Plant Spotlight: Donkey Ear (Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri)

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Flower and Plant Sale at the South Carolina State Farmer’s Market for the first time and I was completely unprepared. As I continued to walk towards the vendors, I saw the majority of the crowd walking around with wagons. I started to wonder If I needed a wagon.

I needed a wagon.

Plants, plants, everywhere!

As I was browsing all the tables I spotted a very unique plant hanging and waiting for me to snatch it up.

It was listed as a Mule’s Ear plant but after a quick search I learned it is a Donkey Ear. ?

Plant Name: Donkey Ear Plant (Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri)

Care:?All day sunlight or full morning sun. During the colder months bring indoors and keep near the window. Water when the top soil is dry. About once a week. Drought and heat tolerant. Check and wipe the leaves regularly to help prevent fungal growth.

Propagation:?Donkey Ear is very fast growing. The plant will die back but mine has already produced smaller plants and with gorgeous hot pink roots. You can cut them off using sterilized scissors.

I know I shouldn’t play favorite with my plants but this one is really special. I was instantly attracted to the large, spotted leaves (that can grow. up to 20 inches long)

I was so bummed when one of the leaves broke off when I first got it but I just stuck it in some dirt and it has started to produce some plants. Yay for resilient plants!


Living in Columbia, South Carolina and using this blog as my space to share a little insight into my life in what I'm making on the sewing machine, knitting needles, crochet hooks, in the kitchen, and elsewhere.


  • Cheryl Fiorentino

    I just bought 2 donkey ear plants at the town’s farmers market. I was looking to find out more about the plants and your information was very informative. Thank you!

  • Amy

    I recently broke a peice of a leaf off when I was bringing my Donkey’s Ear plant inside since we got a super early freeze. I put it in soil – do I need to keep the soil wet? It just seems so dry. Regular indoor/outdoor potting soil. Any tips on that I’d so appreciate!

    • Shanika

      I wouldn’t oversaturate the soil, just keep it a little damp. When my broke off I just placed it on top of the soil but it was outside so it got a mix of rain, sun, etc.
      Potting mix would do just fine. I would mix it with some perlite or sand for better drainage. Hope this helps!!

  • Deb Lance

    I just bought one today and I’m absolutely amazed at how these plants are alive in the store that I bought them at the place is cold wet damp moldy dirty half the plants are have Dead leaves and branches on them I couldn’t believe it was the plants were alive and I got four absolutely gorgeous plants out of there and for $20 I’ll go back I told him I’ll help clean it up just for trade

  • Angel

    Hello Shanika,

    Thanks for the information, especially on the propagation!
    I just got a very tiny one which makes me very happy.
    What worried me was that white mouldy layer on the little leaves. But now I see in your plant that it’s normal. Probably that’s why it’s named donkey ears?!

    I wonder about your 5th and 6th picture. That looks like some parasite is eating it, if I may say so. Hope not!

    Beautiful pictures by the way.

    Good luck with it, love, Angel.

    • Shanika


      Unfortunately, I do not have my Donkey Ear Plant anymore but I never had any issues with parasites. Good luck with yours. They are such cool and beautiful plants!

        • Shanika

          Around that time I was going through a separation/divorce and I can’t remember exactly but I definitely left it out longer in the cold than I should have – wasn’t give much attention to my plants during that time. I would love a pup! Thank you.

        • Michelle

          Hi Angle there are supposed to have the white film on them. It’s normal. It helps protect from the heat and also helps keep mouister in. They are such interesting plants. They have anti-cancer, antitumor sciences have found. Also all different other kinds of other benefits from them. Wonderful plants.

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