Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
Common Name: kalanchoe
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Crassulaceae
Native Range: Madagascar
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 0.50 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Scarlet, pink, salmon or yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

In winter hardy zones 10 to 12, kalanchoe should be grown in full sun to moderate shade and prefers light, sandy, open, well-drained soils and is moderately salt tolerant. Needing very little water, kalanchoe only needs one light application of fertilizer each year. Plants should be protected from frost. Plant on 8 to 12-inch centers for the best effect. As an indoor plant in cooler climates, kalanchoe grows best in full sun or bright indirect light. This plant needs a very well-drained soil. Water thoroughly but let dry between watering. Fertilize actively growing plants with a well-balanced fertilizer or a formulation higher in phosphorus to promote better flowering. Flowering occurs within four months after exposure to six weeks of fourteen hour nights. Ideal temperatures at this time are 60°F at night and 70°F during the day. Too low or too high temperatures may inhibit flowering. Water and fertilize less while initiating flowering or during periods of slow winter growth. Pinch back stems to promote flowering and maintain shape. Protect kalanchoe from gusty winds as this plant is easily blown over by winds hitting the thick large leaves. New plantlets may occasionally appear at leaf margins and may be removed and potted up individually.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Kalanchoe is a dark green, succulent perennial with scallop-edged leaves and large umbels of flower clusters held above the foliage. It has an upright, multi-branched growth habit. Their bloom time is incredibly long for a houseplant. These bright red, pink or yellow flower clusters last for weeks.

Problems

Relatively trouble free, but check for mealybug, mites and scale. Susceptible to stem rot, if over-watered.

Garden Uses

Kalanchoe, when container grown, are ideal for sunrooms and bright windowsills and can be grown on the porch or patio.