Kalanchoe is one of the most breathtaking flowering succulents with a captivating foliage. By following the simple tips on kalanchoe plant care given in this article, you can have pots of beautiful blossoms in your home or office.
Kalanchoe plants are perennial and evergreen succulents that grow up to be almost 2 feet tall. They are native to Brazil, Southeast Asia, and Madagascar and are often raised as potted plants. They bloom in late winters and spring, as the flowering season falls in between the late fall and late winters. These plants have a thick foliage, with oval-shaped fleshy leaves and indented edges. The leaves are spread all over the sleek and tender stems of this beautiful plant, that is perfect for indoor plantation. Kalanchoe flowers are usually brightly-colored, mostly in shades of yellow, red, orange, or purple. Following are the things you need to keep in mind while caring for this plant:
How to Care for a Kalanchoe?
- Kalanchoes are succulent plants, and need warm temperatures to grow. The ideal temperature for a healthy kalanchoe to develop and bloom is 60-85ºF. Due to their excessive sensitivity to cold temperatures, they cannot survive when the temperature falls below 40ºF.
- Kalanchoes are recommended to be grown in clay pots with excellent drainage, pertaining to their delicate roots, as these pots allow good aeration for the roots. The soil to be used in pots should be a mixture of perlite, sand, and peat moss.
- Once the flowers have bloomed until late February, remove the dead stems and leaves. Re-pot the kalanchoes, and add a little limestone to the soil. Start adding fertilizers only after the plant starts growing again normally.
- Kalanchoes, like all succulents, grow well in direct sunlight with moderate temperatures. So keep the pot indoors where it has ample access to sunlight and adequate warm temperatures. If kept outdoors, avoid keeping the pot in shaded areas. Pots for single kalanchoes can be of 4 inches. However, if one wants to grow them in clusters, then a 6 inch pot should be fine.
- Kalanchoes do not need much water as they are already quite juicy. Water these plants once a week, and allow the soil mixture of perlite and sand to dry between two waterings. Pebbles can be put inside the pot for better drainage.
- For the plants to bloom well, clean all the accumulated dead stems, leaves, and stalks from under them, as it makes them look unattractive. Regular pruning helps the plant in healthy flowering.
- Kalanchoes also have a resting period when they do not flower. When the winters get over, the flowering also stalls. This period starts from spring until late fall. Some people discard these plants, as there are no more flowers until the late fall starts, but the lush green foliage is also a delight to watch. So, ensure that the plant is kept in open spaces for a healthy leafage.
- When buying a kalanchoe in the budding stage or during its flowering period, fertilization is not needed. However, for re-blooming, start the fertilizing activity after the resting period is over. One of the best recommended pot plant fertilizer is Bachman’s Excel GroTM. During the resting period, fertilizing should be minimal.
- Kalanchoes are propagated by stem cutting method. So, whenever you want to plant another kalanchoe, take the stem cuttings in late spring or summer, and allow them to dry for a week or two. Then plant them in well-potted perlite-peat mixed soil.
- Mealybugs and mites target the roots of kalanchoe plant. Hence, regular cleaning and pruning is a must.
The best place for these flowering houseplants in your home would be the bright windowsills. Kalanchoes indeed make beautiful indoor houseplants, and add positivity and exuberance to your home. Due to their attractive colors, they also make good gifts on housewarming occasions. Kalanchoe plant care requires great deal of effort and is definitely a challenge for every gardener, but at the same time, it is every gardener’s delight too!