Kalanchoe or kalankoe is a truly beautiful succulent.
Key Kalanchoe facts
Name – ‘Blossfeld’ Kalanchoe
Family – Crassulaceae
Type – succulent, perennial
Height – 12 inches (30 cm)
Exposure – well-lit
Soil: soil mix – Foliage: evergreen – Flowering: early → mid-spring
Care is rather easy but a bit of advice on watering or pruning will help you get even better flowers.
Most often, this particular variety – Kalanchoe blossfeldiana – is sold and grown in pots as a beautiful houseplant.
Planting and repotting
This plant is suited to mild climates, and should preferably be cultivated indoors if you expect the weather to freeze.
- You may repot your kalanchoe just after purchasing it if you’ve purchased it while it wasn’t flowering.
- After that, repotting on an annual basis in fall after the blooming should help promote sprouting of new leaves at the end of winter.
Planting it outside? Only possible where it doesn’t freeze: frost will kill it.
Propagation is through cuttings in fall.
- Gather the tips of the stems on about 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm).
- Let wounds heal in open air for 24 h.
- After that, dip in powdered rooting hormones.
- Plant in seedling and cutting soil mix.
- Keep your cuttings in a well-lit place, heated to more or less 68 to 70° F (20 to 21° C).
Some kalanchoe varieties grow tiny buds all around the perimeter of their leaves.
These are small “pups” that fall off and take root, giving rise to a new plant each time.
- Each of these is a clone of the mother plant and will have the same characteristics.
Caring for kalanchoe
Although caring for kalanchoe is actually straightforward, a few tips will help you grow a very nice, long-living plant:
- Remove wilted flowers regularly (deadheading). This step isn’t mandatory but it helps stimulate the plant to produce new flowers. Each flower is at the tip of a stem. Cut the stem back to about 1/4th inch (0.5 cm) above the nearest leaf node.
- Repotting after the blooming in a pot that is slightly larger than the previous will extend the lifespan of your kalanchoe.
- Adding flower plant fertilizer will help extend the blooming and increase its beauty.
Watering indoor kalankoe
- During the blooming, 1 to 2 waterings a week, when the soil has dried well.
- Outside of the blooming season, 1 to 2 waterings a fortnight.
- In winter, 1 to 2 waterings a month should suffice, but if the air inside your home is very dry and warm, do it a bit more often.
In any case, it is important for the soil to have dried well before watering, in which case it is also better to water once rarely with a significant amount instead of many moderate sessions.
BE CAREFUL! Leaves from succulents are loaded with water. If they start wrinkling up, it shows they need more water. But if they’re plump and start drooping, you might be over-watering!
Learn more about kalanchoe
With its reduced need for care, it poses practically no difficulty to the caretaker.
Although excess water is what most often kills it, it also likes having a lot of light, but not scorching direct sun.
You can set it up either in a pot or in a garden box, but take care not to let children or animals play or peck with it, because the leaves are poisonous when ingested.
Smart tip about kalanchoe
Amending the soil with organic fertilizer will favor blooming, so you must take care not to provoke this during the dormant state, from October to February.