Kalanchoe is the most popular and also one of the prettiest representatives of the Crasulaceae family. Although native of Madagascar, Kalanchoe is cultivated all over the world and it’s easy to recognize because of its inflorescence with beautiful flowers collected in small bouquets colored in red, orange, yellow and violet and its fleshy and succulent leaves, oval shaped and easy to break because of their tenderness.
Your Kalanchoe will continual flower for 6-8 months per year, especially if it enjoys of good care and appropriate growing conditions. Being a plant of which flowering process depends of the day’s length. Therefore Kalanchoe cultivators are following a very specific practice for a long blooming period. You should keep in mind that the continual darkness will enhance flowering. So, for stimulating the new buds production, place Kalanchoe plant in full light, keeping it to 8-10 hours per day (even artificial light). After bud’s apparition, you can remove the plant back to regular lighting.
For Kalanchoe to flower again, cut the flowers off when they start to die back and let the plant rest for a month in a dark place. During the resting period you don’t have to water the plant or maybe less water. When you’ll notice new buds, bring Kalanchoe back in its appropriate place, restarting the regular watering.
Kalanchoe Growing conditions
Kalanchoes are easy to grow, needing minimum care. So, if you are a busy person, don’t hesitate to buy a Kalanchoe which is a very beautiful decorating plant for your moderate indoor climate. It needs warm temperature, between 12 and 30 degrees centigrade. It’s important for you to know that this plant is very sensitive to cold, so protect it from freezing.
It hates also the water excess, being very alike the cactus respecting the watering conditions. Therefore you have to water it once in a week during the flowering period and less in resting one without over watering and reaching the heart of the plant because the excess moisture of the soil will provoke the rottenness of the roots or the diseases apparition. The soil has to be kept rather dry than moist.
Relative to cactus, Kalanchoe doesn’t like the direct sunlight in summer, because of its succulent leaves which in these light conditions will get sun burned.
Choose for your Kalanchoe a pot that allows best aeration of the roots. To ensure the drainage, put some pebbles of the bottom of the pot. The soil has to be a permeable potting mix of peaty, leaves soil and sand.
Fertilize the soil using liquid or solid fertilizer for flowering plants once in two weeks during the blooming period.
Kalanchoe’s multiplication is possible through seeds and cuttings too. But it’s better and easier to propagate Kalanchoe through cuttings, obtained from offspring. So you have to cut the top of the mother plant sprig with a 6-7 cm length, containing 4-5 leaves or even a leaf and let them in free air for a few days for dehydrating and healing the lesion. Then plant the Kalanchoe cuttings in light soil for striking roots. The transplantation will be possible after 2-3 years since the first plantation. Don’t you forget that Kalanchoe loves to be alone in a small pot and also be repot each spring adding fresh soil.