Mother of Millions Plant Benefits

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Have you ever seen the mother of millions plant? You’ll be excited when you see how easily new plants grow from the leaf of the mother plant.

The mother of millions is a beautiful plant that produces a lot of flowers. It is mostly used as an ornamental plant. But does it have other benefits? If so, can it be consumed?

What are the benefits of the mother of millions plant?

Well, its most popular use is as an ornamental plant. It also has medicinal uses but those uses must be prescribed and outlined by certified health professionals because it is poisonous.

If the plant is poisonous, how dangerous is it? Continue reading to find out.

Kalanchoe delagoensis chandelier plant in white pot

Everything there is to Know about the Mother of Millions Plant

The mother of millions plant, (Kalanchoe delagoensis), is a plant from the Island of Madagascar (and other African countries). This hardy succulent plant has become widespread in America and even grows in deserts. The most remarkable feature of the mother of millions plant is the possession of plantlets.

Did you know that new plants grow from the tiny plantlets that sprout from buds found in the tips of the plant’s leaves? The narrow leaves of this plant can produce even more plants. What’s more, plantlets can also grow from the stem of the plant.

It is because of this ability to reproduce rapidly and its hardiness that the plant is called the “Mother of Millions”.

Makes sense, right?

Is the Mother of Millions Plants Edible?

It depends on how knowledgeable you are about the plant and your purpose for eating it. The mother of millions plants possesses toxins such as bufadienolides. These toxins can kill you when you consume them.

Just the way a venomous snake bite can kill you but still has some medicinal properties, the mother of millions plant also has some medicinal properties (which we will discuss later).

To consume the mother of millions plant, you’d need a guide from a certified health professional who is familiar with the plant and its properties.

Don’t worry. You’ll know more about the toxins in the plant later.

Uses of the Mother of Millions Plant

Here are few uses of the mother of millions plant:

1. Ornamental Plant

This is by far the most popular use of the mother of millions plant. It is an ornamental plant that your visitors cannot stop looking at because of its tiny plantlets and hundreds of flowers.

One great thing about the mother of millions plant is that it is a very hardy species and does not need much attention like other plants.

Can you keep the mother of millions plant as an indoor plant? Well, it is unsafe because of its toxicity, so you should not keep it inside. You can keep it on the balcony or staircase outside.

Later in this article, you will learn how to grow the mother of millions plant.

2. Medicinal

According to the Useful Tropical Plants website, the mother of millions plant has some medicinal properties. Here are some medicinal uses of the mother of millions plant:

  • Properties of the Leaves: The leaves have some astringent, febrifuge, diuretic, and antiseptic properties.
  • Properties of the Plant Juice: When consumed alone or mixed with lard, the juice can help cure dysentery, bilious diarrhea, acute nephritis, cholera, lithiasis, phthisis, and other ailments.
  • The Pounded or Crushed Leaves: When the leaves are crushed, they can be applied to burns, can be used as poultices for boils and ulcers, used to treat headaches and ringworms, or even used to stop haemorrhages when placed on the feet.
  • Dried Leaves: Dried leaves can be placed on ulcers and wounds.
  • The Leaf Juice: The leaves and their juices can be mixed with Carapa oil and coconut oil to relieve severe and persistent headaches.

You will need a certified health professional to give you better instructions for using the mother of millions plant for anything related to health.

Health professionals can also give you better alternatives. Make sure that you contact your doctor when you are not feeling too well.

3. Research

Not much information about the mother of millions plant has been gathered.

The development of plantlets for easy reproduction and population growth, the hardiness of the plant, and the medicinal values give the mother of millions plant great potential of being a super plant in terms of science and research.

More information regarding the plant is still being gathered.

Now that you know the few discovered uses of the mother of millions plant, should you eat it?

No. Let us discuss the reason why you should not consume the plant.

Kalanchoe delagoensis flower against blue sky

Why the Mother of Millions Plant is Unsafe for Consumption

Do not consume the mother of millions plant. If you must consume it (perhaps for its medicinal properties), make sure you are directed by a skilled and expert health professional. Here is the reason why you should not consume the mother of millions plants:

Contains Bufadienolides

Bufadienolide is a type of cardiac glycoside that affects the level of electrolytes in the heart muscle of various animals (including humans). This toxin can kill animals by damaging the heart and cardiac system.

Some general symptoms of consumption of bufadienolides are:

  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Collapse
  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sudden death
  • Heart murmurs
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Weakness and lethargy

The mother of millions plant is generally unsafe for consumption by humans or animals. The plant is very harmful to pets and livestock.

It can kill cattle, goats, pigs, and other livestock if they are allowed to graze in a field where it is present. Pets such as puppies and kittens that are exploring their environment can get sick or even die from mother of millions plant poisoning.

Now that you know how harmful the plant is, will you consume it? I am sure that you’d stick to its use as an ornamental plant. How then can you grow the mother of millions plant?

How to Grow Mother of Millions Plant

You should grow this plant in pots, even in the landscape. This is because it is an invasive plant that can colonize an area quickly if not controlled. When grown in pots, it is restricted (but must still be controlled).

Here are the various ways to grow Kalanchoe delagoensis:

  • By Seed: Just spread the seeds on the surface of the soil and then cover them with ½ inch of soil. Remember to remove weeds that might compete with the germinated seedlings. In time, the mother of millions will colonize the pot.
  • By Plantlets: Mother of millions can grow into adult plants from plantlets. You can either place the leaf (containing plantlets) on the surface of the soil then wait till the plantlets develop roots to anchor in the soil, or you can carefully plant the plantlets on the soil.
  • By Stem: Make sure that the stem has one or two pairs of leaves growing. If no leaf is present, check for leaf nodes. Dig a 2-3 inch hole and place the stem in there, covering the nodes with soil. In time, you’ll get a full plant.

Note that the plant loves potting mix or soil that drains quickly.

Kalanchoe delagoensis or mother of million plant

Related Questions and Answers

Do you have any questions? Here is the answer:

1. Is the Mother of Millions Plant the same as the Mother of Thousands Plant?

The plant called the mother of thousands, just like the mother of millions plant, is toxic, invasive, and reproduces quickly. Many people do not know the difference between both plants, but they are actually very easy to identify and differentiate.

The mother of thousands plant (Kalanchoe daigremontiana) has wide leaves. Their leaves also grow in pairs facing each other. The leaves of the mother of millions plant (Kalanchoe delagoensis), however, have leaves that are more narrow.

The plantlets of mother of thousands plants grow along the edges of each leaf, while those of mother of millions grow along the numerous tips of each leaf.

2. Do Animals Eat Mother of Millions Plant in the Wild?

The mother of million plants, as you already know, is dangerous to many animals. This includes humans, dogs, cats, other mammals, etc.

This plant is usually not disturbed by higher animals in the wild. Some lower animals (for example insects such as some species of thrips and weevils), however, eat the tissues and sap of the plant.

More animals that eat the mother of millions plant without dying are still being researched.

3. How Do You Control Mother of Millions Plants That Grow as Weeds?

Do you have mother of millions plants growing around you as weeds and you are looking to get rid of them? Use the tips below:

  • Hand-Weeding: You should pull every mother of millions plant as soon as you see it. Since this plant reproduces a lot and quickly, you should not wait before you pull it out and burn or dispose of it.
  • Herbicide: You should use herbicides against a mother of millions’ weed infestation (especially when they are growing out of control). Even though you can use herbicides at any time of the year, killing them when the plants produce flowers (usually during winter) is most effective as it prevents production of seeds.
  • Biological Control: A thrip species from Africa, the South African thrip, Scirtothrips aurantii is a natural control against the mother of millions plant. A high population of this species will drastically reduce the population of mother of millions plants. Be careful when introducing this species because it can harm other plants.

Helpful tips, right?

Final Thoughts

The mother of millions is a plant that is very beautiful, yet also toxic. You should prevent children and pets from tasting the leaves and flowers of your ornamental mother of millions.


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