Care of Kalanchoe

Overview

Kalanchoe is a popular succulent plant native to Madagascar and grown in the United States as a houseplant for its colorful foliage, durability and ease of care. Plants can typically be found for sale in late winter or early spring in nurseries or garden centers across the country. The kalanchoe plant features thick, waxy leaves and small clusters of flowers that appear above the foliage in spring or summer. After flowering, the plant enters a state of dormancy and it may be discarded or saved to re-bloom the following season.

Step 1

Keep kalanchoe in a location that receives six to eight hours of full sunlight each day such as a south- or west-facing window. Maintain a temperature of 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Step 2

Water kalanchoe once every five to seven days, allowing the soil to dry slightly between applications. Decrease watering frequency to once every 10 days during winter, when active growth has ceased.

Step 3

Fertilize the plant once each month during spring, summer and fall using an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Apply at the rate recommended by the product's manufacturer and water thoroughly after applying for best results.

Step 4

Transplant kalanchoe into a slightly larger container immediately after flowering ends. Use a growing medium made of three parts peat moss and two parts perlite. Cut back old flower stems and tall growth, and keep the plant in a sunny window. Transfer outdoors to a warm, bright location after danger of frost has passed.

Step 5

Bring the kalanchoe plant back indoors three months prior to the desired bloom time if re-blooming is desired. Keep the plant in complete darkness for 14 to 16 hours a day, and in bright, indirect sunlight for the remaining hours to encourage the formation of flower buds.

Step 6

Maintain a temperature of 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during this period of dormancy. Replace the plant in its original growing location after flower buds are visible above the foliage, usually after about 90 days, and blooming will begin shortly thereafter.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not permit standing water to accumulate around kalanchoe, as the crown may rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Container
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite

References

  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Kalanchoe
  • Cass County Extension: Kalanchoe Care
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension Care of Specialty Potted Plants: Kalanchoe
Keywords: kalanchoe, kalanchoe plant, care of kalanchoe

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.