Updated September, 2023.
If you want some amazing succulent to mix and match with your other flowering plants, then Kalanchoe is the perfect choice for you! They come in many beautiful variations and colors that will surely brighten any living space. Furthermore, caring for Kalanchoe is very simple, making them ideal for both expert and novice gardeners.
Read on to learn how to grow a happy and healthy Kalanchoe plant!
Although Kalanchoe Plants have no known toxicity to people, they are considered very toxic to animals, including cats, dogs, and livestock. These plants' leaves and flowers contain a chemical compound that may cause gastric upset and diarrhea, and in rare cases, your pets may also experience abnormal heart rhythm.
Kalanchoe Plant has very low needs when it comes to watering. Giving them too much water will lead the plant to drown. On top of that, they have sensitive leaves, which can easily get rot when wet even for a small drop of water.
With that in mind, we highly recommended using the "Bottom Watering" method whenever you water your Kalanchoe Plant. Usage of this technique should help you avoid getting their leaves wet by accident, and at the same time, ensures that they'll get just a sufficient amount of water for them to stay happy and healthy.
You can also water your Kalanchoe Plant the traditional way, which is from above. Just ensure not to let its leaves come into contact with the water. In case you accidentally splash some water into its leaves, quickly get a tissue and carefully wipe it. Do not forget to throw out any excess water from the saucer.
Remember, Kalanchoe Plant is also a succulent. Meaning, they should only be watered when the soil is completely dry or whenever you feel that their leaves are no longer firm when given a light press. If you are not sure about the right timing, you can use a moisture meter or your finger to feel if the top 2-inches of the soil are already dry or not.
Just like with most succulents, Kalanchoe plants need at least 6 hours of sunlight to thrive and develop a beautiful reddish outline. But again, they have sensitive leaves, so exposing them to too much light will lead this plant to get sunburned and prevent it from blooming.
Instead, find a spot where this plant will be protected from the scorching sun in the afternoon, like a sunny window indoors or a shady and cool area outdoors.
Due to its utmost cold sensitivity, Kalanchoes are best grown as a houseplant where the temperature stays between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, if you want to place them outside in your garden, they require a temperature of around 45 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to survive. Just keep in mind that they are very sensitive to cold, so they'll be happier if you move them indoors when the weather becomes too much for them to handle.
Soil and Fertilizer
Since Kalanchoes also hate sitting in wet for too long, they need to be planted in a soil that offers superior drainage.
You can either buy a cactus or succulent potting mix that drains well or make your own mixture by blending organic compost with perlite and pumice, along with some worm to add extra nutrients.
When it comes to feeding, Kalanchoes are self-sufficient plants, you can either just apply a light top-dressing to ensure optimal growth. You can do this by top dressing the soil with compost and worm each spring.
However, if you have no top-dress available, you can also fertilize your Kalanchoes with a well-balanced one such as 20-20-20 once a month.
Potting and Repotting
In addition to that, Kalanchoe plants have an extremely delicate root system. So it is wise to use clay pots, which will promote better aeration for them. Again, ensure excellent drainage by placing pebbles at the bottom of the pot.
Repot Kalanchoe with fresh potting mix in a larger container in their growing season and after blooming to encourage further growth. Remove dead spent flowers to keep blooms growing. And be careful of their tender branches when moving your Kalanchoe plants, they break easily.
Kalanchoe can bloom almost every season. However, if they are grown as a container houseplant, it will mostly bloom in late winter to late spring. But you may always trick this plant into thinking that it is a different time of the year and force it to bloom in just any season you want.
To do this, simply start exposing your Kalanchoe to lower light levels during fall and winter, and avoid watering or feeding them in a span of 6 weeks. Just after you see flower buds, you can relocate the plant to a spot with brighter lighting and resume watering, and resume feeding in spring.
Kalanchoe Plants can be propagated easily. Simply get some cuttings by snipping one just above the leaf or stem node from the parent plant. Make sure that your cutting is at least 3-inches long for a better result
After getting your cuttings, do not forget to have it callous over first to lessen the risk of it from getting rot in the growing medium. To do this, simply place it in an empty pot or tray for about 2 to 3 days.
Once your cuttings have callous over, you may now stick it in a well-draining soil mix and place it on a south-facing window, where it can get bright, indirect light and keep its soil moist for a higher chance of propagating your Kalanchoe.
As soon as your cuttings have established some roots, you can start caring for them like a full-grown one.
Although Kalanchoes are resistant to pests, they could still get infected by aphids, scale, spider mites, and nematodes, especially when grown outdoors, and all these insects feed on this succulent's leaves.
To remove aphids, quickly put it under a well-placed stream of water from a sink sprayer or garden hose. For mealybugs, dab it off from the plant with an alcohol-saturated cotton swab, and remove scale insects using a plastic bank card to scrape them carefully from plants.
All in all, caring for Kalanchoes are really easy. Plus, their flowers are long-lasting and have rich, shiny, green foliage that everyone will surely love. A definitely one of the great blooming plant to brighten up your home or garden!
You can also watch this video to see some of the tips in action:
[FAQs]Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do we care for a Kalanchoe plant indoors?
Kalanchoes are low-maintenance plants and are very easy to care for. As long as they are in a enough bright, sunny spot; and not watered too much - give them water when you notice the soil has dried.
2. Why is my Kalanchoe dying?
Overwatering and lack of sunlight are the most usual reasons leading to a dead Kalanchoe plant, be careful when you see the leaves turn yellow. Besides, black and squishy Kalanchoe stems indicate that the soil is too damp and the temperature is too cold, which also causes your plant to die.
See more about How to Care for your Indoor Succulents
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