Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to Grow a Kalanchoe

The red-blooming kalanchoe belongs to my friend, Gina. She is a plant enthusiast and it shows.This 2-year old is blooming again under her good care. It has gotten plenty of light and regular fertilization.

The white kalanchoe is sitting at a florist and just ready to find itself in an appreciative plant grower's home.

Kalanchoe is sometimes pronounced as kal-en-ko-e and sometimes as ku-lanch-oh. This lush succulent with its vivacious colored blooms is quite easy to grow. You will find it for sale with red, yellow, pink or white blooms. Their natural blooming time is during the winter.   Plants sometimes seem to have a mind of their own so yours may bloom at any time.

These excellent houseplants are natives of Madagascar and Tropical Africa. 

They are easily propagated from a leaf or stem cuttings. Stem cuttings can be rooted in water, potting soil or perlite. A leaf can be rooted by placing the end of the leaf that has been detached from the plant into potting soil. Insert it about 1/8" or so and keep the top of the soil on the moist side for the next month. After it starts showing new growth, let it dry out on top before watering as would be normal for it.

Care Instructions--
  • Requires direct sun for the strongest growth. Tolerates bright indirect light for awhile.
  • In a 4" (10cm) diameter pot, water it when the top of the soil if quite dry. About 1/2-3/4 cup of water should give it a thorough soak..
  • In a 6" diameter pot  (15 cm) I let dry out about 1/4" below the soil line and water it thoroughly with about 1 pint or up to 1/2 liter of water.
  • Plants in larger pots should dry out a 1/2"- 1" (about 1-3 cm) below the soil line. Kalanchoes do like a good soak when necessary, especially when blooming. They should not sit with water in their saucer for more than a few hours.
  • Fertilize regularly for the best growth and blooms. You may want to stop fertilizing briefly, if it is in bloom.

***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click here:The Indoor Garden TV show

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