Is Mother Of Thousands Illegal? Find Out Legal Status And Impact

In the world of succulents, the names “Mother of Thousands” and “Mother of Millions” often surface in discussions. These intriguing plants, scientifically known as Kalanchoe daigremontiana and Kalanchoe delagoensis, respectively, have gained both admiration and concern. In this article, we will delve into the legal status, characteristics, and differences between Mother of Thousands and Mother of Millions. We will also touch on their potential impact on the environment and provide essential care tips for these captivating succulents.

Is Mother Of Thousands Illegal?

Mother of Thousands, scientifically known as Kalanchoe daigremontiana (formerly Bryophyllum daigremontianum) and commonly referred to as the Mexican hat plant, is regarded as illegal in several regions, including the United States and New Zealand, due to its invasive nature.

Although not explicitly labeled as “illegal” in some sources, this plant is widely acknowledged as an invasive species due to its ability to reproduce asexually through plantlets, leading to its rapid proliferation.

In certain Australian states, Mother of Thousands is considered a poisonous and noxious weed, resulting in its prohibition.

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Both Mother of Thousands and Mother of Millions are classified as invasive plants in many areas, primarily due to their aggressive spreading tendencies.

In specific regions, Mother-of-Millions falls under the category of a category 3 restricted invasive plant as per the Biosecurity Act 2014, making it illegal to distribute, sell, or release it into the environment.

Furthermore, in Australia, Mother of Thousands has become naturalized and poses risks to cattle if ingested.

In regions where Mother of Thousands is considered invasive and poses a threat to local ecosystems, it is often classified as illegal to cultivate or possess. The reasoning behind this classification lies in the plant’s rapid propagation through its plantlets. These small offshoots can easily take root and establish new plants, potentially disrupting native flora.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that not all states or regions have labeled Mother of Thousands as illegal. In some areas, it is still permissible to grow and nurture this plant, primarily because of its ornamental appeal and adaptability as an indoor houseplant. Therefore, whether Mother of Thousands is legal or illegal depends on local regulations, and it’s imperative to research and abide by the laws in your specific area.

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What Are the Laws and Regulations on the Cultivation of Mother of Thousands?

For those who wish to cultivate Mother of Thousands, understanding the laws and regulations surrounding its growth is of utmost importance. To ensure compliance and responsible plant ownership, here are essential aspects to consider:

Research Local Regulations:

Start by researching the regulations pertaining to Mother of Thousands cultivation in your area. Local agricultural extension offices and gardening authorities can provide valuable information about specific restrictions or guidelines.

Prohibited Plant Lists:

Many regions maintain lists of prohibited plants, often including invasive species like Mother of Thousands. Check if your locality maintains such a list and verify whether Mother of Thousands is listed as a prohibited plant.

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Invasive Species Laws:

Invasive species can have detrimental effects on local ecosystems. Many states have established laws to combat the spread of invasive species. Familiarize yourself with these laws to ensure compliance, as Mother of Thousands’ prolific nature makes it a potential threat.


Understand the potential penalties for violating plant regulations in your area. Depending on the severity of the violation and local laws, penalties may range from fines to legal action. Adhering to these regulations is essential to avoid legal consequences.

It’s important to note that plant-related laws and regulations can change over time, so staying informed about updates or amendments is advisable. Responsible plant ownership entails respecting these regulations to protect both the environment and yourself from legal issues.

What Does Mother Of Thousands Look Like?

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Now that we’ve explored the legal aspects, let’s shift our focus to the physical characteristics of the intriguing Mother of Thousands plant. Scientifically known as Kalanchoe daigremontiana, this succulent boasts a distinctive appearance that sets it apart from other succulents.

Mother of Thousands features long, narrow leaves that are typically pale green or grayish-green in color. What truly distinguishes this plant is the presence of small plantlets along the edges of its leaves. These miniature replicas of the parent plant create the impression that the Mother of Thousands is indeed giving birth to thousands of babies, which explains its name.

The leaves are often adorned with tiny, hair-like structures, enhancing its aesthetic appeal. Moreover, the plant can grow to a height of approximately two feet, making it a striking addition to both indoor and outdoor gardens.

Are Mother of Thousands Plants Poisonous or Toxic?

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While the allure of Mother of Thousands is undeniable, concerns about its toxicity, particularly concerning humans and pets, have arisen. It’s essential to address the question of whether Mother of Thousands plants are poisonous or toxic.

Mother of Thousands does contain compounds that can be harmful when ingested. While it is not classified as highly toxic, consumption can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. The level of toxicity may vary among individuals, with some experiencing more pronounced reactions than others.

What Parts of the Mother of Thousands Are Poisonous or Toxic?

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential risks associated with Mother of Thousands, it is vital to identify the specific parts of the plant considered poisonous or toxic. In the case of Mother of Thousands, the primary concern centers on the leaves and plantlets.

Both the leaves and the tiny plantlets contain compounds known as bufadienolides. These compounds can induce irritation and discomfort if ingested or come into contact with the skin. Therefore, it is advisable to exercise caution when handling Mother of Thousands, especially in households with curious pets or young children.

What Are The Symptoms Of Poisoning?

Though Mother of Thousands is not highly toxic, awareness of the potential symptoms of poisoning is essential if contact or ingestion occurs. Common symptoms of Mother of Thousands poisoning may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin irritation (in cases of contact with sap)
  • Eye irritation (if sap contacts the eyes)

In cases where someone, particularly a child or pet, is suspected of ingesting or having significant contact with Mother of Thousands and displays any of these symptoms, prompt medical attention is recommended. Severe reactions are rare, but it is always wise to prioritize safety and seek medical assistance when in doubt.

What’s the Difference Between Mother of Thousands and Mother of Millions?

In the realm of succulent enthusiasts, confusion often arises when discussing Mother of Thousands and its close relative, Mother of Millions. These two plants share striking similarities but possess key differences that set them apart. Let’s delve into the distinctions between these captivating succulents.

Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe Daigremontiana)

Mother of Thousands, scientifically referred to as Kalanchoe daigremontiana, is a succulent plant native to Madagascar. As previously mentioned, it earns its name from its extraordinary ability to produce numerous tiny plantlets along the edges of its leaves. These plantlets drop to the ground, take root, and give rise to new plants, contributing to its rapid proliferation.

The leaves of Mother of Thousands are long and slender, typically displaying a pale green or grayish-green hue. The plantlets, which resemble miniature versions of the parent plant, possess their own root systems, enabling them to thrive independently.

Mother of Millions (Kalanchoe Delagoensis)

Mother of Millions, scientifically known as Kalanchoe delagoensis, is another succulent native to Madagascar. Its close resemblance to Mother of Thousands often leads to confusion between the two.

One of the primary distinctions between Mother of Millions and Mother of Thousands lies in the shape of their leaves. Mother of Millions features broader and wider leaves compared to the slender, narrow leaves of Mother of Thousands. Additionally, Mother of Millions reproduces through tiny plantlets, akin to its counterpart.

Differences and Similarities

Having highlighted the principal differences between these two plants, it is pertinent to acknowledge their shared similarities. Both Mother of Thousands and Mother of Millions belong to the Kalanchoe genus and exhibit similar overall appearances. They both possess fleshy leaves, grow in rosette formations, and employ plantlets for propagation.

The confusion surrounding these two plants often stems from their visual resemblance and common reproductive traits. Therefore, when acquiring either of these succulents, it is imperative to accurately identify the species to ensure proper care and understanding of their unique characteristics.

Mother of Thousands/Millions Invasiveness

While both Mother of Thousands and Mother of Millions are visually captivating and fascinating plants, they share a common concern—invasiveness. Due to their prolific reproduction through plantlets, both species have the potential to become invasive when introduced to non-native ecosystems.

In regions where these succulents are not indigenous, they can rapidly spread and outcompete native vegetation, disrupting local ecosystems. Consequently, many areas have categorized both Mother of Thousands and Mother of Millions as invasive plants, leading to restrictions on their cultivation and sale.

How To Protect Yourself While Handling Mother of Thousands

Given the aforementioned concerns about the potential toxicity of Mother of Thousands, it is imperative to adopt safety measures when handling this succulent. To ensure your well-being while interacting with this plant, consider these essential precautions:

  • Wear Gloves: When engaging with Mother of Thousands, especially during propagation or repotting, don gloves to prevent direct contact with the plant’s sap, thereby reducing the risk of skin irritation.
  • Avoid Ingestion: Never ingest any part of the Mother of Thousands plant. Although not highly toxic, ingestion can result in gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Keep Out of Reach: In households with inquisitive pets or young children, position your Mother of Thousands plant in an area inaccessible to them to prevent inadvertent contact or ingestion.
  • Thorough Handwashing: After handling Mother of Thousands, ensure thorough handwashing with soap and water to eliminate any sap residue.
  • Eye Protection: When working with the plant and its sap, contemplate the use of protective eyewear to avert accidental contact with the eyes.

By adhering to these straightforward precautions, you can savor the beauty of Mother of Thousands while mitigating the risk of any adverse effects.

How To Control Illegal Mother Of Thousands?

In regions where Mother of Thousands is classified as illegal due to its invasive nature, it is incumbent upon responsible individuals to take measures to control its spread effectively. Consider the following strategies to contribute to the management of this issue:

  • Eradicate Existing Plants: If you currently have Mother of Thousands in your garden, contemplate its responsible removal. While doing so, don gloves and take care to eliminate the entire plant, including any tiny plantlets that may have settled on the ground.
  • Proper Disposal: Dispose of removed plants and plantlets in a sealed bag or container to thwart their potential reestablishment elsewhere.
  • Refrain from Propagation: Avoid propagating or sharing Mother of Thousands with others, especially if it is deemed illegal in your vicinity.
  • Explore Alternatives: Investigate alternative plants that are non-invasive and suitable for your region. Whenever possible, opt for native species to support local ecosystems.
  • Report Sightings: In the event that you encounter Mother of Thousands growing in the wild or in areas where it is not supposed to be, consider reporting such instances to local authorities or organizations dedicated to managing invasive species.

By implementing these measures, you can contribute to the preservation of native ecosystems and help curtail the spread of this potentially invasive plant.

How To Care for These Plants

For those fortunate enough to reside in areas where Mother of Thousands is not classified as illegal due to its invasive tendencies, caring for these plants can be an enriching experience. Here are fundamental guidelines for nurturing your Mother of Thousands succulent:

  • Light: Offer your Mother of Thousands access to bright, indirect sunlight. These succulents thrive in well-illuminated locations but should be shielded from harsh, direct sunlight to prevent leaf scorching.
  • Soil: Employ a well-draining succulent potting mix to guarantee proper water drainage. A blend of potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand is ideal.
  • Watering: Allow the soil to thoroughly dry out between watering sessions. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it is prudent to lean toward underwatering.
  • Temperature: Maintain temperatures within the range of 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C) for optimal growth. Safeguard the plants against frost and extreme cold.
  • Repotting: Repot your Mother of Thousands when necessary, typically when it outgrows its current container. Spring represents an opportune season for repotting.
  • Pruning: Prune your plant as needed to control its size and shape, and to eliminate any damaged or dead leaves.
  • Fertilization: During the growing season (spring and summer), employ a balanced, diluted liquid fertilizer. Exercise caution to prevent over-fertilization, which may harm the plant.

By adhering to these care guidelines, you can relish the beauty of Mother of Thousands without contributing to its invasive proliferation.


What Is The Ecological Impact of Mother of Thousands?

The introduction of Mother of Thousands into non-native ecosystems can have significant ecological repercussions. The plant’s ability to rapidly reproduce through plantlets enables it to outcompete indigenous vegetation, disrupt local ecosystems, and diminish biodiversity. This invasive behavior may lead to enduring ecological imbalances in affected regions.

What Are Some Alternative Plants to Replace Mother of Thousands?

In regions where Mother of Thousands is regarded as illegal due to its invasiveness, consider substituting it with non-invasive succulents or native plants. Here are some alternatives to ponder:

  • Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum spp.): These rosette-forming succulents are robust and non-invasive.
  • Jade Plant (Crassula ovata): Jade plants are favored houseplants that are easy to care for and non-invasive.
  • Agave (Agave spp.): Agave species are drought-resistant succulents that come in various sizes and shapes.
  • Native Wildflowers: Cultivate native wildflowers to promote local pollinators and ecosystems while adding beauty to your garden.

Selecting alternatives that suit your region can aid in safeguarding local ecosystems and averting the proliferation of invasive species.


In summary, the legality of Mother of Thousands hinges on your geographic location and the specific regulations in place. While this remarkable succulent, with its capacity to produce countless tiny plantlets along its leaves, is undoubtedly captivating, it can also pose challenges, especially in regions where it is deemed invasive.

Comprehending and abiding by the laws and regulations related to the cultivation of Mother of Thousands is imperative for conscientious plant ownership. Additionally, taking precautions when handling the plant and investigating non-invasive alternative species can contribute to the preservation of native ecosystems and the well-being of our environment.

Whether you decide to nurture Mother of Thousands or opt for alternative plants, responsible plant ownership involves making informed choices that benefit both your garden and the environment.

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