How to Plant Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe miniata blooms. image by Wildfeur/commons.wikimedia.org

Overview

Kalanchoe is a family of succulents, many of which flower. They are tender perennials hardy only in USDA zones 10a through 11 and are grown mostly as indoor houseplants. As succulents, good soil drainage is key to overall plant health. Kalanchoe are generally very low-maintenance plants. They are light feeders and are not often troubled by pests or disease.

Step 1

Find a spot to place your kalanchoe where it will receive bright indirect light throughout the day. Position the plant so it receives direct morning and afternoon sunlight but is shielded from the strong midday sun. If the plant grows leggy or loses its color and vigor, more light is likely needed. Keep the plant where it lives in ambient temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Plant or re-pot your kalanchoe in easy-draining soil. Look for a commercially bagged potting mix that is specifically formulated for cactus. Plant your kalanchoe at the same soil depth that it held in its previous pot so that the soil level remains consistent on the stem. Allow a small gap between the top of the soil and the lip of the pot to act as a catch for water.

Step 3

Water your kalanchoe to keep it lightly moist but not consistently wet. Allow the soil to dry out just a bit before watering again to prevent rot. Depending on your climate and ambient temperatures, this may mean watering every three to four days to once every eight to 10 days. Never let the soil dry out entirely. Water when the surface soil is dry to the touch.

Step 4

Feed a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer formula to your kalanchoe once each season in the spring, summer and fall. Follow the label directions, but cut in strength by half. Apply over prewatered soil for best effect.

Step 5

Cut away dead or diseased leaves and spent flower stalks as needed. Always cut with clean pruning shears down to the main stem.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Cactus potting mix
  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

References

  • University of Illinois
  • Tips on Growing Kalanchoe
Keywords: growing kalanchoe, flowering succulents, caring for kalanchoe

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.

Photo by: Wildfeur/commons.wikimedia.org