Incorporating small houseplants in your home décor can add the perfect touch of personality and charm to your space. They bring natural beauty into a room while infusing it with a relaxing quality. Succulents are popular types of houseplants that are found in many homes, but you may be interested in growing a flowering plant that adds color to your space. The perfect solution is the Kalanchoe plant. This is a flowering succulent that is relatively easy to grow indoors. However, it does have specific care requirements that you need to follow in order to maintain its health and to promote beautiful, abundant blooms.
Sunlight Needs for the Kalanchoe Plant
Kalanchoe is actually a genus of succulents that includes more than 200
species. These range in mature size, the color of their flowers and other
features, but their care instructions are similar. While the Kalanchoe plant
thrives in the relatively dry environment in most homes, it does require ample
direct sunlight. This is particularly true during the summer months when it
hits its growing season. The best placement for the Kalanchoe in your home is a
few feet away from a window or glass door. This should be a space where you
typically leave the blinds or drapes open during the day.
A medium-light environment may be acceptable if you do not have a suitable place in your home that will give the plant maximum light exposure. The more light your Kalanchoe receives, the healthier and more vibrant it will be. In low-light situations, the Kalanchoe buds will not blossom fully, and the foliage may be sparse. However, its sunlight needs should be balanced with its temperature preferences.
Keep in mind that the Kalanchoe plant is toxic to both cats and dogs. With this in mind, your plants should be placed on a tall counter or another elevated location where they cannot be reached by your pets. Some species are pendant or hanging varieties, and their pots can be mounted to the ceiling.
Temperature Preferences for the Kalanchoe Plant
One of the reasons why the Kalanchoe
plant is a particularly smart pick for an indoor houseplant is because it
thrives in a climate-controlled environment with moderate temperatures. While
it prefers ample direct sunlight, it does not tolerate extreme heat. Extreme
heat will stress and ultimately kill the Kalanchoe plant. Therefore, when you
place it close to a window to maximize sunlight exposure, you should be aware
of the impact that solar heating may have on it. During the summer months,
placing it farther away from the window in an area that still receives direct
sunlight may be advisable.
Likewise, the plant does not grow well when the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, you should be aware of temperature transference in the winter when you place it close to a window.
While it can be difficult to find the most ideal placement in your home for the Kalanchoe plant that balances temperature and sunlight needs, keep in mind that temperature also affects flowering. When this plant is placed in a slightly warmer environment, you may notice that it produces more full blooms.
The Kalanchoe Plant’s Watering Needs
the hydration needs of your Kalanchoe plant is equally vital to its care. As is
the case with many types of succulents, the Kalanchoe should not be
over-watered. The soil should not remain saturated. Instead, allow the surface
of the soil to dry thoroughly before you water it again. Depending on the
humidity level in your home, this may mean that you only water the Kalanchoe
every 10 to 14 days. Other factors that impact its water needs are the
temperature, the plant’s exposure to direct sunlight, the size of the pot and
the drainage functionality in the pot.
If you over water the Kalanchoe, the roots may eventually rot. This will lead to the plant’s demise. Even if you water the Kalanchoe plant sparingly, the roots may still rot if the pot does not have adequate drainage. When you bring this plant into your home initially, remove any decorative foil that it is sold with. You may also want to transfer it to a pot with a sufficient drain hole if it is sold in a pot that does not have drainage capabilities.
Some houseplants require frequent misting in order to maintain the vibrancy of the foliage. This is not the case for the Kalanchoe plant. Generally, the Kalanchoe plant may only need to be misted when the leaves become dusty and need to be cleaned.
Fertilization and Soil Quality Tips
optimal growth and flowering, the Kalanchoe plant must have a healthy amount of
nutrient-rich soil. Generally, you can establish your new plant in an average
topsoil mix purchased at your local nursery or home store. Your plant may be
sold with a good topsoil blend and may not need to be re-potted unless drainage
is a concern. However, the plant will extract nutrients from the soil on a
daily basis. Because of this, you should add fertilizer to it regularly to
maintain the condition of the soil.
There are several fertilization options that may work well for your Kalanchoe plant. For example, you can add an organic fertilizer to the soil according to the instructions on the packaging. This fertilizer should be specifically produced for houseplants. You can also use your own organic fertilizer, such as a blend of worm castings and a compost mix. Fertilizer can be added every few months or as needed based on your observation of the plant’s health. Another option is to use time-release fertilizer pods in your soil.
Trimming Your Succulent
the Kalanchoe plant is not trimmed periodically, it can sprawl and appear to be
less leafy. With this in mind, it is best to pinch off the stems after the
blooming period is over. Once the flowering heads have been removed, allow the
Kalanchoe plant time to rest and recuperate. This means giving it slightly less
water for a short period of time. You can then resume its regular care
schedule. Keep in mind that the Kalanchoe plant naturally blooms in the spring
even when it is kept indoors. Because of this, pinching off the flowering heads
does not result in the immediate growth of new blooms.
You can propagate the Kalanchoe plant easily by cutting the stems or through division. Division is most easily done when multiple plants are potted together. Otherwise you can crop a 5-inch stem from a healthy Kalanchoe plant. Establish it in a pot with a drain hole filled with fresh potting soil. Within approximately three weeks, roots will be established. You should not mist the leaves during this process. The best time to propagate the Kalanchoe plant is during the late spring or summer months after the flowering period has passed.
The Kalanchoe plant is a beautiful addition to your home décor. Now that you know how easy it is to care for this flowering succulent, you can confidently bring it into your home.