Over the last few weeks, I set-up a time lapse camera using a Raspberry PI in hopes of catching the Kalanchoe propagation in action. Overall, this worked well and with a few tweaks I think I can make this pretty amazing.

I broke the leaf off the parent on 9/14 which is the exact day that the time lapse starts. I let it run on until 10/03, but a root system started appearing on 9/25 and slowed growth around 9/29. So, in it’s entirety it took around 14 – 18 days to obtain pups with roots.

Along with the time lapse, I had a humidity/temperature sensor capturing data in sync with the time lapse. In the future, I plan on combining the graph data with the time lapse, but this time I’ve placed a static graph below to show you my average temperature/humidity during my propagation.

I never gave the leaf any water this entire time. I literally picked the leaf off the plant, laid it down, and then just forgot about it until it grew.

As you’ll probably notice, I had some technical difficulties on Sep 21st, which is the reasoning for the weird jump in the graph. The raspberry PI went down for a brief period while I was still figuring everything out.

Min Average Max
Temperature 68 ℉ (20 ℃) 74.63 ℉ (23.68 ℃) 84.2 ℉ (29 ℃)
Humidity48 %57.97 % 70%

Another side note worth mentioning, this is just the average temperature of my house. I didn’t attempt to alter the temperature/humidity when propagating. The leaf just sit near my grow light in semi-indirect light.

Lessons Learned

A few things went wrong for me on this, most of which were self-inflicted. However, this test gave me a few things I plan on improving before my next iteration:

  • Create a simple alerting system for detecting if the Raspberry PI goes down.
  • Consistent/Better lighting.
  • More permanent positioning to prevent objects moving around the time lapse.
  • Capture images 24/7 which means lighting needs to be on 24 hours a day. In the time lapse above, you’ll notice the plant jumps with growth. This is because I was only capturing images between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm.

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