Mini Kalanchoe: A Sun-Loving Tropical Plant

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

Kalanchoe is an easy to take care tropical plant that produces beautiful long-lasting flowers with little care! This popular succulent is grown in a wide range of vibrant colors like yellow, pink, magenta, orange and red. The green leaves make a statement because they are glossy and quite large. Caring for Kalanchoe is no trouble at all but there are a few things you need to know.



Give Plenty Of Light

Kalanchoe loves to get lots of bright, natural light: place your plant close to a South-facing window in the winter, and an East window in the summer.


Generally, a medium or high light situation is best as long as the plant is not getting too much direct sun, and it’s out of any hot windows.


During the summer, Kalanchoe will do great outdoors just as long as it’s protected from the hot afternoon sun.


If Kalanchoe doesn’t get enough light, it becomes leggy and thin, and its flowers tend not to open.


Keep It Warm

Kalanchoe prefers warmth – don't let the temperature fall below 55 °F. The ideal temperature is between 60 and 85 degrees F.


This plant usually does fine in normal household conditions, but it needs to be kept away from drafts. Kalanchoe can't tolerate cold temperatures – avoid placing it near cool windowsills.


As with any flowering plant, the warmer your home is, the faster the flowers will open up.



Make Sure Not To Overwater

Kalanchoe is a succulent, which means you don’t want to keep it wet.


Water the plant thoroughly until the water runs out the bottom and immediately empty the drainage tray. Then, let the soil surface dry out before watering again.


The frequency of your watering will vary depending on your home temperatures, light situation, and the size of your Kalanchoe.

Remember that mini plants usually need water more often, so make sure to keep an eye on your mini plant, and check the surface of the soil frequently.


Make sure not to overwater, and keep in mind that leaving Kalanchoe to sit in wet soil can cause root rot.


Kalanchoe thrives in the low humidity of winter households – it doesn’t need to be misted.


During the winter, you can reduce the frequency of your watering.



Choose A Well-Draining Soil

Plant your Kalanchoe in well-drained, well-aerated soil, such as 60% peat moss and 40% perlite.

Use a clay pot, as the roots can be quite sensitive.



Fertilizer

Feed Kalanchoe once a month during the blooming period, using a balanced organic fertilizer.



Propagation

The easiest way to propagate Kalanchoe is by stem cuttings. Avoid propagating the plant while flowering – the best time is in spring or summer.


Cut a 2- to 3-inch section and remove the leaves at the bottom. Let the cutting sit out in a warm, dry location to form a callus at the end.

Then, plant the cutting in some moist soil up to the first leaf. Surround the pot with some plastic to form a little terrarium, and place the pot in front of a bright window with indirect light.


Cuttings will root in 14 to 21 days and are then ready to transplant.



Flowering

Kalanchoe may rebloom in spring or late fall naturally. If your plant isn’t blooming again, you can force it to.


Kalanchoe reacts to equal periods of light and dark exposure. To bloom again, it needs 12-14 hours of complete darkness, for 6 to 8 weeks.


Bring your plant out only for morning light and then put it away in a closet or a room that’s pitch black for 12-14 hours. Make sure to reduce the watering during this time. The best temperature for reblooming is 40-45 °F (4-7 °C) at night and 60 °F (16 °C) during the day.


Once the buds begin to appear, you can return to the usual care routine.



Diseases

Kalanchoe can be subject to aphids and mealybugs – keep your eyes open and check your plant frequently, especially underneath the leaves.



Remember

  • Pinch dead flowers and leggy growth to encourage more blooms and force a compact plant.

  • Kalanchoe is toxic to both dogs and cats.

  • Kalanchoe is subject to powdery mildew – don’t want to mist or spray this plant.



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