The Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) is a perennial succulent known for its soft, fuzzy leaves that look a bit like fur. In fact, its botanical name Kalanchoe tomentosa translates as 'covered in fine hairs'.
They're native to Madagascar, where they naturally grow on granite rocks.
Panda Plants can grow quite large - up to 1.5 feet (45 cm) tall, growing into a shrub shape. You can also prune them to maintain more of a bush or tree-like shape.
The fuzzy leaves are typically silvery-gray in color, edged with either a rust color on younger leaves or more of a rich chocolate brown on more mature leaves. Each leaf can grow up to 3 inches (8 cm) long.
Panda Plants are well-suited to hot, dry environments. Their leaves are reflective, helping to minimize the risk of the plant overheating, plus their fuzzy coating helps reduce water vapor loss during transpiration. These things make the plant drought-resistant. Therefore, like other succulents, Panda Plants can do very well on very little water. In fact, it's much easier to kill one by overwatering than by underwatering, so if you're ever unsure then it's better to hold off on watering.
Provide lots and lots of light (4-6 hours of full sun) and make sure not to water it too much and it will thrive for a long time.
Be careful with your Panda Plant's leaves - they can become damaged if mishandled. If you need to clean your plant, do so gently with a soft-bristled brush. Make sure the brush is dry, and never put water directly on the leaves.
This plant can produce fuzzy flowers when grown in the wild. However, it's unusual for it to flower when kept indoors as a houseplant.
If you live in an area with moderate to high rainfall, you shouldn't keep your Panda Plant outdoors. They also aren't frost-tolerant, so if they are kept outdoors then they should be moved indoors well before the winter cold sets in.
Luckily, these succulents are well-suited to indoor living in the vast majority of set-ups. They like the dry air and warmth of a typical home environment.