The lavishly elegant and eye-catching blossoms of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana outshine the category of indoor plants.
Its small yet charming flower buds make it one of a kind.
Originating from the island of Madagascar, this succulent plant is popularly known by several names like Flaming Katy, Christmas Kalanchoe, Mother plant, and Florist Kalanchoe.
The Kalanchoe plant blooms in the early spring with bright pink flowers that are admired by people worldwide.
Unfortunately, the aesthetically pleasing flowers wilt pretty quickly.
However, if these succulent plants are properly cared for, they’ll survive longer and thrive.
Here is the full guide on how to maintain Kalanchoe plants.
Related post: Kalanchoe Plants: The Exotic Madagascar Plant Family
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Care for Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana
- 2 FAQ
- 3 Conclusions
- 4 References
How to Care for Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is among those flowering plants that require little water and low maintenance to survive.
However, that does not mean they have no needs.
Just like any other indoor plant, you need to watch out for certain things if you want your Flaming Katy’s flower buds to survive.
Light and Temperature
Kalanchoes are sun-loving plants.
Originating from a place where temperatures are flaming hot, they grow best in warm climates.
For instance, a temperature equal to or above 50°F is ideal for their growth. Any less than that gets too cool for them to survive.
Also, their health is directly proportional to the amount of light.
In other words, the more the light, the better they thrive.
As such, make sure you place them on a window shelf where they are exposed to sunlight.
Typically, plants require more water. However, being succulents, these plants need less water.
So aside from being beautiful, their leaves facilitate winter survival by storing water.
In summers, you only need to water them once the soil gets completely dry.
Also, make sure that you water the soil and not the leaves or flowers (they may rot). Lastly, ensure excess drainage.
To know if your house plant is doing well or not, observe its leaves.
Firm and thick leaves indicate a healthy plant, whereas saggy and withered ones signal poor growth.
The soil of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana should neither be too wet nor too dry.
An excessively wet soil rots the plant, while parched soil inhibits the root growth.
You should make sure that the soil is well-draining, light, and fluffy.
Additionally, you can add coconut peer and perlite to the soil mix to keep it light even when it’s wet.
Adding fertilizer to the potting mix stimulates growth and enhances the natural fertility of the Kalanchoe plant.
Note that you do not need any special fertilizer for promoting the growth of kalanchoe flowers.
A typical houseplant or balanced fertilizer will do the job.
Now, you may wonder what the best time to fertilize the soil is?
Well, you should add fertilizer to the potting soil in the early winter season.
Avoid feeding the plant during the flowering stage.
You can propagate your Kalanchoe plant through seeds and stem cuttings.
If you’re propagating through seeds:
- Take the flower seeds and place them in a damp, well-draining soil
- Keep the room temperature somewhere between 60-65°F
- Maintain the temperature, and seed germination will begin in ten days or less
While propagating through stem cuttings:
- Cut a tiny piece of the plant (which isn’t flowering)
- Choose a thick and firm piece of plant that’s at least 3 inches long
- Place it in an empty, dry pot for a few days
- Once the piece gets parched and forms a callous, prepare the soil blend (you can use the cactus mix, which is a mixture of sand, peat moss, pumice, and perlite)
- Keep the pot in bright light for a few days.
- To check the status of root growth, give it a gentle dig and see
Remember to maintain the average room temperatures to set flower buds.
To keep the plant in shape and ensure more blooms, you need to prune your Christmas Kalanchoe.
However, the right time for pruning is when the plant’s leaves get saggy, and the flowers fade.
Several months before the flowering season, pinch-prune the flower stems.
Also, remove any dead or wilted leaves to allow the growth of fleshy leaves.
Just like other indoor plants, Flaming Katy has its downsides.
Once the flowering period ends, your plant enters a rest period.
As a result, the green leaves of your Kalanchoe plant do not look as fresh or full.
So, to maintain their beauty, you’d need to give them enough natural light and set an ideal room temperature.
However, if you’re keeping your plant outdoors, make sure it’s not kept only in the direct light, as it can damage the tiny flowers.
So, try to keep them in partial shade, where they get bright yet indirect sunlight (and not an excessive amount of it)
The vibrant flower buds of kalanchoe plants are also an attractive site for tiny invaders.
These include mealybugs, spider mites, or other insects.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to observe their presence initially.
It is only when your plant shows signs of unusual damage that you will notice the pests residing on its edges.
The best way to shoo away these pests is to apply neem oil or alcohol to the plant’s leaves.
For instance, you can dip a cotton ball into alcohol or oil and apply it to the base of the leaves.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana can encounter root rot – a disease common to plants that grow in damp soil.
However, you can treat the root rot by gently removing the plant from the pot and washing its roots.
Later, trim the affected roots, and you’re good to go.
Other problems include powdery mildew, which can develop because of extreme humidity.
Hence, it’s best to keep your plant in a dry environment.
Is A Kalanchoe Plant An Indoor Or Outdoor Plant?
You can keep them indoors and outdoors.
If you’re keeping them inside your home, make sure that it is not humid and your plant is exposed to bright light.
However, if you’re planting it outdoors, ensure that they are not kept in direct sunlight.
Can Kalanchoe Plants Take Full Sun?
Kalanchoe plants can tolerate direct sunlight.
However, as best practice, keep them partially in the shade, as too much direct sun for prolonged periods might rot its leaves.
Why Is My Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Dropping Its Leaves?
There could be two reasons. Either you’ve kept your plant in cold temperature, or it’s not getting enough nutrition.
Make sure you place them in warm temperature and fertilize their soil.
How Often Should I Water A Flaming Katy Plant?
You should only water your Kalanchoe when its soil gets completely dry.
Growing Kalanchoe blossfeldiana can be fun, but only if you care for the plant correctly.
To add to the beauty of your home, you can grow the kalanchoes in hanging baskets.
For more information on other types of Kalanchoe plants:
- Kalanchoe Daigremontiana (Mother Of Thousands)
- Kalanchoe Tomentosa (Panda Plant)
- Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora (Paddle Plants & Flapjack Plants)
- Gilman, E. (1999). Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Kalanchoe. Environmental Horticulture Department; University of Florida Extension- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
- Perry, L. (2015). Holiday Plants- Kalanchoe. The Green Mountain Gardner. University of Vermont Extension, Department of Plant and Soil Science
- Winter, N. (2001). Kalanchoe Brings Top Holiday Color. Southern Gardening, Mississippi State University, Central Mississippi Research & Extension.
- About/mentions: Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana, houseplant care
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.