Kalanchoe Plant Care

If you’re looking to add a touch of vibrant beauty to your home or office, look no further than the Kalanchoe plant. With its clusters of vibrant flowers and thick, succulent leaves, this plant is not only visually striking but also easy to care for. In this article, you will discover the essential tips and tricks for keeping your Kalanchoe thriving and blooming with health. From proper watering techniques to ideal light conditions, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your gardening gloves and get ready to embark on a delightful journey of Kalanchoe plant care!

Kalanchoe Plant Care

Choosing a Kalanchoe Plant

Consider the Different Varieties

When choosing a Kalanchoe plant, it’s important to consider the different varieties available. Kalanchoe plants come in various colors, sizes, and flower shapes. Some popular varieties include the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, Kalanchoe tomentosa, and Kalanchoe daigremontiana. Each variety has its own unique features and care requirements, so it’s essential to choose one that suits your preferences and match your skill level as a plant parent.

Look for Healthy Plants

To ensure a successful Kalanchoe plant journey, it’s essential to choose a healthy plant from the start. Look for plants with vibrant and lush foliage, free from any signs of discoloration or wilting. The leaves should be firm and without any spots or lesions. Additionally, inspect the plant for any signs of pests or diseases, which will be discussed further in the next section. Selecting a healthy plant will give you a better chance of a thriving and long-lasting Kalanchoe.

Check for Pest or Disease Signs

While inspecting the potential Kalanchoe plant to bring home, it’s crucial to check for any signs of pests or diseases. Common pests that can affect Kalanchoe plants include mealybugs and aphids. Look for the presence of small insects or white cotton-like masses on the leaves or stems. Additionally, be on the lookout for any signs of disease, such as powdery mildew or rotting areas on the plant. Avoid choosing plants with these issues, as they can affect the health of your other plants.

Light Requirements

Provide Bright Indirect Light

Kalanchoe plants thrive in bright indirect light. Place them near a window where they can receive ample sunlight without being directly exposed to the harsh rays. The ideal location is usually an east-facing window or a few feet away from a south or west-facing window. Bright indirect light promotes healthy growth and vibrant flowers, making it crucial to provide the right lighting conditions for your Kalanchoe plant.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

While Kalanchoe plants enjoy bright light, they can be sensitive to direct sunlight. Direct exposure to the sun’s rays can lead to sunburn and damage the leaves. It’s important to avoid placing your Kalanchoe plant in direct sunlight, especially during the hot afternoon hours. If you notice that your plant is getting too much direct sunlight, consider moving it to a slightly shadier location or placing a sheer curtain between the plant and the window to filter the light.

Supplement with Grow Lights if Needed

In case you don’t have access to sufficient natural light or if you live in a region with limited sunlight, you can supplement your Kalanchoe plant’s light requirements with grow lights. LED grow lights are an excellent option as they provide the necessary spectrum of light for optimal plant growth. Place the grow lights a few inches above the plant and keep them on for approximately 12-14 hours a day. This will help ensure your Kalanchoe plant receives the right amount of light for healthy development.

Temperature and Humidity

Maintain Moderate Temperatures

Kalanchoe plants prefer moderate temperatures that mimic their native conditions. Ideally, keep the temperature between 60-75°F (15-24°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night. Avoid exposing your Kalanchoe plant to extreme temperature fluctuations, as it can stress the plant and negatively impact its growth and blooming capabilities. If you notice drafts or sudden temperature changes in your home, consider relocating your plant to a more stable environment.

Avoid Extreme Temperature Fluctuations

Extreme temperature fluctuations, such as placing your Kalanchoe plant near heating or cooling vents, can be detrimental to its health. Rapid changes in temperature can cause the plant to go into shock and may lead to wilting or even death. Be mindful of any hot or cold air sources near your plant and keep it in an area with a stable temperature to ensure its well-being.

Provide Adequate Humidity Levels

While Kalanchoe plants are not particularly demanding when it comes to humidity, they do appreciate some moisture in the air. Aim for a relative humidity level of around 40-60%, which is generally comfortable for most indoor plants. If your home tends to have low humidity levels, especially during the winter months when indoor heating can cause dry air, consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near your Kalanchoe plant to increase moisture in the surrounding environment.

Kalanchoe Plant Care

Watering Needs

Water Sparingly

When it comes to watering your Kalanchoe plant, less is more. These plants are adapted to store water in their leaves, making them resilient to drought conditions. It’s essential to water your Kalanchoe sparingly to avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot and other water-related issues. Aim to keep the soil lightly moist, allowing the top inch (2.5 cm) to dry out before watering again.

Allow Soil to Dry Between Waterings

To ensure proper water management for your Kalanchoe plant, it’s crucial to allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Watering too frequently or keeping the soil overly wet can lead to root rot and may cause the plant’s health to deteriorate. Before watering, check the moisture level by inserting your finger into the soil. If it feels dry up to your first knuckle, it’s time to water. Otherwise, hold off on watering and give the plant a chance to dry out.

Avoid Overwatering

Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes when caring for Kalanchoe plants. Too much water can lead to root rot, which is a significant threat to this type of succulent. The key is to find the right balance between providing enough water for the plant’s needs while ensuring proper drainage to prevent waterlogged conditions. Remember, it’s always better to underwater than overwater your Kalanchoe plant.

Soil Requirements

Choose Well-Draining Soil Mix

Proper soil drainage is crucial for the health and well-being of your Kalanchoe plant. Use a well-draining soil mix specifically formulated for succulents and cacti. These types of soil mixes typically contain a combination of materials like peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. The well-draining soil prevents water from sitting in the pot, reducing the risk of root rot and other moisture-related issues.

Add Perlite or Sand for Better Drainage

If the soil mix you have chosen doesn’t have sufficient drainage properties, you can further improve it by adding perlite or sand. Perlite is a lightweight material that helps aerate the soil and enhances drainage. Mix in about 20-30% perlite or sand to the soil to ensure optimal conditions for your Kalanchoe plant’s roots.

Avoid Heavy Clay or Soggy Soil

Avoid using soil mixes that are heavy in clay or retain too much moisture. Kalanchoe plants are susceptible to root rot, and heavy, compacted soil can prevent proper drainage, leading to soggy conditions that favor the development of disease. Choose soil mixes that allow excess water to pass through easily, maintaining a healthy balance of moisture for your plant.


Use a Balanced Fertilizer

To promote healthy growth and vibrant blooms, it’s recommended to fertilize your Kalanchoe plant with a balanced fertilizer. Look for a fertilizer specifically formulated for succulents or houseplants. Balanced fertilizers contain a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, providing essential nutrients for your plant’s overall well-being.

Feed Once a Month During Growing Season

During the active growing season, which typically spans from spring to early fall, it’s beneficial to feed your Kalanchoe plant once a month. Dilute the fertilizer according to the package instructions and apply it to the soil around the base of the plant. Fertilizing regularly will help provide the necessary nutrients for healthy foliage growth and abundant flowering.

Reduce or Stop Fertilizing During Dormancy

Kalanchoe plants have a natural resting period during the winter months when they enter a state of dormancy. During this period, growth slows down, and plants require fewer nutrients. Reduce or stop fertilizing your Kalanchoe plant during this time to allow it to rest and prepare for the upcoming active growth season. Resume fertilizing in the spring when you start noticing new growth.

Pruning and Trimming

Trim Leggy or Overgrown Branches

From time to time, your Kalanchoe plant may develop leggy or overgrown branches. To maintain a compact and bushy shape, you can trim these branches back. Use clean and sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts just above a leaf node or main stem. Trimming will encourage new growth and help create a more aesthetically pleasing appearance for your Kalanchoe plant.

Remove Dead or Diseased Leaves

Regularly inspect your Kalanchoe plant for any dead or diseased leaves and remove them promptly. Dead leaves not only contribute to a messy and unkempt appearance but can also attract pests and harbor diseases. Gently pluck off any yellowed, shriveled, or damaged leaves, making sure to dispose of them properly. Removing these leaves will help maintain the overall health and appearance of your plant.

Encourage Bushier Growth

To encourage bushier growth, you can pinch back the tips of your Kalanchoe plant’s stems. This technique, known as pinching, promotes branching and leads to a fuller and more compact plant. Simply use your fingers or a clean pair of scissors to remove the top portion of the stem, just above a leaf node. This will stimulate new growth and result in a more attractive and well-rounded Kalanchoe plant.

Propagation Methods

Propagate from Stem Cuttings

Propagating Kalanchoe plants from stem cuttings is a straightforward and effective method. To propagate, carefully cut a healthy stem from the parent plant, making sure it is at least a few inches long. Remove the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving a clean stem. Allow the cutting to dry and callous over for a day or two, then place it in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil lightly moist and provide indirect light. With time, the cutting will develop roots and grow into a new Kalanchoe plant.

Start New Plants from Leaf Cuttings

Leaf cuttings are another propagation method you can use for Kalanchoe plants. Select a healthy leaf from the parent plant and gently twist the leaf from the stem, ensuring that a clean leaf base is intact. Lay the leaf on a well-draining potting mix, making sure it remains in contact with the soil. Keep the soil lightly moist and place the tray in bright indirect light. Over time, new roots and baby plants, known as plantlets, will emerge from the base of the leaf. Once the plantlets have developed a few leaves and roots, they can be transplanted into their own individual pots.

Divide Overgrown Clumps

If your Kalanchoe plant has become overgrown or crowded, dividing the clumps can help rejuvenate the plants and create new ones. Carefully remove the Kalanchoe plant from its pot and gently separate the clumps into individual plants. Ensure that each divided plant has a robust root system and a few healthy stems or leaves. Transplant the divided plants into well-draining soil and provide them with the appropriate care. This method is best done during the plant’s active growing season to maximize success.

Pests and Diseases

Look Out for Mealybugs and Aphids

Mealybugs and aphids are among the most common pests that can affect Kalanchoe plants. These tiny insects can infest the leaves and stems, sucking sap from the plant and causing damage. Regularly inspect your Kalanchoe plant for any signs of infestation, such as visible insects, white cottony masses, or sticky residue on the leaves. If you notice an infestation, treat it promptly using organic insecticidal soap or neem oil to eliminate the pests and protect your plant’s health.

Treat Powdery Mildew Promptly

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can affect Kalanchoe plants, especially in humid conditions or if there is poor air circulation. This disease appears as a white powdery substance on the leaves and stems of the plant. If you notice powdery mildew on your Kalanchoe, promptly treat it with a fungicidal spray formulated for powdery mildew. Additionally, ensure that your plant has adequate air circulation and avoid spraying water on the foliage, as moisture can promote fungal growth.

Prevent Root Rot

Root rot is a common issue that can affect Kalanchoe plants, primarily due to overwatering or poor drainage. To prevent root rot, ensure that your Kalanchoe plant is in a well-draining soil mix and that its pot has drainage holes. Additionally, avoid overwatering and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. If you suspect root rot, gently remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots. Remove any mushy or discolored roots and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.


Summary of Kalanchoe Plant Care

In conclusion, caring for a Kalanchoe plant can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. By considering the different varieties, choosing a healthy plant, and checking for signs of pests or diseases, you set a solid foundation for success. Providing your Kalanchoe plant with bright indirect light, moderate temperatures, and adequate humidity levels creates an environment where it can thrive. Remember to water sparingly, use well-draining soil, and fertilize during the growing season while pruning and trimming as needed to maintain its shape. With propagation methods like stem and leaf cuttings, you can expand your Kalanchoe plant collection or share the beauty with others. Lastly, stay vigilant against pests like mealybugs and aphids, promptly address powdery mildew, and prevent root rot by practicing proper watering techniques and ensuring good drainage. By following these care guidelines and enjoying the beauty of Kalanchoe plants, you can create a delightful and easy-care indoor or outdoor plant collection.