How To Care For Kalanchoe Plant

So you’ve brought home a beautiful Kalanchoe plant and now you’re wondering how to keep it looking its best? Look no further, because in this article, we’ll show you all the essential tips and tricks to care for your Kalanchoe plant. From finding the perfect spot for it in your home, to watering, fertilizing, and even propagating, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to become a Kalanchoe expert and enjoy the vibrant colors and stunning blooms of this popular houseplant.

How To Care For Kalanchoe Plant


Determining watering needs

When it comes to watering your Kalanchoe plant, it is important to understand its specific needs. Kalanchoe plants have succulent leaves that store water, so they don’t require frequent watering like other houseplants. Instead, you should only water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. By feeling the soil, you can determine whether your plant needs watering or not.

Frequency of watering

The frequency of watering your Kalanchoe plant depends on various factors such as temperature, humidity, and pot size. Generally, it is recommended to water your plant once every two weeks. However, during the hot summer months or if your home has dry air, you may need to increase the frequency to once a week. Remember, it is better to underwater than overwater your plant, as excess water can lead to root rot.

Watering technique

When watering your Kalanchoe plant, use a watering can with a narrow spout or a spray bottle to provide a gentle spray of water. This helps to avoid overwatering and prevents water from pooling around the base of the plant. Aim to water the soil directly, avoiding wetting the leaves, as this can lead to rot and fungal issues. Allow any excess water to drain out of the pot, ensuring the plant is not sitting in standing water.

Light requirements

Optimal lighting conditions

Kalanchoe plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Place your plant near a window that receives bright, filtered sunlight for the majority of the day. A south or east-facing window is ideal. If you notice that your plant is not receiving enough light, you can supplement with artificial light, such as fluorescent grow lights, placed about 12 inches above the plant.

Avoiding direct sunlight

While Kalanchoe plants enjoy bright light, it is essential to avoid placing them in direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves of the plant and cause them to wilt or develop sunburn spots. If you need to place your Kalanchoe plant near a window with direct sunlight, consider using sheer curtains or blinds to filter the light and protect the plant.

Providing indirect sunlight

If you are unable to provide sufficient natural light for your Kalanchoe plant, you can also grow it successfully in indirect light. Indirect light refers to light that is not directly shining on the plant but is reflected or diffused, such as light from a nearby wall or other objects. This indirect light is often enough to meet the plant’s needs and promote healthy growth.


Ideal temperature range

Kalanchoe plants prefer temperatures between 60-85°F (15-29°C). They can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures down to 50°F (10°C) but should be kept away from extreme heat or cold. It is essential to avoid placing your plant near drafts, such as open windows or air conditioning vents, as sudden temperature changes can stress the plant and lead to leaf drop or wilting.

Avoiding extreme temperatures

Extreme temperatures can be detrimental to your Kalanchoe plant’s health. Avoid exposing it to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) or above 90°F (32°C). Cold temperatures can cause frost damage and lead to wilted or discolored leaves, while excessive heat can result in sunburn and scorched leaves. It is crucial to provide a stable and comfortable environment for your plant.

Protecting from drafts

Drafts, whether from open windows, doors, or heating vents, can disrupt the temperature around your Kalanchoe plant. Cold drafts especially can cause shock and affect the plant’s overall health. Make sure to position your plant away from drafty areas, particularly during cold winter months. If necessary, consider using a draft stopper or moving the plant to a more protected location.

How To Care For Kalanchoe Plant

Soil requirements

Choosing the right type of soil

Kalanchoe plants thrive in well-draining soil that mimics their natural habitat. A good choice is a succulent or cactus potting mix, readily available at garden centers or easily made at home. These mixes usually consist of a combination of sand, perlite, and peat moss. The sandy texture helps prevent waterlogged soil, ensuring the roots have adequate airflow.

Ensuring proper drainage

Proper drainage is crucial for the health of your Kalanchoe plant. Ensure that the pot you choose has drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape. Placing a layer of small rocks or gravel at the bottom of the pot can further promote drainage. This prevents water from sitting in the bottom of the pot, which can lead to root rot and other moisture-related issues.

Maintaining soil fertility

Although Kalanchoe plants are not heavy feeders, they still benefit from occasional nutrient boosts. Fertilizing once every two to three months during the growing season (spring and summer) is sufficient. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer specifically formulated for succulent plants. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage instructions to avoid fertilizer burn. Fertilizing can promote healthy growth and enhance the plant’s overall appearance.


Choosing the right fertilizer

When selecting a fertilizer for your Kalanchoe plant, opt for a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Look for a fertilizer labeled specifically for succulents or cacti. These fertilizers usually have a higher potassium content, which promotes blooming and overall plant health. Avoid using fertilizer meant for lawns or other high-nitrogen plants, as this can cause your Kalanchoe to grow leggy and decrease blooming.

Frequency of fertilization

Kalanchoe plants require fertilization during the active growing season, which is typically spring and summer. Fertilize your plant once every two to three months, following the instructions provided on the fertilizer packaging. Over-fertilizing can lead to salt build-up in the soil, potentially damaging the plant’s root system. Remember, moderation is key when it comes to fertilizing your Kalanchoe.

Applying fertilizer correctly

When applying fertilizer to your Kalanchoe plant, it is essential to follow the recommended dosage instructions. Typically, you will mix the fertilizer with water according to the package directions and apply it to the soil, avoiding direct contact with the leaves or stems. Applying fertilizer in excess or directly on the plant can burn the roots and cause irreversible damage. Always err on the side of caution and start with a weaker solution, gradually increasing strength if needed.


Removing dead or wilted blooms

Regular pruning is essential for maintaining the health and appearance of your Kalanchoe plant. As the flowers begin to fade and wilt, use clean and sharp pruning shears to remove them. This process, known as deadheading, promotes continuous blooming and prevents the plant from wasting energy on producing seeds. Deadheading also improves the overall aesthetic of the plant, keeping it neat and tidy.

Maintaining compact shape

To maintain a compact shape and prevent your Kalanchoe plant from becoming leggy or lopsided, occasional pruning is necessary. Trim back any long, leggy stems to encourage branching and help the plant maintain a bushier appearance. Focus on removing overgrown or unhealthy parts of the plant, making clean cuts just above a leaf node or joint. This will stimulate new growth and keep your Kalanchoe looking its best.

Encouraging new growth

If you want to encourage new growth and keep your Kalanchoe plant lush and vibrant, consider pruning back the plant in early spring. This will stimulate fresh growth and result in a fuller, more compact plant overall. When pruning, remember to always use clean and sharp pruning shears to prevent the spread of disease and make precise cuts.


Identifying suitable propagation methods

Propagating your Kalanchoe plant allows you to create new plants from existing ones, expanding your collection or sharing with friends. The two primary methods of propagation for Kalanchoe plants are stem cuttings and division. Stem cuttings involve removing a healthy stem from the parent plant and encouraging it to root, while division involves separating the plant into multiple clumps, each with its own set of roots.

Preparing the cutting or division

To successfully propagate your Kalanchoe plant, ensure you have a healthy parent plant with strong stems and vibrant foliage. For stem cuttings, choose a non-flowering stem and make a clean cut just below a leaf node. Remove the lower leaves, leaving just a few at the top. Let the cutting dry and callous for a day or two to prevent rotting. For division, gently remove the plant from its pot and separate the clumps, making sure each section has enough roots to sustain itself.

Providing proper care for new plants

Once you have prepared your cuttings or divisions, it is essential to provide them with the proper care to ensure successful rooting and growth. Plant the cuttings or divisions in well-draining soil and water lightly. Place them in a warm location away from direct sunlight. Mist the cuttings occasionally to increase humidity and help prevent dehydration. After a few weeks, your new plants should start to develop roots and can be treated like mature Kalanchoe plants.

Pest control

Identifying common pests

While Kalanchoe plants are generally resistant to pests, they can occasionally fall victim to common indoor plant pests. The most common pests that may affect your Kalanchoe include mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. Keep an eye out for signs such as sticky residue, tiny webs, or distorted leaves. Regularly inspect the plant’s foliage and undersides of leaves to catch any infestations early.

Using organic pest control methods

When it comes to pest control for your Kalanchoe plant, using organic methods is always the preferred route. Start by isolating the affected plant to prevent the infestation from spreading to other plants. You can manually remove pests with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or a gentle water spray. Neem oil, a natural plant extract, is also an effective organic pest control option. Dilute neem oil according to the instructions and apply it to the affected areas, ensuring thorough coverage.

Preventing pest infestations

Prevention is key in keeping your Kalanchoe plant pest-free. Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pests or infestations. Avoid overwatering, as moist conditions can attract pests like fungus gnats. Keep your plant’s environment clean, removing fallen leaves or debris where pests may hide. If you bring new plants into your home, carefully inspect them for pests, as they can easily spread to your existing collection.

Disease management

Recognizing common diseases

While Kalanchoe plants are relatively disease-resistant, they can occasionally encounter common plant diseases. Diseases such as powdery mildew, root rot, and leaf spot can affect the health and appearance of your plant. Look for signs such as a white powdery coating on the leaves, blackened or mushy roots, and circular spots on the foliage. Early detection is crucial in managing and treating plant diseases effectively.

Taking preventive measures

To prevent diseases from affecting your Kalanchoe plant, it is important to provide proper care and avoid overwatering. Ensure your plant is placed in a well-ventilated area with good airflow. Avoid overcrowding your plants, as this can lead to increased humidity and the spread of diseases. Additionally, maintain good sanitation practices by cleaning your gardening tools and avoiding cross-contamination between plants.

Treating plant diseases

If you notice any signs of disease on your Kalanchoe plant, prompt action is necessary to prevent further spread. For powdery mildew, you can remove affected leaves and treat the plant with a solution of water and baking soda. For root rot, you may need to repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil. Leaf spot can be managed by removing infected leaves and adjusting watering practices. If the disease persists or worsens, consult a garden professional for advice on specific treatments.

Considerations for indoor vs outdoor care

Adjusting care routines for indoors

When caring for your Kalanchoe plant indoors, there are a few adjustments you need to make compared to outdoor care. Indoor plants may require more frequent watering due to drier indoor air. Additionally, you may need to supplement natural light with artificial lighting to provide adequate brightness. Consider rotating the plant every few weeks to ensure even growth and prevent leaning towards the light source.

Protecting outdoor plants from weather conditions

If you decide to grow your Kalanchoe plant outdoors, you need to protect it from extreme weather conditions. During hot summer months, provide some shade for your plant to prevent sunburn. In colder climates, bring the plant indoors before the first frost to avoid damage. Consider using plant covers or moving the pot to a sheltered area during periods of heavy rain or strong winds.

Providing adequate space for growth

Both indoor and outdoor Kalanchoe plants require sufficient space for healthy growth. When choosing a pot, make sure it has enough room for the plant’s roots to spread and allow for growth. If your plant starts to outgrow its pot, consider repotting it into a larger container. Similarly, if growing outdoors, ensure there is enough distance between plants to prevent overcrowding and the spread of diseases.

By following these comprehensive care instructions for your Kalanchoe plant, you can ensure its optimal growth, blooming, and overall health. Remember to adjust watering, lighting, and temperature based on the plant’s specific needs, and provide routine maintenance such as pruning, fertilization, and pest control. With proper care and attention, your Kalanchoe plant will thrive and bring beauty to your indoor or outdoor space.