Kalanchoe is a popular succulent of the flowering plant family and is an evergreen plant that has beautiful flowers and is native to the tropical regions of Madagascar. Continue reading this article in TooPlant in order to learn more about how to grow and care for Kalanchoe.
Introduction of Kalanchoe
Before addressing how to care for Kalanchoe, please allow us to give you a brief introduction about this houseplant.
||Kalanchoe, Flaming Katy, Christmas Kalanchoe
||Height: 6 to 18 feet; Spread: 6 to 18 feet
|| Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day) Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
||Varies; requires 6 weeks of 14-hour nights
||Toxic to pets, considered non-toxic to humans
||Madagascar, South Africa
||10 to 12 (USDA)
Kalanchoe comes in a variety of colors, most of which are vibrant colors such as yellow, pink, purple, orange and red. In winter, white species of this houseplant are usually found more. The leaves of this plant with their large size and green color are also very impressive. This plant is usually sold in sizes of 10 to 15 cm and can grow up to about 30 cm. If you are lazy in watering plants or you forget, this houseplant is suitable for you.
In this article, we want to provide you with information about how to care for Kalanchoe, so stay tuned with Tooplant.
Types of Kalanchoe
These plants have about 200 different species and are considered perennial greenhouse plants.
How many varieties of kalanchoe are there?
Some of these types include the following:
1. Kalanchoe manginii: It has fleshy leaves and large, bell-like hanging flowers. Humid air is essential for long-lasting blooming.
2. Kalanchoe porphyrocalyx: This species consists of narrow, rectangular leaves and purple hanging flowers. It makes a great hanging plant. Its common name is Pearl Bells.
3. Kalanchoe beharensis: In this type, there are large and velvety leaves whose color are pale silver-green. It is also known as elephant ear.
4. Kalanchoe pinnata: This kind of kalanchoe has fleshy and green leaves that have small plants on the margins.
5. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana: By far it is the most popular kalanchoe with large flower heads available in a variety of colors. They are forced to bloom throughout the year although they naturally bloom in the spring.
Care for Kalanchoe
In short, about the maintenance and care of the kalanchoe, we must say that this flowering houseplant is very easy to care for and with very little care, it produces a large number of long-lasting flowers and is less prone to disease. Kalanchoe is a suitable option for busy people because it has a high compatibility with dry soil and will remain green even if you forget to water it. This characteristic of kalanchoe is due to its fleshy and juicy leaves that store water in themselves and use it when needed. To have a kalanchoe that is always beautiful and fresh, it is necessary to observe and consider the vital items such as light, watering and other items that we have mentioned in detail below.
In this part, we will focus on the most important aspects which you need to take into consideration while treating this houseplant. The best methods of how to care for Kalanchoe include as follows:
Kalanchoe Light Requirements: What light is best for Kalanchoe?
Light is among the first important issues to care for Kalanchoe. Kalanchoe needs bright, natural light. A place with moderate or high light is ideal for this plant as long as it is not exposed to too much direct sunlight. Intense and prolonged direct sunlight can burn the houseplant.
This plant can be kept outdoors, but you should be careful of the intense sun in the afternoon. If you live in a sunny area, it is better not to leave the plant in direct sunlight for long periods of time.
On the other hand, if Kalanchoe receives little light, it will not be able to bloom its flowers and the leaves of this plant will be crumpled. If you can not provide enough light for this plant, it is better to buy a plant whose flowers have already bloomed.
So, as shown above, light plays a significant role to care for Kalanchoe.
Kalanchoe Watering: How often should you water a Kalanchoe?
In the rest, concerning the tips of caring for a Kalanchoe, it is better to know that this plant is a succulent and has fleshy leaves and stems that can store water, so it does not need much water and should not be wet too much. Therefore, watering is another important aspect in order to care for Kalanchoe.
Kalanchoe needs water when the soil is dry and the excess should be drained well after watering. Normally this plant needs water once every two weeks. Of course, this time may vary depending on the temperature, light or size of the pot, and you need to recognize it.
Your pot should have drainage holes and no plastic or foil around it to drain the water, otherwise, you will have to wait for the roots of the plant to rot.
In this way, to care for Kalanchoe, watering is considered to be of great significance.
Kalanchoe Soil: What is the best soil for a Kalanchoe?
Intending to care for Kalanchoe, the other crucial matter is soil. A combination of cactus soil and potting soil can be used for this plant. Adding a little compost to this soil is also a good thing and helps the plant. A combination of pudding and perlite is also very suitable for drainage of this soil. Thus, it can be said that, soil is another basic and important issue so as to care for Kalanchoe.
Kalanchoe Temperature Tolerance
Now, we come to temperature which is assumed to be principal to care for Kalanchoe in addition to light, watering and soil that are mentioned above. Normal room temperature is good for this plant. Kalanchoe, like any other plant, the more heat it receives, the sooner its flowers will bloom and, of course, the shorter the life of its flowers. This plant can tolerate temperature changes, but it is better to always keep it at room temperature. The ideal temperature for this plant is between 13 and 29 °C. This plant can not tolerate very cold weather or frost and it is better to stay away from the window in cold seasons so that the cold wind does not damage this plant.
Kalanchoe Humidity: Does kalanchoe like humidity?
Moisture is another thing which we need to inevitably pay attention to when talking about how to care for kalanchoe. This houseplant is native to hot and dry areas and does not grow well in humid weather. Since the kalanchoe does not need high humidity, it is not necessary to spray the leaves. High humidity can cause powdery mildew on the leaves.
Therefore, please do not forget to take humidity into consideration in order to care for kalanchoe in the best way.
Kalanchoe Fertilizer: What is the best fertilizer for a Kalanchoe?
When you want to care for Kalanchoe, one of the important questions that may come to your mind is “what is the best fertilizer?” In what follows, we will address how to fertilize this plant:
This plant does not need fertilizer, but you can cover the soil surface with a little compost in the spring so that the plant receives the necessary nutrients.
If you feel your Kalanchoe needs fertilizer, it is better to do so in the spring or summer with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Never fertilize the plant in the fall or winter because the plant is resting this season.
Also, be careful not to over fertilise. This not only does not help the plant but also causes salt to form in the soil, damaging the roots and causing brown spots to appear on the plant’s leaves.
As a result, we could say that fertilizer is regarded as one of the fundamental issues when someone wants to care for Kalanchoe.
Kalanchoe Toxicity: Is Kalanchoe poisonous to humans and pets?
In order to care for Kalanchoe, toxicity is considered to be a major issue because it directly relates to your health especially children and pets. This houseplant is considered poisonous for dogs and cats. Chewing or swallowing Kalanchoe can cause vomiting or diarrhea in the animal, and in some rare cases can disrupt the animal’s heart rhythm.
Kalanchoe Repotting: How to repot kalanchoe?
From mid-winter to mid-spring, you need to prune kalanchoe and change the soil of the pot and use a bigger pot if needed. This species’ soil needs to be changed every year or every two years.
If you have ever changed the soil, you must have noticed that after a year the roots of the plant have filled the entire pot and the roots have come out from the bottom of the pot. It is time to repot kalanchoe and the pot soil has lost its quality. If you repot the plant too soon, it will stop the growth of the plant.
One of the reasons for the kalanchoe’s resistance to heat and drought is its juicy and fleshy leaves, which are a very good source of water storage. This plant grows very well and you can plant it in small pots and after one year you will have a pot multiple times the original size.
Kalanchoe Pruning: How to prune Kalanchoe?
Another thing to keep in mind when caring for a Kalanchoe is pruning it. This plant can be pruned for better growth or appearance. Dead flowers or stems should be removed from the plant to avoid losing energy. Also, by separating the dead flowers from this plant, we encourage it to flower again. Pruning the very long stems of this houseplant helps to prevent it from falling and sloppiness.
Kalanchoe Propagating: How to propagate Kalanchoe?
When you want to care for Kalanchoe, another important question that may come to your mind is “how to propagate it.” Kalanchoe can be propagated by seeds, stems or cuttings of the stem. Propagation by seed is unusual, but propagation by cuttings is very simple.
How to propagate Kalanchoe with cutting?
The best season for Kalanchoe propagation is spring or summer. In these seasons, the plant has no flowers and spends all its energy on its preparation.
¤¤ The stem you choose to propagate should be mature and healthy, with no flowers on it, and be tall enough to have at least two leaves on it. Cut the leaf or stem slightly above the knot with a pair of sharp scissors or a sharp knife.
¤¤ If you are going to choose cutting for propagation, make sure that you choose exactly where the small plant connects to the mother plant and there are at least a few leaves on it.
¤¤ Place the cut stem in place to create a callus-like shape at the incision site. This callus protects the cut stem from disease or rot. This step may take between one and three days, depending on the thickness of the cut stem. After the callus forms on the stem, you can put it in a root hormone, which of course is optional.
¤¤ Prepare soil for your young plant that has good drainage and dries easily. The soil of this plant should not be too wet because it will cause it to rot. If your pot is large enough, you can plant several plants together, but do not forget that these young Kalanchoes grow larger one day and need enough space to grow. Now place the stems slowly and upright in the soil and secure them in place.
¤¤ Moisture helps the young cuttings, so you can cover the pot with a clean plastic and provide the necessary moisture and make a few holes in the plastic to allow enough air to flow. It is better to place the pot near a south window as this will provide the best light for the succulents. Do not allow light to reach Kalanchoe directly as this will cause it to burn out.
¤¤ Whenever you feel the soil is completely dry, spray it with a little water. After a while you notice that the stems take root or grow strongly, you can celebrate the birth of your new Kalanchoe and keep it like an adult plant.
The flowers of this plant are one of the reasons why it is so popular. This plant often flowers in the season that has short days and long nights, i.e. between autumn to spring.
Kalanchoe can determine the length of day or night and adjust its growing season accordingly.
This plant needs 12 to 14 hours of complete darkness to be able to flower again.
If you keep this plant indoors, then this plant will not receive its desired darkness. It is better to keep this plant in a completely dark closet or room for at least 12 hours after daylight. Keep doing this for 6 to 8 weeks. Stop watering during this period, and when you see the first signs of flower growth on the plant, you can return the plant to its previous storage condition.
Common Pests and Diseases
Kalanchoe , like any other plant, can be exposed to disease or pests.
Kalanchoe is not very popular with pests but can be threatened by aphids or mealybugs. At the first sight of these pests on your plant, it is better to clean them with water and a clean cloth.
Any plant can suffer from diseases or problems that cause damage to the plant or even death, Kalanchoe is no exception. Yellowing leaves, wilting, fungus or strange growth are signs that your plant is sick. Here are some problems and diseases that may occur in the caring for Kalanchoe houseplants, and by recognizing the symptoms, you can treat your plants.
This plant is extremely sensitive to cold. Extremely low temperatures can cause the flowers or leaves of this plant to become soft and damaged. Of course, very high temperatures will also cause the leaves to wither. The best temperature range for storing Kalanchoe is between 13 and 26 °C. This plant, even if it is at a temperature of 5 degrees for a short time, can cause its death.
This plant is highly sensitive to ethylene gas. What is this gas? The same thing is found in cigarettes, car exhaust and some fruits. This gas causes Kalanchoe flowers to die or fail to bloom. Ethylene also causes the leaves of this plant to turn yellow and fall off.
Kalanchoe is very light-loving. Insufficient light can make the leaves ugly. Place your Kalanchoe in a well-lit, indirect light environment. If the plant receives a lot of direct light, its leaves will burn.
Excessive watering of this plant can damage it. Never put water directly on the leaves as it will cause fungus or bacteria. Kalanchoe needs water when the soil is dry and watering should be sufficient to moisten the soil and remove excess.
Root rot is one of the root problems caused by excessive watering or insufficient drying of the soil due to inadequate drainage. Pythium and herbicides are diseases that infect the plant with excessive watering in the long run. Proper soil drainage and adequate watering can prevent this problem.
Signs of zinc deficiency in Kalanchoe include yellowing of plant leaves and twisting of leaves. Zinc deficiency, especially in Kalanchoe, causes the plant to produce smooth stems with many leaves. To prevent zinc deficiency in the plant, soil pH should be kept around 6 to 6.5 or an equal mixture of fertilizer and perlite should be added to the soil.
Caring for Kalanchoe: Common Problems With Kalanchoe
After a description of taking care of a Kalanchoe, we will explain the problems and their solutions:
Why Are Kalanchoe Leaves Turning Yellow?
As “leaves turning yellow” is one of the common problems that you may face when you want to care for Kalanchoe, we tried to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details. 4 Common causes for yellowing leaves on Kalanchoe include the following:
1. Improper watering
Most Kalanchoe owners forget that Kalanchoe is a succulent. Frequent, excessive and from above watering causes damage to this plant. Although it can often withstand these conditions, it is better not to treat it that way. Kalanchoe prefers to experience drought most of the time. The soil should dry well between each watering.
2. Root rot
Root rot occurs when Kalanchoe is submerged in water. Being in completely wet soil due to overwatering or lack of proper soil drainage are the main causes of root rot. If the plant is exposed to wet stress for a long time, harmful fungi such as Pythium and herbicide will appear and affect the health of the plant. Complications vary, such as yellowing and wilting of the leaves or death of the plant.
If the plant has a problem with overwatering and root rot, you should remove it from the pot. Gently clean the soils attached to the root ball and try not to damage it. Now you need to go to all the root sections. Has the part changed color? Or does the part have an unpleasant odor? Trim all abnormal parts with sharp scissors so that the roots have only healthy parts. Now plant it in new soil with proper drainage. Prevention is the best course of action. Therefore, it is better to correct the watering process before rot occurs, plant the plant in well-drained soil and do not water the plant from above.
3. Zinc deficiency
Kalanchoe is prone to zinc deficiency, especially if grown in soil with high levels of phosphorus. Signs of this deficiency include yellowing of the leaves between the veins, wilting or twisting.
An insufficient amount of zinc can cause the leaves in Kalanchoe to become too flat and too long, which is called “fascination”. To reduce the risk of this happening, keep the soil pH between 6 and 6.5 and use equal amounts of coal and perlite in the soil.
Some types of insects can cause the leaves of this plant to turn yellow. For example, the mealybug feeds on the leaves of this plant. This delicate insect is 2 to 16 cm long and looks like small pieces of fabric. They can cause the Kalanchoe leaves to turn yellow and even fall off. Using its piercing mouth, the mealybug pierces the inner tissue of the leaf and sucks the inner sap through it, thus weakening the plant.
What Causes Brown Spots on Kalanchoe Leaves?
Although Kalanchoe does not require special care, it can sometimes get sick. The appearance of brown spots on the leaves is one of these problems. We should look at these brown spots in two categories: 1. Yellow-brown to dark brown spots; 2. Red-brown spots.
Spots of the first group occur due to a special physical condition called edema. But the second group is caused by a pest called the brown mite. Edema damage is mild and limited to the same area, but brown mollusks can even kill the plant if left untreated.
Edema is caused by overwatering or very little fertilization. In this problem, some of the plant cells absorb a lot of water, burst and thus die.
Edema spots do not go away until you scratch them with your fingernails. They often form on the underside of the leaf and you will not notice their presence until you check there. But do not worry, the man can not kill the plant.
Treatment of edema
To prevent edema, it is better to keep Kalanchoe away from moisture and wetness. If you plant it in a pot, move the plant to a drier place and water it exactly at the soil surface. It is impossible to keep Kalanchoe planted in the garden from humidity; But do not forget: edema stain is not dangerous, it is just ugly! If you think your plant is deficient in nutrients, apply a 10-16-10 granular fertilizer around the roots. For every 30 cm2, one tablespoon of fertilizer is enough. Check the recipe from the description section written on the cover. Each fertilizer has a specific method of application.
Some of the brown spots on the Kalanchoe may have been caused by the pest. These insects are about half a centimeter long, oval in shape, and are found in a dark red-brown color. If it hits the spot and moves, it is an insect.
This insect feeds on the sap in the leaves and produces a viscous liquid called honeydew. Honeydew is sweet and elastic and covers the surface of the leaves. This coating provides the environment for mold and mildew to grow, thus causing the plant to suffer. In fact, it is the main cause of brown mollusks for plants.
Brown mollusk control
You can remove this insect by removing and washing it from the plant surface. To wash, follow these instructions: Dissolve half a tablespoon of liquid soap in a liter of water and dip a soft cloth in it. Then carefully and gently wash the patient’s leaves. If the leaf has too many of these pests, we recommend removing it from the plant.
If this method does not work, dissolve one-half to one-quarter teaspoon of the pesticide (bifenthrin) in about 4 liters of water and spray it with horticultural sprays. Spray all the Kalanchoe leaves well with this solution. Do not forget to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, thick shoes, socks and thick gloves before using this chemical. Be careful not to contaminate other plants or contaminate bees.
Since “leaves turning brown” is another common problem that you may face when you want to care for Kalanchoe, we tried to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details.
What Are The Main Causes Of Kalanchoe Dropping Leaves?
“Leaves dropping” is another common problem that you may face when you want to care for Kalanchoe, so we will try to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details. We all like to always see our Kalanchoe with its beautiful green leaves. But falling is an unpleasant event that may affect our plant as well. This usually happens for the following reasons:
Bending the trunk
If enough sunlight does not reach the plant, it tends to the light source. This bending will sometimes lead to leaf fall. Under these conditions, the leaves of the lower part of the main trunk begin to turn yellow and fall off after a while.
After the flowering process is complete, the plant may stop growing completely and lose its leaves. These are the signs that the energy of the plant is gone. The plant should be transferred immediately to rich soil or receive proper fertilizer.
With the arrival of the cold season, heating devices are also installed in homes. If the plant is located near a heat source, the leaves will fall off. We usually place the Kalanchoe on the edge of the window, where it is often located above the radiator and heater. In such an atmosphere, the air is very dry. Except in special cases, it is better to take the plant to a place with a lower temperature with the arrival of autumn.
The best temperatures for Kalanchoe in winter are 13 to 15 °C. In this case, this beautiful plant will adapt to the cold and leaf fall will be minimized. The good thing about fall and winter is that the humidity is no longer high, otherwise you should always be worried about white mold!
What Should Be Done if the Roots of Kalanchoe Rot?
in the rest, the methods of caring for a Kalanchoe, we must say that Kalanchoe needs well-drained soil and is damaged by exposure to high humidity. One of the first side effects of overwatering is root rot. If the lower part of the trunk (close to the soil) becomes black and viscous, it means that the root is in trouble.
It is a little difficult to save a plant with rotten roots. The most important thing is your timely reaction. As soon as you feel that the plant may have this problem, you should stop watering and let the soil dry completely. If you have planted Kalanchoe in a pot, remove it and plant it in a new pot. Use fresh, well-drained soil, and make sure the pot has enough drainage holes this time. Before planting the roots in new soil, cut the diseased parts with sharp scissors.
Does Kalanchoe bloom? (How To Encourage Kalanchoe For Flowers?)
To do this, the plant must take a rest period. Reducing the amount of light is one of the main necessary conditions.
To encourage the plant to flower normally, do the following:
At the end of the life of the plant flowers, remove them. In this way, the plant will use its energy to grow new parts. During the summer, make sure the soil is well-drained and place it in a bright place. Keep air and soil moisture in balance. With the fall, reduce watering and move the plant indoors if you have it outdoors. The plant will receive less light during the fall and winter, which helps new flowers to form.
In late winter (or just at the beginning of flowering), give the plant 10-10-0 fertilizer. This will strengthen the flowering and maintain the health of the plant. But if you want to get the plant to flower at a special time, such as Christmas, you need to do something else:
Minimize watering and keep the plant out of the sun for 14 hours from 6 weeks ahead of schedule. You can put it in a cupboard, cabinet or under a box for 14 hours and return it to a bright place for another 10 hours.
The goal is to keep the plant in complete darkness for 14 hours. Keep the plant warm and away from heating / cooling devices. We are going to take it to dormancy, so stop fertilizing and watering during these 6 weeks. As soon as you see the flowers, take the plant to a brighter place and resume watering as before. In the spring, fertilize the plant and remove the old flowers.
What Problems Might Arise For the Plant On How To Care For Kalanchoe?
After a description of how to care for Kalanchoe houseplants, we will explain the problems that might arise for the plant in caring for them.
- Improper maintenance of any plant can lead to problems for it. After buying a plant, you should master the method of its maintenance and try to provide the best conditions for it. But sometimes, despite the stable environmental conditions, the plant undergoes changes:
- If the lower leaves of the plant begin to fall off and the upper leaves turn yellow, it means that the Kalanchoe does not receive enough light. In this case, change the location of the plant and bring it closer to the skylights (preferably east or south).
- If despite the healthy appearance of the leaves, flowering is delayed, it means that you have over-fertilized. If this happens, stop fertilizing immediately and do not do so for a while. If necessary, reduce the amount of fertilizer used. If black spots appear on the surface of the leaves, it means that parasitic fungi have invaded your Kalanchoe. This may occur if the temperature is low, or the soil is overwatered before it dries.
- If despite the healthy appearance of the leaves, flowering is delayed, it means that you have over-fertilized. If this happens, stop fertilizing immediately and do not do so for a while. If necessary, reduce the amount of fertilizer used. If black spots appear on the surface of the leaves, it means that parasitic fungi have invaded your Kalanchoe. This may occur if the temperature is low, or the soil is overwatered before it dries. In this case, you have to change the soil of the plant and remove the diseased leaves. Watering should be reduced. If the room air is cool, you can place the plant on the edge of the windows above the radiator.
- The appearance of gray mold occurs due to improper temperature and humidity of the environment. If the air is very humid and cold, such mold will form. In this case, take the plant to another place and do not worry, because it will go away on its own. White mold is another leaf complication that can endanger plant health due to excessive heat of the plant.
Winter care: Give plants at least a half-day of bright, direct sun. Let pots dry out between watering. Kalanchoe thrives in dry air.
Spring care: Repot after flowering, pinch new growth to encourage new leaves, and begin fertilizing with all-purpose houseplant food when you see new growth.
Summer care: After last frost, move plant outdoors to a partly shaded location. Continue fertilizing and watering.
Fall care: Move plant indoors before first frost. To induce bud set, allow plant to go dormant in September by providing cool (50 degrees F.) conditions and 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness each night for two months.
Infographic Of How To Care For Kalanchoe
In this article, we tried to explain to you in an infographic the essential tips in the care of Kalanchoe, so that you can briefly and usefully learn the methods of caring for this plant.
In The End
In this article, we tried to provide you with the necessary information about the methods of caring for a Kalanchoe.