It is known not only for its enormous range of colors and growth forms, but also incredibly easy care. Especially for very sunny windowsills and balconies, it is perfectly suited. It is considered a symbol of perseverance and eternal love – Kalanchoe. Every second household owns a Kalanchoe and is thus the proud owner of a beautiful and undemanding plant. Despite the fact that Kalanchoe care is so easy, you should pay attention to a few things. We have collected all the important tips and tricks for you.
The history of the Kalanchoe
The Kalanchoe blossfeldiana or Flaming Käthchen, is meanwhile the most popular flowering houseplant in Europe. With optimal Kalanchoe care, it blooms for six to eight weeks. The Kalanchoe belongs to the genus of succulents and is therefore comparatively very undemanding. It originates from the tropical parts of Asia and Africa and is also very widespread on Madagascar.
There are now 125 known Kalanchoe species. This exotic beauty first came to Europe in the 1930s.
The different species of Kalanchoe
Kalanchoe marmorata: Bushy, about 50cm tall succulent with shiny fleshy leaves. These have a blue-gray coloration and large brown spots with serrated edges.
Kalanchoe beharensis: A magnificent foliage plant, also called elephant ear Kalanchoe. The leaves are 30cm long, wavy at the edges and covered with dense fine hairs.
Kalanchoe tomentosa: Pretty foliage plant with loose rosettes. It has oval leaves on a woody stem. It can grow up to 45cm tall. The leaves are covered with fine, bristly and usually silvery hairs.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana: This is the typical flowering plant, available in different colors. The leaves are thick, fleshy and dark green.
The right location for your Kalanchoe
The perfect location for your Kalanchoe is a bright and sunny place. However, you should first get them used to the blazing midday sun. Too much sun usually results in a reddish discoloration and curling of the leaves. In summer, the temperature should be around 20-25°C. This will ensure perfect growth. This way you can guarantee a perfect and lush flowering.
Kalanchoe care: It’s easy!
Kalanchoe care is very simple. Depending on the species, it can bear yellow, orange, white, pink or red flowers. The main flowering period is between February and July.
This soil you need for your Kalanchoe
Normal potting soil from the garden center is usually not best suited for Kalanchoe care. Mix your potting soil 50:50 with succulent soil. This way the roots will be sufficiently aerated and excess water will run off faster.
How much water does your Kalanchoe need
During the growing and flowering period you should make sure that the soil is sufficiently moistened. A weekly watering is sufficient. However, water them only when the top layer of soil has dried completely. The thumb test is very helpful. If soil sticks when touching the substrate, then it is still sufficiently moist.
Tip: If you care for your Kalanchoe outside on the balcony, then you should postpone watering to the morning and evening. If you water it in the blazing midday sun, its leaves can burn more quickly.
How often should you fertilize your Kalanchoe?
Between April and August you should fertilize your Kalanchoe. This is especially important if the plant has low blooms. When caring for your Kalanchoe, give it some flower fertilizer every two to three weeks.
Tip: In summer, however, you should only do this in the morning or evening. The plant can process the fertilizer better at this time.
Do you have to prune the Kalanchoe?
You only need to cut back your Kalanchoe when it loses leaves in the lower area. Cut it only when it has faded and only enough to leave a thickened area (also called an eye). Fresh green will then sprout again there. Use clean and sharp scissors.
During flowering, you can carefully take individual flower heads between thumb and forefinger and clip them off, just don’t cut them off.
Repotting Kalanchoe: When is it time?
You should repot your Kalanchoe in early spring. If the rosette-shaped growing leaves already cover the entire bottom of the pot, it is time to repot. Since the Kalanchoe has a rather wide and shallow root system, you can plant it in shallow trays. However, make sure that the pot has water drainage. After repotting, you do not need to fertilize the Kalanchoe for the first 6 months. More about repotting can be found here.
What is the best way to overwinter your Kalanchoe?
Unfortunately, Kalanchoe care over the winter is a bit more difficult. Like the poinsettia, it is a short-day plant and is therefore rarely kept for more than a year. Getting the Kalanchoe to bloom again after winter is not easy. The plants lose their shape after 2 years and the flowers become smaller and more colorless. If you still don’t want to give up your plant, keep it in the dark for at least 16 hours a day during the winter. Water it very little and do not fertilize it at all.
How to propagate your Kalanchoe easily
To propagate the Kalanchoe, you can either sow it or propagate it by cuttings. Sowing is very time-consuming and complicated. Therefore we recommend propagation by cuttings. Cut about ten centimeters long shoot tips from the plant. Make sure that you cut as cleanly and straight as possible. Wait until no more sap comes out of the shoot and then put them in pots with growing soil. The perfect ambient temperature for the cuttings is 20-25°C. Keep the plants sufficiently moist. However, you should avoid waterlogging.
The Kalanchoe – not for house pets.
For us humans, the Kalanchoe is non-toxic. The fleshy leaves contain malic acid and isocitric acid and is therefore poisonous for cats.
The right room for your Kalanchoe
The plant is perfect for sunny rooms. A south-facing window is therefore ideal for it. In summer you can also place it on your bright and sunny balcony.
Tips if your Kalanchoe is unwell
If you water your Kalanchoe too often, its leaves will quickly turn brown and fall off. However, it is not too late to help it. Try to drain it a bit and put it in fresh soil. Don’t water it for a week at first.
The Kalanchoe is a really charming flowering plant. There is hardly anything to consider when caring for the Kalanchoe. It is only important that you do not water it too much and that it stands in a bright place. Feel free to check out our store, we have many more flowering specimens there!
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
Please if you have any questions leave them on the article and i will get back to you personally.