The Kalanchoe is a succulent plant that is noted for its attractive flowers. Kalanchoe is a very popular house plant that grows well indoors. You will often see these potted plants in stores around Christmas time. Find information and facts on growing kalanchoes. They are commonly found in flower stores and grocery stores with floral departments. Kalanchoe are chiefly natives of tropical regions, Madagascar and South Africa. The Kalanchoe belongs to the Crassula family, Crassulaceae. Its leaves are much like those of sedum, very succulent.
Grow Kalanchoe in a sunny window or greenhouse. These plants must be exposed to the maximum amount of sunlight. A minimum winter temperature of 45 degrees is required. The best soil for kalanchoes are made of compost consisting of two parts loam and one part equla quantities of sand and broken brick.
Repotting is done in March, or as soon as new growth commences, and the compost is made firm. After potting, no water should be given until the soil becomes dry. No shading is required. During the summer, water must be applied freely; but in winter only a sufficient amount should be given to prevent the stems from shriveling.
When to take Kalanchoe cuttings
Propagation is by cuttings that are taken and inserted in spring. Shoots 2-3 inches in length are removed and cut through below the bottom joint, and a few of the lower leaves are removed. The prepared cuttings are exposed to the air for a few hours to allow a protecting skin to form over the cut portions. They can also be propagated by taken off a leaf and inserting it the same way as you do cuttings.
The cuttings are then inserted in sand or sandy soil and placed in a light position out of strong sunshine. No water is given until the rooting medium is nearly dry. Rooted plants are first potted in 3 inch, then 5 inch pots. Kalanchoe can also be raised from seeds sown in pots of sandy soil in spring or summer and by leaf cutting taken at those same seasons.
Varieties of Kalanchoe
- Kalanchoe flammea, orange-scarlet
- K. laciniata (carnea), pink
- K. Blossfeldiana, orange-red
- K. uniflora, a trailer with pink flowers
- K. marmorata, white
- Kalanchoe 'Lucky Bells' (new variety) orange-red
- K. Calandiva, bright pink (new)
There have been a number of garden varieties in recent years, and hybrids of K. Blossfeldiana and K. Flammea. All bloom in summer and fall.