Updated/Fact-Chacked on August 11, 2021 by John
House plants and flowers are a simple yet stylish way to add life and vigor to any house. The right plant can elevate the ambiance of your house and add that warm homely feel. Unfortunately, as many homeowners come to learn, some plants are high maintenance and require loads of care and attention in order to blossom.
Are you looking for an elegant yet low-maintenance flower to keep at home? The kalanchoe is just that. This stunning plant is not only easy to look after and care for; it also produces some of the most magnificent flowers. Here’s everything you need to know about how to plant a kalanchoe plant at home easily.
Other name: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana,flaming Katy, Panda plant
Type: Indoor House Plant
Flower Colours: red, magenta, shades of yellow, white and orange
What is a kalanchoe plant?
The kalanchoe plant is a long-flowering perennial succulent plant originally indigenous to Madagascar Island in Africa. The plant is named after Robert Blossfeld, who is credited with discovering the plant. While only a few of the kalanchoe plants are regularly cultivated, the genus houses more than 100 species.
As mentioned above, kalanchoes require little care as they are used to a harsh and arid environment. Ideally, they do well in warm temperatures ranging from 60F to 85F. To cope with the arid environments, the kalanchoe plant has relatively thick and waxy leaves. This helps the plant retain moisture.
Kalanchoes can either be grown indoors as house plants or outdoors as rock plants and live decoration. Their ease of maintenance and resilience makes them an ideal plant in most regions.
How do you plant kalanchoes?
In most cases, you’ll buy a kalanchoe plant in your local florist or supermarket. While there’s little work involved in maintaining the plant, the first few steps are integral as they help form the foundation for your plant. The size of the pot housing the plant and the right sun exposure will help you get the best from your kalanchoe.
The kalanchoe will likely come in a small-to-medium-sized pot. The size of the pot influences how large the plant grows and how effectively the water is drained. For instance, a 6-inch pot can support the plant to grow to about 12 inches. If the original pot is too small, you can change it to a bigger one.
Additionally, choose a flower pot with drainage holes at the bottom as this helps with water drainage. Kalanchoes do not like a lot of water, and if overfed with water, they may begin to rot from the stem.
When planting your kalanchoe, incorporate nutritional elements for the plant, such as cactus, citrus, or palm potting mix. Fill the potting mix a third way to help boost the growth and yield of the succulent plant.
When considering where to place the kalanchoe, remember these plants initially grow in arid regions. As such, you should place the plant in a window that lets in brightness and some degree of natural sunlight. However, leaving them in direct sunlight for too long may cause stunted growth. So, when placing the plant, don’t keep them too close to the window as the hot surface could burn your kalanchoes.
The more natural sunlight a kalanchoe gets, the more vibrant the colors are when the plant begins to flower. When there isn’t enough light, the leaves may thin and wilt, and the buds may fail to blossom.
How should you water kalanchoes?
Since kalanchoes are adapted to the rugged and arid environment, you are more likely to overwater the plant than underwater. When you give them too much water, the leaves swell, and the root and stem begin to rot.
Ideally, you should water the plant every other week. However, you can test whether the plant needs more water by pressing about an inch of your finger into the soil. If you can feel dampness, there’s still water, and you can give the plant a few more days before watering it.
Moreover, you can improve the quality of your kalanchoe by choosing suitable planting soil. Preferably, get soil that drains quickly or add some silt or pebbles to help the soil drain faster.
When they start flowering, kalanchoes may increase their water intake. So, make sure you closely monitor the soil’s drainage status as you may have to water it once a week. However, always remember to do the inch-deep finger test before adding water.
What diseases and pests attack kalanchoes?
If you’re growing the kalanchoes indoors, you don’t have to worry about pest or disease infestations. However, if you opt for outdoor kalanchoes, you have to watch out for pests like aphids and mealybugs.
If you notice any irregularities, especially with the leaves, you should lightly apply diluted neem oil. This inexpensive oil is available in most gardening shops, and it will help keep any pests away from your kalanchoes.
How do you prune kalanchoes?
Kalanchoes are relatively small plants, but they can get too big for the pot since they are primarily planted in pots. In these instances, it’s okay to prune the plant. One way of achieving this is simply removing dry flowers and leaves – a process known as beheading.
If the plant begins to branch out too much or becomes too leggy, you can also prune the stems. Cut just above the leaf as this maintains the plant’s beauty. And, with time, the plant will grow back.
Are kalanchoes safe to grow around pets and humans?
People from all over have been successfully growing kalanchoes for ages. While the plant contains some toxins that could affect both humans and pets, you would have to ingest large amounts of the plant before noticing the effects. Rarely will you find people or pets consuming the plant, so you’re safe from any of the toxins.
In closing, it’s essential to realize the aesthetic and pragmatic value of adding a beautifully flowering plant, such as a kalanchoe, in your house. Since these plants require little maintenance, you can enjoy all they have to offer for little-to-no effort. If you’re looking for a plant to add a level of vibrancy and color to your home, you should get the kalanchoe. This plant also makes an ideal and unique gift.
John Green is a 46-year-old graphic designer living in Durham. John is RHS level 3 certified and owns an allotment in Durham.