Care of Kalanchoe Plants

Overview

The kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana), a flowering succulent plant, belongs to the Crassulaceae (jade) family and is native to Madagascar. Like the poinsettia, the kalanchoe is often kept as a potted plant and flowers during winter. The kalanchoe has up to 5-inch-long, spatula-shaped, fleshy green leaves with scalloped edges. The stems grow upright, reaching 12 inches tall and topped with tightly-clustered flower inflorescences, or clusters, comprised of hundreds of tiny, four-petaled flowers. The flowers come in shades of white, yellow, orange, pink or red and bloom for up to two months. To care for kalanchoe, place it in a sunny spot and provide consistent temperatures.

Step 1

Place your kalanchoe plant in a sunny spot that receives about four hours per day of direct sunlight during spring, summer and early autumn. During winter, move your kalanchoe to a spot with southern or western sunlight exposure.

Step 2

Maintain daytime temperatures around your kalanchoe plant of 70 to 75 degrees F. Keep nighttime temperatures slightly cooler, around 60 to 65 degrees F.

Step 3

Water your kalanchoe plant deeply once or twice each week, providing water until it drains freely from the bottom of the pot. Water your kalanchoe only when the soil begins to dry out slightly.

Step 4

Feed your kalanchoe plant with an all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer once each month. Follow the dosage instructions on the fertilizer package.

Step 5

Re-pot your kalanchoe in a container the next size up after the plant is finished flowering. Pot the kalanchoe in an all-purpose, well-draining potting soil and in a pot with drainage holes in the bottom. Cut back the old flower stalks after the kalanchoe is done flowering and also cut back any tall growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Beware of burning the kalanchoe's tender leaves when setting it outdoors in the spring. Place the kalanchoe plant outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. Place the plant in a lightly shaded spot and gradually move the kalanchoe into more direct sunlight so that the new, tender leaves don't become scorched by the sun.

Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer
  • Planter pots
  • Potting soil
  • Pruning shears or scissors

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Care of Flowering Potted Plants

Who Can Help

  • University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: Plant of the Week -- Kalanchoe
Keywords: kalanchoe plant care, grow kalanchoe houseplants, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.