Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) is a vast group of succulents native to Madagascar; this plant has distinct foliage with stunning blooms in some species.
Some develop into a towering bush, while others creep along the ground, and still, there are those kalanchoes primarily used as houseplants.
Like any other succulent, the kalanchoe is easy to plant, maintain and look after until it blooms. If you are looking to plant one, stick around and find out how to get yourself one for decorating your home.
How to Propagate a Piece of Kalanchoe and Nature It?
You can plant kalanchoes from the stem, leaves, or offshoots. Ensure you cut the stem or offshoot appropriately for it to root and grow.
How to Cut a Piece of Kalanchoe for Growing
To remove a kalanchoe vegetative part, use a clean knife or small pruning shears to cut it cleanly away. The vegetative part is a stem or offshoot that has no flower growing on it. Ensure the cutting is at least three inches long.
Before making the cutting, always sterilize the gardening tools for use. Doing this prevents any diseases or pests from spreading onto the new plant. You can use chlorine, household disinfectant, or isopropyl alcohol for sterilizing the tools.
How to cut kalanchoe:
Step 1: Wait until the kalanchoe has finished blooming or in the spring to make a cutting.
Step 2: Sterilize your gardening tools.
Step 3: Make a sharp straight cut on the stem close to the main stem using a gardening shear or knife. A rugged cut may invite pests and diseases to attack.
Now you have your cutting with you. How do you go about planting your new Kalanchoe plant?
How to Plant Kalanchoe Plant From Cuttings
Here is a step-by-step guide to planting your stem cutting for a new kalanchoe plant.
Step 1: Let Your Cutting Dry
After you’ve cut the stem away, it’s important to let it dry out. The cut on the stem will form a callous, keeping the cutting clean and disease-free. Depending on the thickness of the stem, this process might take anywhere from 1 to 3 days.
Dip the end of your cutting in a rooting hormone powder to promote rapid and healthy root development. Dipping into the rooting hormone should be done after the wound has healed.
Step 2: Plant Kalanchoe Cutting
Kalanchoe needs a soil mix that drains fast and well. Like every other succulents, they despise sitting in water, which is often the cause of root decay. Because of this, you can purchase soil specially mixed for growing succulents or cactus soil.
Alternatively, you can create a 2:1 soil mixed with peat moss and sand (you can use perlite. Adjust the proportion so that when watered, the soil is wet rather than soggy.
Plant the kalanchoe cutting on a big enough pot. However, keep in mind that once the plants sprout, they will require additional room.
Fill the pot you’ve chosen with moist soil and gently press each cutting into the soil in an upright position.
The available humidity content determines how fast the plant will sprout. Cover the container with a clear plastic bag to increase the amount of moisture available to your plant.
Make a few slits or holes on the bag to allow for air circulation. Once the plants start growing, remove the bag.
Step 3: Wait for Kalanchoe to Grow
Immediately your kalanchoe starts growing, expose it to bright but indirect light. If in the house, place it on a south-facing window.
For outdoor kalanchoes, do not expose them to direct sunlight as this will cause their young leaves to suffer burns. Their growing temperature conditions should be above 50° F.
You should not water them while young but keep the soil moist. have a spray bottle or light water the plants during the early stages. When the soil becomes dry, it is the only time you can water your kalanchoe plant.
When your cutting starts to have new stems and leaves begin to grow, you may begin caring for it as if it were a fully grown kalanchoe.
Grow Kalanchoe From Seeds
Kalanchoe seeds are very tiny, dust-like for every ounce you collect. You can purchase the seeds from a gardening store near you or crossbreed kalanchoe plants if you already have them and have a hybrid plant.
While propagating succulents from seeds is not an everyday thing, yes, you can grow a kalanchoe plant from seeds.
Here is how you can grow the plant from seeds:
Step 1: Sow the seeds
Sow the seeds preferably during spring because of the good conditions for the seed to grow. You can initiate an artificial climate if you plant the seeds during winter; planting during winter is only conducive for indoor kalanchoes.
Have the seeds about an inch deep into a cactus mix soil or succulent soil. Secondly, offer warm temperature and moist conditions to enhance growth.
Step 3: Wait for the seeds to germinate
Have the seed pot or tray sit on an indirect light when the seeds start to germinate. If growing the seedlings outside, make sure to provide shade to the bed.
Immediately the seedlings sprout, make them accustomed to light. Expose the plants in the early morning or evening sun for a few minutes for indoor plants. Outdoor-grown seedlings, always uncover them to receive sunlight before covering them again with the shade.
Caring for Kalanchoe
The Kalanchoe plant requires care for it to grow and bloom. There are some conditions you should meet for the plant to thrive.
Feed the plant with fertilizer
During growth periods for new plants, fertilize kalanchoe. Every two weeks, use one-half to one-quarter of the manufacturer’s suggested amount of 20-8-20 fertilizer.
Fertilize only when necessary and use it sparingly. Also, fertilize just during the early growth stages of your plants.
Pests and Diseases
Outdoor Kalanchoes are more vulnerable to pests. Spider mites, nematodes, aphids, and scale insects can all attack the plant.
Signs of pests infestation include torn or bitten leaves, honeydew on leaves, or faded leaves.
To treat kalanchoe for insects and avoid harming the plant, use non-toxic pesticides or other remedies available such as neem oil.
Kalanchoe has low water needs, most so outdoor kalanchoes. Only water those grown outside if the topsoil is dry.
The plants can withstand drought, although this will impact their growth.
For indoor kalanchoes, a clay pot is the best medium for planting them. Clay pots help keep the soil moist while draining excess water from the soil.
What is the right temperature for Kalanchoe?
Kalanchoes thrive well in temperatures between 65 to 85° F as they are tropical and subtropical plants.
During winter, the plants require frost protection as they are sensitive to cold. However, in summer, prolonged sunlight exposure will damage the leaves. Plant them under a shade if outdoor-grown.
Pro Tip: To bloom the next season, kalanchoe requires 14-16 hours of total darkness for six weeks during the fall and winter.
Some Kalanchoe plants may require pruning but often ensure your gardening tools are clean before you can begin.
You should prune your kalanchoe plant when:
- At the onset of the blooming period, and
- After the blooming period
Pruning during the blooming phase is to encourage new growth. This period is when you can also get yourself new cuttings for planting. Lastly, after the blooming period, pruning is to remove the flower stalks and extra stems to conserve energy for the plant.
Always be on the lookout for dead leaves or brown leaves. In case of any, remove them first as they might die and spread disease to the main plant.
After pruning, you should water less your plant.
Potting and Repotting
Kalanchoe plants love their space and spread a lot. You can always repot the plants once a year. Also, when repotting, always remove the offshoots and pot them separately; this will help make the plant thrive with less competition for nutrients.
Always care and attend to the plants, especially when grown in your garden. If left unattended, they will grow and cover the whole garden.
Various Kalanchoe to Plant in Your Home
Kalanchoe plants have bright colors when blooming, and there are various colors you might want for your home. Here are various options to choose from for propagating:
- Orange Varieties
- Red and Magenta
Now you can easily cut a piece of kalanchoe and plant it. If you have the plant already and looking to grow more, reduce the cost of purchasing new plants. Good for you!
You can propagate many other succulents other than kalanchoe, and you can also try out different varieties of kalanchoe and decorate your home with this plant. Add some color and vitality to your home with this succulent.