Kalanchoe is such a beautiful house plant. Everyone that appreciates plants will love to have it in their garden and in house. However, if you already have one of these plants, you’ll want to know how best to care for it so that it can thrive for many years to come. Mother of Thousands or “kalanchoe” as commonly known, has grown in popularity due to their beautiful colors when they bloom.
During blooming in the winter season, kalanchoe blooms in a diverse range of shapes, sizes, and colors. They can produce attractive pink, salmon, yellow, red, white, and violet-colored blooms. At every stage of their life cycle, the Mother of Thousands needs to be adequately cared for to grow and thrive well.
Does the mother of thousand need direct sunlight? Mother of thousand prefers a minimum of 5-6 hours of direct sunlight per day, although indirect sunlight works best in hotter climates. You must keep your kalanchoe in a spot that receives full to partial light. Long exposure of the plant to direct sunlight causes sunburn which destroys the appearance of this lovely plant.
Importance of Direct Sunlight to Kalanchoe Plant
From their natural habitats, kalanchoe grows in places they receive whole sun for the part of the day. If not direct sunlight, the plant needs bright indirect sunlight. While you may want to keep them in every corner of your house, it is good to know that the plant needs plenty of sun to remain healthy.
The only way to have a healthy stem, to grow and hold the plant well, it will need sunlight. For photosynthesis to occur, the plant will need to spend a better part of its day in the sun. This photosynthesis is a process that releases energy that the plant needs to grow. Without this energy, your plant will be under stress.
How Much Light Does Kalanchoe Need?
1. Light requirement for indoor kalanchoe
Kalanchoe can make a good houseplant under proper conditions. If you are growing mother of thousands indoors years around, they will do well if placed where they are getting adequate exposure to natural sunlight. Therefore, they should be placed in a sunny location like a window facing east. But the light should not be available all through, as it may kill the plant.
Placing kalanchoe in a window means receiving the proper sunlight for their healthy growth. Besides water, adequate lighting is the primary requirement for growing a healthy succulent indoor. If your home does not have a place where the plant receives the lighting from the sun, you can use artificial supplemental like the artificial grow light.
When placing the plant on a window, ensure the plant is not exposed to direct light for too long. Also, ensure that the plant leaves do not touch the windowpane, leading to leaf burn. During the night hours, don’t keep the plant in an open window because they don’t like frosts.
Artificial light fairly works well for kalanchoe, in areas where natural lighting is unavailable. You can place your mother of thousands under incandescent bulbs or fluorescent tubes to acquire light. The plant should not be kept too close to the bulb. The heat generated by the bulb could burn the succulent leaves.
2. Light Requirements for Outdoor Kalanchoe
Growing the plant outdoor can be a good place because there is adequate sunlight. However, the plant will grow well in a sunny location with partial sunlight. If you have planted this succulent outside, it needs about 4-6 hours of daylight to thrive properly.
An outdoor kalanchoe needs regular checking. Due to the much sunlight and heat, the dry conditions of the plant attract pests. Especially the spiders who like the warm environment. Do not expose your plant for long in the sun because it can lead to sunburn.
Outdoors, kalanchoe can do well in shades like under the tree. This ensures it receives partial sunlight, and avoid leaf burning. In cooler climates, make sure to move your indoor plant outside from time to time or after the winter. This is necessary to acquire the much-needed sunlight.
Is Your Kalanchoe getting too Much Sun?
While we know that kalanchoe is sun-loving like most succulents, their need for light is nuanced as they don’t thrive well under total sun exposure and extreme temperatures. When your Kalanchoe plant receives too much light, it will show negative signs of burning. The solution is to take it to the shade. Some of these signs include
- Stress due to excessive sunlight will trigger the rosettes of the succulent to close up tightly. Too much sun will make the succulent use a defense mechanism to protect its leaves from receiving the much sun.
- Leaves begin to change their color to yellow or show some brown patches, which often start at the edge of the leaf as it progresses to the other part of the leaf.
- If the sunlight exposure continues, the plant will start showing signs of impending sunburn damage as it becomes dark and discolored. At this stage, it is irreversible to correct the mistake.
Is my Mother of Thousand getting Enough Sun?
The easiest way to identify if your mother of thousand is receiving enough sun is to check on the color of the leaves. In proper light intensity, the kalanchoe leaves are dark green, thick and waxy. When the plant is not getting enough sunlight, the leaves have a much lighter color in the center or at its tip. When you notice this condition, move the plant to the sunlight.
Another sign that your mother of thousands is not getting enough light is that the plant will start to grow super-fast. The plant will start getting taller, and you will notice more space between the leaves, a process referred to as stretching. The plant tends to stretch itself more to get enough sunlight. These change the proportion of the plant, and it will weaken the plant. To ensure that the plant grows in a balanced manner, move the plant where it gets enough sunlight both sides.
How to Move a Kalanchoe from an Indoor to the Outdoor Environment
When the mother of thousand has stayed indoors for long, immediate exposure of the plant to the outdoor environment is harmful. The plant leaves have not adapted to the outside climate. They may be shocked by the sudden change in the setting. The leaves may start experiencing sunburn due to sudden exposure to bright light.
Therefore, gradually exposing the plant to sunlight is necessary to get accustomed to the new environment. To do this, first put the plant in a shady location where they get filtered sunlight. Once the succulent adjusts to this new environment, gradually move it to the full sun. Next, check the water levels appropriately, as it enjoys plenty sun.
What are the Sunlight Requirements for Blooming?
Mother of thousands is in a plant group referred to as short-day plants. These plants need longer nights and shorter days to induce the blooming process. After blooming has occurred, during the winter season, don’t discard them. You can trick the plant into blooming again. And light is part of it.
Mother of thousand has specific requirements that must be met if blooming should occur again. The plant has different light needs during normal and bloom-inducing periods. During the blooming period, the plant is light sensitive as it does not require much. Once the mother of thousands is done with blooming, it must receive a cycle of light and darkness to develop the flower buds and bloom again. Put the plant in darkness for long and let it just get a little light.
How to Make the Mother of Thousand Survive Adverse Heat
During the summer season, outdoor succulents tend to suffer from excessive heat from the sun. To protect them even during this damaging period; you can do the following
Find a shade for your kalanchoe
Heat is one thing, but the plant is at risk if this heat is accompanied by direct exposure to the sun. In this season, find a shade for your plant to stay. When in the shade, ensure checking on the soil to ensure that it has the right amount of water for the plant.
The plant is trying hard to adjust to adverse temperatures. Repotting the mother of thousands during this period will only stress the plant. Let the plant stay in its original pot until this period is over.
Be watchful on the water levels.
When there is heat, the rate of evaporation is a bit high. During this period, ensure to check on the water levels of the plant constantly. Though they are drought-tolerant, give them water when they need it.
When you bring your mother of thousands home, ensure that you have already located a spot for the plant to get maximum light. Plenty of sunshine and proper watering of the plant keeps your succulent happy and thriving. However, do not overdo it. Alternate the plant to direct and indirect sunlight for maximum results.