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Kalanchoe Orgyalis

by Sofia Lara
Kalanchoe orgyalis

Kalanchoe orgyalis is a captivating succulent that creates a wonderful contrast whether it’s planted in an outdoor garden or displayed in a room accented with bright colors.

The opal-shaped leaves of Kalanchoe orgyalis which bend at the middle and angle upward have colors that range from bronze to gray on its underside while the topside is covered with fine hairs that appear to have the color of cinnamon.

As the succulent plant matures, the topside of the leaves assumes the same bronze to gray colors as the underside.

Kalanchoe orgyalis’ leaves that have copper-like colors and curvy shapes have spawned a number of nicknames such as “Copper Spoon”, “Cinnamon Bear”, “Leather Plant”, and “Shoe Leather Kalanchoe”.

Copper Spoon is popularly marketed as a small succulent but this slow-growing, multi-branched shrub can actually reach a height of 6-feet (1.8m) tall. It can also grow as wide as it is tall.

Kalanchoe orgyalis is native to Madagascar and is a member of the Crassulaceae family. From late winter to early springtime, charming, yellow-colored flowers appear as clusters on the tips of the branches.

General Information

Also known as: “Copper Spoon”, “Cinnamon Bear”, “Leather Plant”, and “Shoe Leather Kalanchoe”.
Plant Family: Crassulaceae
Origin: Madagascar
Height: 6-feet (1.8m)
Exposure: 6 hours of partial to full sunlight; exposure to the bright sun will bring the leaves’ colors to their fullest.
Water Needs: Drought-tolerant; water the soil only when it’s 100% dry.
Soil Type: Use succulent soil or combine 2 parts potting soil with 1 part perlite, pumice, coarse sand, and lava rock to speed up soil drainage.
Soil pH: 6.0 to 6.5

How to Grow and Care for Kalanchoe Orgyalis

Typical of many varieties of succulents, Kalanchoe orgyalis stores plenty of water in its leaves and stems and can tolerate drought conditions. This makes Copper Spoon an ideal plant to grow in an outdoor setting or inside the home as decor.

However, if the temperature in your region tends to get frosty and drop below 20° F (-6.7° C), it would be best to grow Copper Spoon in a movable container so you can transfer the plant indoors.

A few tips before going to your nearby nursery to buy Cinnamon Bear.

Before you introduce Kalanchoe orgyalis to the other plants in your succulent garden, we recommend isolating it for a few days and checking for pest infestation. If you don’t notice whitish, waxy, and cotton-like substances growing on the leaves, Leather Plant should be free of pests.

Assuming you want to grow Kalanchoe orgyalis as an indoor succulent plant, make sure the intended location has good air circulation. This type of succulent doesn’t do well in humid conditions. If you’re looking for a plant to grace your powder room, Copper Spoon isn’t the one.


Sunlight plays a big role in the growth of Kalanchoe orgyalis. In addition to helping the plant produce food, sunlight influences how Copper Spoon’s colors will come out.

Whether you decide to grow Cinnamon Bear in an outdoor garden or in your home office, it must get up to 6 hours of sunlight every day. Failure to do so will lead to etiolation – a condition where the leaves stretch out as if looking for the sun’s rays. The leaves will wither and die.

Shoe Leather Kalanchoe will appreciate partial or full sun but if you want the leaves of the succulent plant to attain brighter hues of bronze or copper, full sun is your best choice.

To clarify further, make sure it’s the morning and not the afternoon sun. The rays of the midday sun are too harsh and intense and will burn the leaves of Copper Spoon.

Exposure to partial sun will result in a subdued variety of copper or gray in the leaves.

As an indoor succulent, look for a window that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Buy a Grow Light for Cinnamon Bear to help it achieve full color and as an option during the winter months when it will be harder to get daily sunlight.


Kalanchoe orgyalis can’t forgive you for neglecting its everyday need for sunlight but Cinnamon Bear will be forgiving even if you forget to water it for weeks.

Water this succulent sparingly. Always check the soil’s level of dryness first before deciding on giving it water. You can easily do this by inserting a stick into the soil. If the stick feels dry to the touch, it will be safe to give the soil a thorough soaking.

This process is called the “Soak and Dry” method and is the popular approach for watering succulent plants.

If you water the soil too frequently, the roots will be immersed in moist conditions for a long period of time. The cells of the roots will rupture and eventually, rot.

Root rot exposes Leather Plant to contamination as moist soil can also breed harmful bacteria and fungi.

Pot and Soil

To prevent root rot from taking place, choose a type of pot and a soil variety that will speed up drainage.

You can choose either unglazed ceramic or terracotta for the type of pot. These materials are quite porous and absorb moisture from the soil quickly. Buy a size that’s slightly larger than the base of Kalanchoe orgyalis to give its roots room to grow.

The last thing you should check is if the pot has a drain hole at the bottom. The drain hole allows excess water to filter out of the soil.

You can plant Copper Spoon in any commercially available brand of succulent soil or make your own blend of well-draining soil. Simply mix 2 parts of potting soil with 1 part of gritty materials such as pumice, pine bark, coarse sand, perlite, or lava rocks.

Cinnamon Bear is a slow grower which is why people are amazed it can actually reach 6-feet (1.8m). To help in its growth, add diluted organic fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

Fertilizer is especially important for Shoe Leather Kalanchoe that’s grown indoors because the soil will have fewer nutrients.

How to Propagate Kalanchoe Orgyalis

Are you planning to add more to your collection of Kalanchoe orgyalis? You can propagate the species 3 ways: Cuttings, Leaves, and Offsets.

Stem Cuttings Method

Step 1: Sterilize a sharp knife with 70% isopropyl alcohol and cut a healthy stem from the main plant.

Step 2: Allow the stem cuttings to develop calluses. This process might take 2 to 4 days.

Step 3: Place the calloused stem cuttings on well-draining soil. Lightly moisten the soil with water and situate the pot in an area that gets up to 6 hours of partial sunlight.

Step 4: Once the roots have developed, water the soil only when it has dried out completely.

Leaves Method

Step 1: Perform a clean twist and pull to remove the leaf from the stem. If any part of the leaf remains on the stem, you’ll have to repeat the process to ensure successful propagation.

Step 2: Let the leaves develop calluses over a period of 2 to 4 days.

Step 3: Place the leaves on top of well-draining soil and give it some water. Transfer the pot in an area where it can get regular sunlight for up to 6 hours.

Step 4: If a root system has taken place, use the “Soak and Dry” method for watering the soil.

Offsets Method

Step 1: Choose large-sized offsets that are growing out of the main plant.

Step 2: Use a sterilized knife to cut around the offsets in order to free them from the main plant without damaging the root system.

Step 3: Dry out the offsets in a clean area and let them grow calluses over 2 to 4 days.

Step 4: Plant the calloused offsets in well-draining soil and water it slightly. Move the pot to an area that receives 6 hours of sunlight every day.

Step 5: Once the root system has firmed up in the soil, apply the ”Soak and Dry” method for watering.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kalanchoe Orgyalis Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Yes, the genus Kalanchoe appears on the list of plants that are toxic to cats and dogs found on the website of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Why Is My Kalanchoe Orgyalis Dying?

Overwatering is the usual suspect in the death of Kalanchoe orgyalis because it leads to root rot. 

Pest infestation is another possibility because insects such as mealybugs and aphids eat its leaves, drain it of sap, and secrete substances that can turn into a form of fungal infection. 


Get a pair of garden shears or a sharp knife and remove leaves and/or sections of the plant that have grown mushy or developed discoloration. By removing these infected parts you keep the fungus from spreading. 

Remove the plant from the soil and cut off the rotted roots. Allow Copper Spoon 1 to 2 days to dry out. While waiting for Kalanchoe to recover, prepare its new home. 

Fill the pot with fresh succulent soil then replant Cinnamon Bear. Don’t water the soil for 2 to 3 days to give Kalanchoe orgyalis time to acclimatize to its new environment. 

Pest Infestation

Remove the waxy substances on the leaves with a cotton ball soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol. You can also use a mild fungicide. If an infection has taken place, remove the leaf or the section of the plant. 

Use a mild, natural insecticide such as neem oil to keep pests away from Kalanchoe orgyalis. Dilute the insecticide before spraying it on the plant. 

Does Kalanchoe Orgyalis Produce Flowers?

Yes. Kalanchoe Orgyalis produces small, yellow-colored flowers that appear as clusters on the tips of its branches from late summer to early spring. 

Last Updated on June 15, 2022 by Sofia Lara

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