How To Care For Christmas Kalanchoe

Unhappy looking Kalanchoe

Unhappy looking Kalanchoe

Before I start cutting stems from my two and a half year old Christmas Kalanchoe and plunking them into dirt in an attempt to propagate it I figure I should find out how to properly care for it in case I’m successful.

As mentioned in my previous post the Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana (aka Christmas Kalanchoe, Florist Kalanchoe and I love this name – Flaming Katy) is a succulent native to Madagascar. It was introduced in Potsdam, Germany in 1932 by Robert Blossfeld thus it’s name. It produces clusters of small flowers above dark green, waxy leaves in single and double flowering varieties. The flowers come in many brilliant colours such as white, pink, fuchsia, red, yellow, orange, etc.

Basic Tips For Maintaining Healthy And Happy Kalanchoe

• Use a good draining potting mix like cactus or succulent soil.
• Allow the soil to dry to the touch before watering thoroughly.
• Place in very bright indirect light or even full sun if it’s unavoidable.
• Fertilize once a month (except during the darkness phase if you’re trying to re-flower). A balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer is ideal but make sure to dilute it.
• Prune back as much as you like after flowering season to encourage compact and bushy growth.

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Hope For My Christmas Kalanchoe Plant

Colourful Christmas Kalanchoe plants.

Colourful Christmas Kalanchoe Plants.

My Spindly Kalanchoe.

How a Kalanchoe should not look!

I had a beautiful leafy, bright red flowering Christmas Kalanchoe (pronounced “kal-un-KOH-ee”).  Note past tense “had”.  I was first attracted to the vibrant clusters of flowers at the nursery but they never reappeared after I brought it home. After three years that lush plant is now spindly and not so easy on the eyes.  Deep down I’ve hoped the Kalanchoe would somehow “fade away” so I wouldn’t have to be responsible for it any more.

It’s trying hard to stay alive so my guilt is preventing me from tossing it out (it could also be the separation anxiety I suffer from when disposing my things).  But, after some coaxing from my boyfriend to put it out of it’s misery and grow new plants from cuttings I’ve decided to give my brown thumb another test.
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