to grow babies yet. Please tell me step by step how to grow them. I also have a heart shaped leaf. Can someone tell me how to root it?

    • Sandy Sandy

      Wanda, I have replied you in Tabletop Garden – A Shot of Succulent Please. Since you have 2 Kalanchoe Pinnata leaves, I would suggest you to be a bit experimental and try to propagate one of them on water, and the other one on soil. Cheers!

  • William

    Hi. They need only light & moisture to sprout roots – a wet towel in a window will due. Then the baby plants have to be planted in soil to grow of course. They are a tropical plant so they can’t take a cold winter. The plant lives for about 2 years then makes flowers & the main plant dies – they’re bi-annual. The leaves can produce many baby plants over time, but you might not get seeds because the humming birds that naturally pollinate them are in Mexico. The baby plants are delicate at first – one leaf may only produce 3 or 4 baby plants & if they all die by chance then they’re all gone — but once you have a patch of these plants, there are so many falling leaves producing baby plants that it’s hard to get rid of them.

  • Mic

    Hello, we brought one of those miracle leaves to the Philippines. For a month it has been okay, but now the main leaf is slowly turning brownish, so with the baby leaves. Is there are a way to remedy this? Is it just because of the weather? (28 degrees Celsius) or should we get the baby leaves and plant them on a pot instead?

    • Sandy Sandy

      Hi Mic,

      I am not familiar with miracle leaves well enough that I cannot give you a solution for this problem. Sorry about this. Hope you can find the remedy soon.

      Happy Gardening!

    • Filipe

      Hi Mic!

      This plant is succulent, and does not need much water, is like a cactus, the soil must be very dry. The plant needs full sun and little water. Here in Brazil also makes an average of 28 degrees celcius. When the leaf begins to sprout babies, I withdraw the entire leaf and plant on earth.

      Good luck!

  • Filipe

    I was happy with this post! I am Brazilian, and here in Brazil this plant is very common. It is called “leaf-of-fortune, ” because they reproduce rapidly. It is often used for magical baths in the religions of Umbanda and Candomble. It is also used to make juice to heal ulcers. If you want to attempt a “spell”, hang a Kalanchoe pinnata foliage behind the front door of your house, you need not let in water, use a needle to poke at the door. When it begins to sprout, grow in a vase. You will have more money and jobs, at least with me it worked. Sorry for the english, I’m using google translator.

    My email: emeiodofilipe@hotmail.com

    Hugs and good luck!

  • Annabelle

    Hello! I just bought exectly the same package today! Haha!
    I placed it on the water…hope it will be fine:)

  • Pat

    Hi Sandy.

    It’s good to see that these plants are popular with others as well.

    The Kalanchoe truly is an outstanding plant. I also have several varieties of this plant. Another nic-name given to these plants is “Mother of Thousands” in regards to the number of little plants it grows on it’s leaves. They will also grow anywhere they drop with no care what so ever and live from just the moisture the absorb form the air. Amazing.

    I still can not beleive that they can go so long without watering. Being so cold through the winter months here in Canada, I need to put mine in storage for 8 months (end of October to June the next year) in my garage with no water and limited light. To my suprise, they quickly bounce back for another cycle of life when the temps warm up and they start receiving water again.

    I just aquired an other variety with purple markings on it’s leaves, I can’t wait to see them as mature plant. Should be very nice. I will try to get some pictures for you when the mature.

    Greetings to all.

  • Jared Teng

    Yeah, i bought 2 at citysuper :V at hongkong last week.
    It’s having trouble thriving at our climate in the philippines. since its 34c here. It seems to be rotting in someparts but its still growing.

  • Kim

    I brought home Kalanchoe leaves from the Caribbean over 30 years ago and still have them growing

  • i have a kalanchoe plant for my science project and the flowers are dieing what should i do i have the sunlight on it help me i neeed it for tomorrow for my science fair !!!!!!!

  • Ellen64

    I had one for 25 years and it never bloomed. How do you get flowers on it? I would love to see flowers.

  • isaa

    tambem comprei uma milagre folha, esta a criar rebentos, esteve numa janela sem sol direto mas com calor, agora que o tempo estava a aquecer mudei para o jardim dentro de vaso,mas o tempo esta mais frio e muito humido estou com medo de a perder, pois tinha outra, noutra casa não criou folhas e morreu. vamos cuidar bem da nossa fortuna

  • irish

    we have that kind of plant in our pots, and we didn’t know how it got there its just grow and stil continiusly growing now our 7 pot have the plant it keeps spreading dont know how to stop it from spreading,,,

  • Anne

    I bought one of these ‘grape’ plants at a garden show in toronto. What do i do with the plant once the ‘flowers’ have started to fall off?? do I cut it back? It came in an 8″ pot. Should I transplant it into a larger pot? I neglected to get any written instructions on the plant before I left the garden show. I like it because it’s so very unusual. Any tips or info would really help – thanks.

  • Chris

    This site tells you a lot about the Kalanchoe Pinnata, it really is something quite amazing:


    My wife got a leaf from a Venezuelan lady at work, who in turn had brought it from her father’s garden in Venezuela. It is used extensively for medicinal purposes and has proved its worth to my wife who is allergic to most antibiotics. So far the plant has sorted out an ear infection, a tooth infection, migraines and muscular pains.

    We put the leaf on a good seeding compost, kept it warm and soon had 17 plantlets. These have been brought on in stages of different sized pots and are now about 15 inches tall after 8 months – we are in England so they had to be in a heated room over winter. I don’t water them too much, the best way seems to be to let them dry out and them water sparingly. I intend to bring on some new plantlets if possible to kep the strain going in case the larger ones die off.

  • Menake

    I have recurring kidney stones and I have heard this plant is good medicine for prevention of kidney stones. Is there a place that I can buy a plant?

    • Sandy Sandy

      Hi Menake,

      It’s interesting to know that. But sorry, I don’t know where we can buy a pot of Kalanchoe Pinnata. I live in Hong Kong, and I saw this Miracle Leaf for sale in a high-end supermarket/lifestyle store, and each pack only contains one leaf.

    • Ronald

      You can grow chayote squash from the market over water like an avocado seed big end down. Do Not take the seed out, you need the whole squash, roots will actually grow out the squash. You can make tea with the leaves to dissolve kidney stones. The plants grow huge and leaves are abundant. Check this link out: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/1492/chayote.html It is a popular squash in mexican markets and asian stores.

  • Hello I live in Hendersonville Tn and have been searching high and low for this plant I had onE years ago, would love to have a piece of one if anyone wants to share or tell me where I can buy it.My email id deecaruthers@hotmail.com

  • Clarence

    I am from Singapore. I was trying to find the name of the species of the ‘magic leaf’ i bought from city’super, HK in July and stumbled upon this site, which answered my queries.

    My experience: I bought the leaf in July. Planted it in soil somewhere in late July / early August. Only 1 stem emerged from the leaf. Roots also grew but did not take root very well in the soil. The original leaf then started turning brown.

    As I was having some reno work at home, a worker bumped into it and it got uprooted. I re-planted it by adding more soil, including covering the original leaf with soil. That seems to somewhat revive it.

    It is now puny; no bigger than the tip of my little finger and has about 6 of the tiniest leaves I have ever seen. It seems to still be growing, but very very very slowly. Or, I could be imagining it, since I stare at it everyday. 🙂

    I am hoping it will survive. *fingers crossed*

  • Maria


    Maybe someone knows where in Australia I can buy Kalanchoe pinnata?
    Or on line?

  • Valerie

    I have 2 plants. One is just now flowering. Couldn’t find a way to post a picture. The other I set out in the rain recently…. droopy but coming back. These plants looked like they were going to die over the winter inside a small north sun bedroom.

  • Debra

    Hi, I obtained 3 leaves on Ebay in which they are going quite nicely with one plant each. I want to know what can I do to coax it to proprogate another stem or two? Should i cut off the mother and plant her on her own? When do I separate them and how? Thanks for any help.

  • I have a mother of thousand plant that is under florsent lights and it has stoped producing babbies, it was out side all summer, due the cols weather in Michigan I brought it in and it looks light green with no babbies on the leaves

  • I have a mother of thousand plant that is under florsent lights and it has stoped producing babbies, it was out side all summer, due the cols weather in Michigan I brought it in and it looks light green with no babbies on the leaves, thanks

  • Chris

    I expect you’ve got the answer by now, but I’ve found that so long as the little plantlets have got their second set of leaves they are almost falling off the mother leaf and are ready to pot out on their own. They are very fragile still and take a while to establish themselves. My original plants from 2 years ago are now nearly 8 feet tall and I’m wondering what to do when they hit the ceiling. One of the leaves was dying off and had 2 plantlets growing from it so I separated them into their own pots and they’re growing well. I only give them a little water here in England as I don’t want to waterlog them.

  • Shein

    Where can I find or get that miracle leaf at…

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