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In the Kalanchoe plants, you can find several popular cultivars. A known fact is there are more than 100 species available. Yet, some recognizable flowering Kalanchoe plants are sold online to grow as houseplants.
So, Plantly decided to put together a general care guide. But we still recommend you check your plant’s specific needs for your Kalanchoe plants. As you know, each plant has its own particular needs as well.
Plant Name: Kalanchoe spp.
Other Name: Kalanchoe
Plant Type: Perennial Succulent Plants
Native Areas: Africa
Light Requirement: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Fertilizer: Well-Balanced Fertilizer
Toxicity: Toxic to animals and non-toxic to humans
Temperature: 55°F to 80°F
Growth: 6 to 8 inches tall and wide
Soil Type: Sandy, acidic soil mix
USDA Hardiness Zones: 10-12
What are Kalanchoe plants?
The Kalanchoe genus is a species of hundreds of flowering plants with the most vibrant flower buds. Some popular cultivars are the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana or Flaming Katy and Panda Plant. It is a popular indoor plant with flower colors ranging from yellow, white, orange, red, and magenta.
Robert Blossfeld discovered the Kalanchoe plants in Madagascar. The plant in its natural habitat grows in dry environments, not needing much water. As a result, these are low-maintenance plants, and you see the flowers for up to eight weeks.
Still, you find the Calandiva bred from the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana with larger double blooms that can last longer. You see many types of Kalanchoe plants also grown for attractive leaves and not only for colorful flowers.
A good example is the Kalanchoe, an unusual paddle plant, and the Kalanchoe pumila, the flower dust plant.
Kalanchoe Plant Care Guide
To add some beauty to your home then, the Kalanchoe plants are what you need. It is a hands-off species that thrives in sunlight but needs a well-draining potting mix. Nevertheless, you can grow Kalanchoe outside in the warmer zones 10 to 12, requiring little water.
It also needs well-draining soil like a cactus mix standing in bright indirect sunlight for indoor plants. The fantastic thing about these garden plants and houseplants is that they adapt well to different temperatures.
Still, for the bloom cycle to occur, your plants will need an extended period of darkness in the winter months. Then, these flowering houseplants greet you in early spring with a burst of color.
Great, now that we covered the basics, let’s take an in-depth look at the individual needs of the Kalanchoe.
Soil Requirements For Kalanchoe Care to Prevent Root Rot
To grow Kalanchoe outside, it needs well-draining soil like sandy one. While indoors, your plants need 50% potting soil with 50% cactus mix and 60% peat moss with 40% perlite added.
The mixture allows ample drainage and ensures your container has enough drainage holes. The fantastic thing is you can choose a flower pot made of clay as it helps wich away the water.
The Best Lighting Conditions For the Flower buds
Regardless of Kalanchoe species, the bloom cycles are set in motion with darkness. Hence, your plant needs about six weeks of 14 hours of night daily. Then, your plant will bloom about four months after the dark period.
You can keep this plant blooming year-round by providing winter darkness, which helps reset the bloom period. Plants growing indoors needs a lot of bright light exposure. But do not place your Kalanchoe plants in direct sunlight, as it will scorch those fleshy leaves while it reduces blooming.
Watering Your Plant Kalanchoe
The Kalanchoe plants forgive when you occasionally forget to water them. Compared to other succulents, the Kalanchoe needs minimal watering.
The best is to provide your plants with deep watering every few weeks and less in winter. We recommend letting the soil dry between watering to prevent root rot.
These succulent plants have fleshy stems and leave that store water.
Temperature and Humidity
Compared to other houseplants, your Kalanchoe is not picky and adapts well to indoor plant temperatures. The Kalanchoe can thrive in temperatures between 55°F to 80°F. But your plant will need protection from frost growing outside. Neither is the Kalanchoe plant fussy about humidity.
Potting And Repotting Kalanchoe Plant
These succulents prefer to be repotted frequently compared to being pot-bound. Therefore, the best is to repot your Kalanchoe plant annually in the fall after the bloom cycle.
Doing this will ensure your plant’s health remains vigor and encourages new growth. You can move up with one container size and provide a fresh succulent mix.
As with most flowering Kalanchoe, it benefits from the feed but is not as hungry as other houseplants.
For your garden plants, they need a light feed in spring. At the same time, indoor plants need a well-balanced liquid fertilizer once a month in spring and summer.
If your plant is not flowering, switch to a feed higher in phosphorus.
Pruning This Beautiful Plant
You must only prune your plant to remove the spent flowers and pinch back the stems. Doing this helps to maintain the plant’s shape and promotes full blooming.
Propagating Kalanchoe Plant
When you propagate Kalanchoe, it is very beneficial for your plant’s health. However, your parent plant develops tiny plantlets known as offsets, which can tax the mother plant. So, instead of leaving the offsets, you can remove them or take stem cuttings instead.
With clean, sharp pruners, take some stem cuttings several inches long from your parent plant. For offsets, remove them at the joint connected to the mature plant.
Leave the cutting to dry so the wound can be callous for a few days.
Next, dip the cut end into rooting hormone and plant the cut end into prepared potting soil similar to what your mother plant is growing in.
Leave your cutting to get adequate light exposure but not direct sunlight.
Also, do not water your cutting; rooting should take about a month.
Then care for Kalanchoe’s new plants as usual.
The same method can be used for leaf cuttings as well. Alternatively, you sow seeds on the surface of a potting mix in early spring.
Also, please do not cover the seeds; they will need light exposure to germinate.
It can take up to ten days for the seed to grow, and after two months, you can transplant your seedlings into separate pots or the garden.
Popular Kalanchoe Varieties
When you grow Kalanchoe, you have different varieties to provide you with bursts of color in the garden or home. Here are some of our favorites.
Cathedral bells are the miracle leaf plant, as the leaves produce new plantlets on the edges. You can propagate these offsets to grow new plants.
The Panda plant has attractive foliage that is velvety and furry, looking like cat ears. The upright plant reaches up to 1.5 feet tall with thick stem-producing branches with groups of leaves. The foliage is grayish-green with brown spotted tips.
The plant is prized for its velvety leaves with a pale silver-green color, also known as the elephant ear kalanchoe plant.
As discussed at the beginning, the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana goes by Christmas Kalanchoe, Florist Kalanchoe, and so much more—the Kalanchoe flowers you find in different colors to brighten up any living space. So you can find them with white, red, yellow, and pink flowers.
Another paddle plant is the Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, with a basal rosette form with white-green fleshy leaves with red leaf margins.
Kalanchoe Common Pests And Diseases
As with most houseplants, your Kalanchoe plant can be bothered by insects like spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and scale. Another concern is the powdery mildew when you water your plant over the leaves in very high humidity. But there are other concerns, as seen here.
Damaged Blooms and Leaves
When your plant Kalanchoe experiences near-freezing temperatures, it can result in damaged foliage to stunted blooms. The best is to keep your plant in an area with temperatures above 50°F
Your Plant Looks Wilted
Too high temperatures can cause the leaves to wilt, and it is best to ensure temperatures do not go above 80°F.
With the correct light, your plant will always look great. With inadequate light exposure, the glossy green color fades. While too much direct sunlight scorches the leaves. So with a good amount of natural light, your outdoor plant remains healthy.
When you grow Kalanchoe, a common problem is overwatering, resulting in root and stem rot. The best is to withhold water when you notice the stems becoming fragile and limp.
For your Kalanchoe to bloom, it needs a period of complete darkness to reset the bloom cycle. During winter, your plants need a 6-week period of darkness of at least 14 hours daily. You can also do deadheading of the spent flowers to help them rebloom.
Frequently Asked Questions
Provide your Kalanchoe plant with enough sunlight during the growing season and a period of darkness in the winter months.
For growing Kalanchoe, please provide them with well-drained soil and enough natural light to grow healthy.
You can use a Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food to make your Kalanchoe grow faster. Also, remove the dead leaves and faded flowers.
The Kalanchoe is a nocturnal oxygenator that absorbs carbon dioxide from the air to provide clean oxygen.
Kalanchoes are not rare plants and are found sold at grocery stores, the garden center, or nurseries. But you need not look far to find the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, Kalanchoe daigremontiana, or any other species in this genus. Plantly has some of the most beautiful Kalanchoe cultivars available for you.
Whether you want to buy, sell, or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!