Useful tips to grow and care for kalanchoe plant
Kalanchoe, scientifically called Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, is famous among gardeners and houseplant growers for various reasons. This succulent is especially famous for its reliable pink, red, white, or orange flourish heads that seem during winter. This plant is closely related to the jade plant and is native to Madagascar.
Quick Details of Kalanchoe Plant
|Other Common Names||Flaming Katy, Christmas kalanchoe, Madagascar widow’s-thrill, and florist Kalanchoe|
|Type||Tropical, Succulent plants|
|Flowering||Late fall to early spring|
|Light||Bright indirect light or full sun|
|Water||Water when the top 2 inches of soil is dry (water every 2 to 3 weeks if kept indoor|
|Temperature||60 degrees F (night temperature), 70 degrees (day temperature)|
|Soil||well-aerated and well-drained potting soil (like 60% peat moss and 40% perlite)|
|Fertilizer||Household fertilizer on a one-month gap|
|Habitat||Madagascar and Africa|
|Toxicity||Toxic to dogs and cats|
|Common Diseases||Grey mould, powdery mildew, Phytophthora rot|
|Scientific Name||Kalanchoe spp.|
Kalanchoe Plant Buying Instructions
- As said above, this plant is available in various shades, be it red, orange, pink, yellow, or magenta. So, choose your houseplants accordingly.
- Being widely popular, you can buy Kalanchoe at most major retailers, nurseries, or gardening stores.
Overview of Kalanchoe Plant
Kalanchoe plant belongs to the Crassulaceae family like other succulent plants. With glossy, green, large leaves, it is an easy-growing and attractive plant suitable for indoor spaces, backyards, and lawns.
But, as opposed to other succulents, the kalanchoe plant’s flowering time is a little delayed. However, it flourishes in arid environments and is considered easy to grow indoor plants. Best of all, it comes in pretty shades of yellow, red, white, and yellow but is a slow-growing plant.
This plant is usually available in early spring or winter while they are in its natural blooming cycle. Even though the flowers are long-lasting, they tend to lose their colour over time, so you’ll need to trim the heads to enjoy the lush foliage. To avail of kalanchoe plant benefits, make sure your plant will get bright yet dark sunlight exposure. This will keep your plant healthy throughout summer, whether outside or inside.
Varieties of Kalanchoe plant
Kalanchoe plant comes in various types having different colour shades. Often planted outside, they usually bloom in the spring, but inside, plants can be coaxed into flourishing about year-round. Some of the common varieties of the Kalanchoe plant are as follows:
Kalanchoe Behrens is A variety that features velvety, giant leaves that are watery and silvery green. Also known as the elephant ear species of Kalanchoe, it is enduring in zones 9-11.
Kalanchoe Manginii Kalanchoe’s Mangini variety bears giant, bell-like pendant flowers and fleshy leaves. For its extended flourishing, moist air is a must-have component. It is hardy in USDA areas 9-11 and is often called a chandelier plant.
Kalanchoe Porphyrocalyx This variety is called Pearl Bells and features purple pendant flowers and rectangular, slender leaves. The enduring zone of this species is in areas 11 to 12.
Kalanchoe Pinnata The Pinata variety is noted for its bears, more diminutive plants and edges, and fleshy green leaves. Also called Cathedral Bells, it is hardy in zones 10 to 11. This species also has various health benefits. Kalanchoe pinnata plant benefits include aiding diarrhea, boils, burns, insect bites, pleurisy, inflammation, impetigo, tuberculosis, and many more diseases and infections.
Usage and Advantage of Kalanchoe plant
- As a traditional medicine, various varieties of the Kalanchoe plant are used to help with ailments such as arthritis, infections, and inflammation.
- The availability of organic compounds in their leaves prevents cancer cell development, proliferation, and spread.
- Kalanchoe leaves contain vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties. It is said that the consumption of Kalanchoe tea can help protect against many diseases.
Kalanchoe Plant growing and caring tips
Your Kalanchoe plant should be potted best in sandy, well-drained soil if grown in the yard or lawn. But, in an indoor environment, your plant grows best in a mix that doesn’t retain excessive moisture. You can also pot your plant in a clay pot to avoid an overly moist environment and ensure proper drainage. It may also help to extra wick water from the soil.
If plant roots sit in moist soil for too long, it can lead to root rot, which will kill your plant. Therefore, you need to make sure that the soil you are using is providing good drainage.
Adequate watering is essential for your plant to survive and thrive well. Excessive watering of succulents can result in their death. Allowing the soil to dry out between waterings helps prevent root rot. This plant, like minimal water, requires complete saturation every few weeks but less frequently during winter conditions. Since Kalanchoe belongs to the category of succulent plants, the leaves of the plant are generally able to store water. Therefore, the plant will be fine even if you are giving water late for a few days. Watering should be reduced to at least once a month during winter conditions. Leaves of this plant work as a reservoir of water and can willingly ingest stored water during dry days.
If potted indoors, Kalanchoe requires bright sun rays to flourish in approximately less than 12 hours. It will bloom at temperatures varying from 55-80 degrees F. They are not fussy about air moisture levels. To grow the plant inside, Kalanchoe should be kept near a window where bright light comes in. It will bloom well in full sun but refrain from direct exposure to sunlight. But, if we talk about the Kalanchoe plant Vastu, the plant should be kept in the southeast direction. Then, if the intensity of sun rays is too strong, you can offer it partial shade. But on the other hand, excessive heat can burn your plant, so always notice how your plant reacts to the light available in its location.
Growing Kalanchoe outside, where temperatures are between 10 and 12, is not a good idea. The reason behind this is that they do not thrive in temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and will die immediately if contacted by cold. Because Kalanchoe thrives and lives in dry conditions for a long time, that means it needs a low-humidity environment. This can be done simply by increasing the humidity level in the environment. Home humidity is even better for Kalanchoe growing, but prolonged exposure to humidity can lead to disease buildups, such as leaf spots and powdery mildew. Therefore, avoid low temperatures as it is not frost-tolerant.
This indoor plant benefits from fertilizer, just like other plants. It needs more than one light feeding during spring. Add houseplant fertilizer once a month for regular feeding during the summer. Water the concentration of fertilizer down to ½ of its original measurement only. To promote blooming, use a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus. But excessive content can cause burns to the tips of the leaves and roots.
Pests and other problems for the Kalanchoe plant
1. Pests and Diseases
Most varieties of Kalanchoe do not pose any risk to pests. But, like other succulents, they are vulnerable to aphids and mealybugs. You need to stay on the lookout for these pests by monitoring plant leaves frequently. You can wipe the leaves with an insecticide to eliminate these pests. The best option is to use neem oil as an organic solution. Be sure to apply the diluted version.
Kalanchoe leaves can end up sagging if temperatures are too high. Therefore, keep your plant below 80 degrees F to get benefits from Kalanchoe medicinal uses.
3. Burned or Drab Leaves
Direct sun exposure is just right for plants to look their best. Low light conditions will make the bright green colour disappear; On the other hand, burnt leaves can be expected from excessive and direct sunlight. So, instead of lots of direct sunlight, choose an indoor location that receives lots of bright indirect light.
4. Fragile, soft stem
A significant issue with Kalanchoe is planting in a soilless medium that retains water or overwaters. Over-watering these plants can easily lead to stem rot and root rot. If you notice a visible problem, stop watering until your plant has recovered.
Kalanchoe plant prorogation
- With the help of sharp knife shears, prune a portion of the stem several inches long from the mature.
- Allow the cutting to dry for a few days or until the end is worn and healed.
- Once cured, dip the tough ends of the cuttings in the rooting hormone.
- Pot the cutting in soil containing the same mix used to make the mother plant bloom.
- Allow newly planted cuttings to sit in indirect light, but avoid overwatering.
- The stem should take root within a month, and the plant becomes mature.
Being a medicinal plant, Kalanchoe has various health benefits. It has shown numerous pharmacological activities, including antimicrobial, antidiabetic, inflammatory, antinociceptive, wound healing, etc.
Yes, it is; growers believe that Kalanchoe Calandiva species bring prosperity and luck.
Being a low-maintenance indoor and easy to care for, Kalanchoes are good for home. Provide them with a sunny, bright spot, as well as little amount of water.
Several cultivars of Kalanchoe are often used in folklore, which is further used in traditional medicine to treat scabies, fever, bruised wounds, infections, coughs, inflammation, high blood pressure, and skin diseases.
The use of pinnata varies depending on your age and health. Also, you should consult your healthcare provider.
The active components of Kalanchoe pinnata have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, which help treat various health problems.
Crassulaceae variety of Kalanchoe acts as traditional medicine, contributing to cancer treatment and infectious diseases. Search how to use Kalanchoe for cancer to know more about the treatment.
Prepare a paste from Kalanchoe leaves to aid the headache. For eye disease, fresh sap of plants works well. It is advisable to apply leaf paste externally to cure wounds and cuts.