The brightest and most durable of all the flowering “bouquets in pots” is the luxurious Kalanchoe. Thanks to the efforts of breeders, the selection of flowering varieties today has become delightfully varied. Kalanchoe is usually bought as a gift or instead of a bouquet, or for themselves – as an interior decoration. But in order for the blooming Kalanchoe to please for many months, you need to take care of it. And it is not so difficult to do this, after all, the Kalanchoe is a succulent!
What to do to make the Kalanchoe bloom longer?
Description of the plant
Kalanchoe is a unique flowering succulent plant. And although there are many medicinal species and extravagant decorative deciduous among the Kalanchoe, most people associate this plant, first of all, with bright flowers.
The neat low bushes, formed by special pruning and treatment with growth inhibitors, appear very neat and amazingly flawless. The plant has fleshy, decorated with a jagged edge, dark green shiny leaves, succulent shoots and inflorescence shields.
The original four-petaled Kalanchoe flowers in simple varieties (or with dozens of rose-like flowers in the best double-breasted hybrids) offer the brightest acrylic colors – yellow, orange, red, pink and even two-tone. Delicate or catchy, Kalanchoe can be selected for every taste and interior.
Kalanchoe of Blossfeld (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) and its numerous hybrids flooded the shelves and are driven out all year round, practically not disappearing from sale. Blooming Kalanchoe crumbs purchased as a gift or for yourself are often disappointing just a few weeks after purchase. The bush, which in the first days and leaves cannot be seen under the mass of flowers, often begins to fade at home, deform, lose all its shine.
Why Kalanchoe fades quickly
Only two factors can cause a disappointingly fast flowering of Kalanchoe:
- natural aging and the end of the flowering period;
- careless care or selection of conditions of detention.
At the stage of flowering, Kalanchoe is a true “plant of habits”. And the fewer changes, the lower the risk of rapid fading. But the main reason that the lush Kalanchoe bushes quickly fade is more often hidden in something else – the choice of plants that have been blooming for a long time or were expelled in violation of the rules.
When buying a Kalanchoe, it is worth remembering that the state of the plant – the flowering stage, the presence of a larger number of buds, or, conversely, the dominance of already blossoming flowers – affect how much it can bloom at home. Bushes that have just begun to bloom will allow you to enjoy the blooming miracle for several months.
But even in this case, one should not count on the fact that the flowering of the Kalanchoe will last forever. The average flowering period of this culture is 2-3 months. Even “year-round” kalandives bloom in waves, demanding for such a miracle not only additional supplementary lighting, but also impeccable care.
Sooner or later, any Kalanchoe fades, this is a natural process. If the plant is capable, after a short pause, new flower stalks will appear. But even if not, after the right period of rest, everything can start over.
It is not so difficult to extend the flowering of the Kalanchoe by allowing it to go through the full flowering period – it is enough to treat the plant and its habits with attention.
Read also our article Kalanchoe Blossfeld – a flower under a cap.
Optimal conditions for Kalanchoe
Some types of Kalanchoe can be classified as shade-tolerant plants, but certainly not lush bushes. They also do not like direct sun and prefer diffused lighting, but it should be as bright as possible. Eastern and western window sills or places similar to them in terms of illumination level are perfect for Kalanchoe.
On cloudy days and during winter flowering, additional lighting will extend flowering (at least up to 8, ideally up to 10-12 hours). But the limitation of daylight hours, without which, according to myths, Kalanchoe cannot be grown, there is no need for flowering bushes. It is used only to achieve budding, not to prolong flowering.
Kalanchoe temperatures are much less demanding. It can grow in a wide temperature range from 10 to more than 25 degrees Celsius, but during flowering, stable heat in summer (+ 21 … + 23 ° С) and light coolness in autumn and winter (+ 16 … + 18 ° С) is the best option.
Severe temperature fluctuations can lead to accelerated flowering. And drafts, which the Kalanchoe is not afraid of at other times, are undesirable during flowering. Unlike airing, which prolongs flowering. And one more secret – blooming Kalanchoe is undesirable to rearrange and turn.
Kalanchoe care at home
Even Blossfeld’s relentlessly flowering Kalanchoe varieties are still succulents. And so it is worth treating them, always remembering about the dislike for excessive watering and feeding.
Kalanchoe all you need is that attentive and not too excessive care:
- neat, but regular watering with drying of the upper layer of the substrate, without stagnant water in the trays and soaking greens and buds;
- top dressing only at the stage of active growth and flowering with special fertilizers for succulents during the growth period and fertilizers for flowering plants during the budding and flowering period, rare and not concentrated (1 time in 3-4 weeks is enough with a halved dose).
If possible, care is best done as it was done in a flower shop.
Kalanchoe should always be kept clean: the leaves of the plant are gently wiped from dust with a damp sponge or napkin.
Luxurious flowering bushes, in the right conditions and with careful care, tirelessly open their buds and delight for many weeks. But if you leave fading inflorescences on the Kalanchoe, the flowering period will be reduced several times. Regular “sanitary cleaning” – cutting off old peduncles to the base, and if the variety allows, then regular plucking of wilting flowers – will allow Kalanchoe to bloom tirelessly. It is worth regularly removing damaged, dry, yellowing leaves (most often from the bottom of the bush).
Read also our article Kalanchoe – medicinal types, benefits and applications.
Do I need a Kalanchoe transplant after purchase?
Blooming Kalanchoe quickly degenerate and grow very slowly. For a lush flowering plant, it is easier to regularly renew from cuttings, rather than save old bushes. In this case, a transplant is not needed at all.
But even if you lovingly form and preserve Kalanchoe from year to year and allow them to reveal all their beauty, then it is not worth replanting the bushes every year unnecessarily. Kalanchoe is transferred to a new container only when they fill the previous one.
Including, you should not rush to transplant after purchase, unless an emergency procedure is needed due to problems with the substrate or the condition of the plant. Moreover, if the bush blooms magnificently. A change of habitat is enough stress. Do not aggravate it by changing the capacity. Let the Kalanchoe develop normally and master the substrate and only then transfer it.
The transplant itself has few rules. The less contact with the roots, the better. Light soil for succulents, a high layer of drainage, small pots according to the type of roots – that’s all the Kalanchoe needs for comfort.
How to achieve repeated flowering of Kalanchoe
After the plant has faded, the Kalanchoe must be cut off, leaving short stumps from the shoots or the desired length for formation. For 4-8 weeks, the plant is placed in shade and, if possible, cool (about 15 degrees), with very rare and poor watering.
As soon as the plant starts to grow, it is returned to heat and to the brightest possible light, pinching the twigs (standard – over 4-5 pairs of leaves) to form dense bushes. To form buds, you need to limit daylight hours to 8-10 hours, artificially shading the Kalanchoe for 4-6 days.
Terry Kalanchoe varieties are often immediately recommended to be renewed by propagating by cuttings. For this, young shoots about 10 cm long are cut from the mother bushes and rooted in an ordinary light sandy substrate.