How to Care for a Kalanchoe Plant

Overview

The kalanchoe sports bright, cheery blooms that are often the first houseplant heralding the return of spring sunshine indoors. With a profuse number of bright red, orange, yellow, pink, or white star shaped blossoms, kalanchoe is set off by dark green, glossy succulent leaves. Care for this happy houseplant is simple, making it a great choice for year-round color if you follow a few simple tips.

Step 1

Choose a pot with a drainage hole. Pots that can't drain will trap water that can breed bacteria that causes root rot.

Step 2

Fill the pot with a well draining potting soil. High levels of peat moss or perlite help with drainage, necessary for the succulent kalanchoe.

Step 3

Plant the kalanchoe and water well. Allow the soil to dry to a depth of several inches before a good watering. Do not let the plant sit in water on a tray, as soggy roots are dangerous to the kalanchoe.

Step 4

Fertilize with a weak houseplant fertilizer, specific to flowering indoor plants, monthly. Continue this process until September when the natural dormant period will set in.

Step 5

Force a holiday bloom by keeping the kalanchoe in darkness for up to 16 hours a night beginning the first of September. After October first, return the plant to normal day and night light levels. Blooms should emerge by December, about 12 weeks from starting the process.

Things You'll Need

  • Kalanchoe plant
  • Pot
  • Potting soil
  • Houseplant fertilizer

References

  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension, Kalanchoe
  • University of Illinois Extension, Plant Palette: Kalanchoe
  • Colorado State University Extension, Plant Talk: Kalanchoe
Keywords: kalanchoe care, growing kalanchoe, plant kalanchoe

About this Author

Desirae Roy holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education, with a focus on reading and special education. Also an interpreter for the deaf, she facilitates communication for students who learn in an inspiring way. Roy cultivates a life long love of learning and enjoys sharing her journey with others through writing.