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How to Take Care of Kalanchoe Plant

The kalanchoe plant is a popular succulent houseplant, and is usually available for purchase in nurseries and garden centers in late winter and spring. It is a short-day plant, and requires special care to form flower buds. The extra effort, however, will result in beautiful blossoms in colors of red, pink, orange, yellow or white. The kalanchoe plant is also valued for its attractive foliage, which brightens indoor spaces all year. Aside from special winter care to promote flowering, kalanchoe is quite easy to grow indoors.

Plant Kalanchoe in a container filled with well-drained potting soil and place in an area that receives full sun or bright, indirect sunlight for most of the day. The kalanchoe plant will tolerate lower light conditions, but growth may become spindly.

Keep kalanchoe plants at a constant temperature of between 45 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit at all times to promote growth and flowering. Kalanchoe prefers daytime temperatures of between 50 and 70 F and nighttime temperatures of between 45 and 65 F.

Water your kalanchoe plant thoroughly once every seven to 10 days, allowing the soil to dry out for a few days between watering. Reduce the frequency of watering to once every two weeks during winter, when the kalanchoe plant is in a state of rest.

Feed kalanchoe plants once per month during the spring, summer and fall months using an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for the appropriate application rate. Water thoroughly before and after fertilizing for the best results.

Remove blossoms and stems from the kalanchoe plant when they begin to fade in spring. Use pruning shears to cut them back or remove by hand. Cut back overgrown or spindly stems as necessary to shape the plant, but avoid severe pruning.

Reduce light levels around Sept. 1 to promote winter flowering. Place the kalanchoe plant in a cool, dark room from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., allowing it no light during this period. Reduce watering and keep the temperature as close to 55 F as possible. Continue for four to six weeks, and then resume normal care. Flowers will follow shortly.

Tip

Bright, indirect light is recommended for growing a kalanchoe plant, although it will tolerate brief periods of direct sunlight during the winter months.

Repot kalanchoe plants once per year in spring, after flowering. Move to a slightly larger pot each time and the plant should last for many years with proper care.

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