The Kalanchoe genus has more than 100 plant species, however only a few of them are often seen in cultivation. While some Kalanchoe species are shrubs and others are annuals, perennial herbaceous plants make up the majority of the genus. The most famous of them is Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, sometimes known as kalanchoe.
The morphology of thick leaves varies greatly, and they are often waxy or hairy. They are often borne along the stem in opposition. Flowers with segments in multiples of four include yellow, white, pink, orange, or red blossoms. In certain species, the plant’s base or the leaf margins create clonal plantlets.
Thick-leaved succulents called kalanchoe flower plants are frequently seen in flower shops and gardening supply stores. it is harmful to cats and dogs in all forms, thus owners of exotic pets should be cautious about where they store the plant.
The Genus Kalanchoe in the stonecrop family Crassulaceae contains about 125 species of tropical succulents mostly found in Madagascar and tropical Africa. The name is a translation of the Chinese name “Kalan Chou.”
The plant is indigenous to Madagascar, South and South-East Africa, and China. One of the first plants transported into space was the Kalanchoe species. Salisbury defined the genus Bryophyllum in 1806 and Baker formed the genus Kitchingia in 1881.
Kalanchoe and kichingia are now used interchangeably. Due to the vast variety of colors and forms available, as well as the straightforward maintenance requirements, it is a highly popular houseplant today.
Kalanchoe Plant Overview
- Botanical Name: Kalanchoe, flaming Katy, Christmas kalanchoe
- Common Name: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
- Family: Crassulaceae
- Plant Type: Perennial, succulent
- Mature Size: 6–18 inch
- Sun Exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
- Soil Type: Sandy, well-drained
- Soil pH: Acidic
- Bloom Time: Varies; requires 6 weeks of 14-hour nights
- Flower Color: Yellow, red, orange, pink, white
- Hardiness Zones: 10–12, USDA
- Native Area: Africa (Madagascar)
Kalanchoe Plant Species
There are many unknown varieties of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana that come in a range of colors including yellow, red, orange, pink and white. There are many similar species that can be useful as indoor and garden plants.
K. manginii: This species is characterized by large hanging flowers in the form of bells and succulent leaves. Its long flowering depends on moist air. Sometimes referred to as a chandelier plant.
K. porphyrocalyx: This plant is sometimes known as pearl bell. It has purple blooms and thin, oblong leaves.
K. beharensis: The large velvety pale silver green leaves of this type of Kalanchoe are highly sought after. Elephant ears are often referred to as Kalanchoe.
K. pinnata: The luscious green leaves and little plants around its borders are characteristics of this type of Kalanchoe. commonly referred to as cathedral bells
How To Grow Kalanchoe Plant
These slow-growing plants are usually produced from cuttings, which give quick results. It is quite easy to grow from seed. Early spring is the best time to sow seeds on top of a porous potting mix. Seeds should not be covered as they need light to germinate.
Once it germinates, which takes about 10 days, place the container in a plastic bag to increase humidity. After about two months the seeds can be planted outdoors or in individual pots.
Another excellent plant grow method is to take cuttings from mature plants and then transplant them to create new Kalanchoe plants. Cover the pot completely with plastic to retain moisture. Place the plant in a window that receives some indirect light. Cuttings will take about 21 days to root before they are suitable for transfer.
Kalanchoe Pruning is a reasonably simple process. Pruning of this plant can be divided into two categories. During one flowering season, pruning is necessary, and pruning is done after flowering.
They are requires only minimal trimming to shape the plant and remove damaged or dead branches. Cutting them back will encourage repeat flowering. After trimming, it usually takes two to three weeks for new buds to form. Prune the branches to shape the plant and encourage new growth.
Also Read: Spartina Alterniflora Plant
Kalanchoe plants can be propagated very easily. This plant can be effectively propagated using both stem and leaf cuttings. The best seasons for Kalanchoe propagation are spring and summer.
Take a cutting stem. Use clippers or a knife to make precise cuts immediately above the stem node or leaf. You can cut those lean stems using diffusion. Just cut the stem where the leg growth starts at the base.
Depending on how thick the stem is, it will take 1-3 days for the cut to dry completely. Dip the tip of the cutting in rooting hormone powder for healthy and fast rooting.
Succulents require a specific type of soil. To ensure that the stem is straight, each cutting needs to be placed in the ground and carefully pressed down. Avoid placing Kalanchoe plants in the sun.
Use a spray bottle or soft water to maintain soil moisture. Whenever you see stem/leaf growth on the cuttings, you can start caring for the Kalanchoe.
Kalanchoe Plant Care
The Kalanchoe plant care is minimal but be careful about light levels. Like many succulents it is a relatively hands-off species. It prefers plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil. In warm-weather zones where it is grown outdoors.
Kalanchoe needs well-drained, sandy soil and thrives on limited water. Manure plays an important part for it. As an indoor plant, cactus mix potting soil is best, and it does best with bright indirect light.
Kalanchoe plants are relatively problem-free. You may see problems with spider mites, mealybugs, or powdery mildew. You have to be careful about it.
Soil And Fertilizer
The sandy well-drained soil is ideal for Kalanchoe plant growth. It can be grown in clay pots to maintain good drainage and prevent excess moisture. Use soil that drains well. It does not retain much moisture.
Kalanchoe plants benefit from fertilizer like most flowering plants. During spring and summer, indoor plants should be fertilized once a month with a well-balanced fertilizer mixture, not in winter. If you flowers are few, switch to a phosphorus-rich fertilizer.
Light And Water
This fearless plant needs full saturation every few weeks, although it thrives on little water. When the soil is quite dry below an inch or two, water should be given. The leaves of a succulent Kalanchoe can actually store water.
Indoor Kalanchoe plants need plenty of light to grow well. They should be kept in a place where there is plenty of daylight. After this time of about four months the plant will begin to flower. This plant can be burned by too much light.
Temperature and Humidity
Kalanchoe appreciates the environment in which you live. It thrives in low humidity areas, so try to keep it there. It generally does best in temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Outside of zones 10 to 12, this plant is not a good choice for an outdoor garden plant.
They cannot survive temperatures below 55 degrees and perish immediately if touched by frost. A little effort can create an ideal home environment. The amount of atmospheric moisture has little effect on Kalanchoe plants.
Pests and Diseases
Kalanchoe plants are quite easy to grow. Problems can occur if they are exposed to enough temperature extremes. Its main pests are scale insects, mealybugs and aphids. Using modified mouthparts called stylets, all these insects pierce and eat the succulent leaves. Along with these plants, some pests can cause secondary problems.
Wet potting material can result in fungus-induced root and crown rot. In humid, wet climates, leaf spots may increase and lead to corky galls on inflamed leaves.