Here’s Why Mother of Thousands is Illegal

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There’s been some confusion over whether the Mother of Thousands succulent is illegal to cultivate. While this plant can be very invasive in some warmer climates, its legal status varies depending on location. Here are some details on the matter.

Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana) is considered an invasive species and is illegal to grow or sell in some states, such as California, Texas, Florida, and Hawaii. The plant is native to Madagascar but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including New Zealand, and Australia, where it is also considered an invasive species and illegal in certain states

The main reason why Mother of Thousands is classified as a noxious weed in some US states and Australian provinces/territories is due to its tendency to spread uncontrollably in their warm, humid environments.

It is known for its unique reproduction method. Instead of producing seeds, it produces plantlets on the margins of its leaves. These plantlets can easily detach and root in the soil, leading to the rapid spread of the species.

It is important to note that there is another similar plant called Mother of Millions (Kalanchoe delagoensis), which is often confused with Mother of Thousands. While Mother of Millions is also considered an invasive species, it has some distinguishing characteristics from Mother of Thousands, such as narrower leaves and plantlets growing only at the tips of its leaves.

Is Mother of Thousands toxic?

Yes, the Mother of Thousands plant (Kalanchoe daigremontiana) is toxic. All parts of the plant, including the leaves, stems, and tiny pups it produces, contain toxic compounds called bufadienolides. These compounds are cardiac glycosides, which can have harmful effects on the heart and kidneys of both humans and animals.

Symptoms of toxicity from ingesting the Mother of Thousands plant can include gastrointestinal irritation, such as vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, ingestion of the plant can lead to heart palpitations, rhythm changes, tremors, seizures, and other serious health concerns.

Additionally, skin contact with the plant’s sap can cause irritation or allergic reactions. That’s why it is important to wear protective gloves when handling the plant to minimize contact with the toxic sap. You should also keep the plant out of reach of children and pets by placing it on a high shelf or in a room that is off-limits to them

Can you grow Mother of Thousands?

In most other parts of the United States, it’s legal to grow indoors as a houseplant or outdoors in containers as long as proper precautions are taken to prevent it from escaping and invading surrounding areas.

Similarly in Canada, Mother of Thousands is legal to cultivate as a controlled indoor or potted plant. Its importation across provincial borders may be restricted in some cases. Many European and Asian countries have no specific regulations banning the private growth of this plant as long as it’s contained and not released into the wild.

How to prevent Mother of Thousands from spreading

Since these plants can spread so readily, with even the smallest leaf fragments taking root, contained indoor cultivation is really the safest option. I’d suggest keeping it in its own pot, separate from others, and being mindful of where you place that pot. Try to pick a stable spot away from carpets, furniture, or anything the plant could come into contact with.

Check the pot periodically and remove any plantlets before they form roots of their own. You may also want to place a catch tray or saucer under the pot to trap any babies that fall. Empty and scrub this tray frequently.

Following these containment practices will allow you to enjoy your Mother of Thousands indoors without the headache of it taking over your home! And be sure not to share cuttings or dispose of any plant materials where they could naturalize outside. With a little care and dedication, you can responsibly cultivate this fun and fascinating plant. Let me know if any other questions come up.

So to summarize – while Mother of Thousands may have invasive potential outdoors in warm climates, it is generally not illegal to cultivate indoors or in containers as a houseplant in temperate regions. Just be sure not to dispose of it where its seedlings could naturalize and outcompete local flora. Let me know if you need any clarification!

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