How To Care For Kalanchoe Plant


Common Types of Kalanchoe Plants

If you’re a fan of vibrant and blooming plants, then you’ll definitely want to consider adding a Kalanchoe plant to your collection. These succulents are known for their colorful flowers and hardy nature, making them a popular choice for indoor and outdoor gardening. There are several common types of Kalanchoe plants, each with its own unique characteristics and care requirements. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular varieties:

  1. Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana: This is one of the most widely cultivated species of Kalanchoe, known for its stunning clusters of colorful flowers. It comes in various shades including red, yellow, pink, and orange, making it a perfect choice for adding a splash of color to any space.
  2. Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora: Also known as the “Paddle Plant” or “Flapjack Plant”, this variety stands out with its thick, paddle-shaped leaves that have a blueish-green hue. In addition to its unique appearance, it produces small yellow flowers on tall stalks.
  3. Kalanchoe Tomentosa: Commonly referred to as the “Panda Plant” or “Chocolate Soldier”, this species features fuzzy, silver-green leaves with brown or reddish margins. It’s a low-maintenance plant that thrives in bright, indirect light, making it a great choice for beginners.
  4. Kalanchoe Orgyalis: This peculiar variety, also known as the “Copper Spoons”, is characterized by its spoon-shaped leaves covered in a coppery, velvety coating. It can reach an impressive size with proper care and adds a touch of uniqueness to any plant collection.
  5. Kalanchoe Gastonis-Bonnieri: Also called the “Donkey Ears”, this succulent boasts large, paddle-shaped leaves that are a striking shade of grayish-green. It produces beautiful clusters of orange and yellow flowers that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.

These are just a few examples of the many Kalanchoe plant varieties available. Each type offers its own distinct beauty and care requirements, so it’s important to research the specific needs of the species you choose. Whether you opt for the vibrant blossoms of the Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana or the unique foliage of the Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora, these plants are sure to bring joy and beauty to your living space.

Lighting Requirements

Proper lighting is crucial for the growth and well-being of Kalanchoe plants. These succulents thrive in bright light conditions, but they are also sensitive to intense direct sunlight. Understanding their lighting requirements is essential for keeping them healthy and encouraging blooming. Here are some guidelines to help you provide the right amount of light for your Kalanchoe:

Indoor Lighting: When growing Kalanchoe indoors, place them in a location where they receive bright, indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. A south-facing window is usually the best spot, as it provides ample light without exposing the plant to direct sunlight. If natural light is insufficient, you can supplement it with artificial grow lights to ensure they receive adequate brightness.

Outdoor Lighting: If you plan to grow Kalanchoe outdoors, choose a spot that receives partial shade during the hottest hours of the day. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and hinder the plant’s growth. Morning or late afternoon sun, preferably filtered through some shade, is ideal for outdoor Kalanchoe. Avoid placing them in areas with intense, full-time sunlight.

Signs of Inadequate Lighting: Insufficient light can have adverse effects on Kalanchoe plants. If they are not receiving enough light, you may notice elongated stems, pale or yellowing leaves, and reduced blooming. On the other hand, if they are exposed to too much direct sunlight, the leaves may develop sunburn spots or turn brownish. Adjusting the lighting conditions accordingly can help maintain the plant’s health.

Remember to regularly rotate your Kalanchoe plants to ensure even exposure to light on all sides. This will prevent them from leaning towards the light source and promote more balanced growth. Monitoring and providing the right amount of light will help your Kalanchoe thrive, producing vibrant blooms and maintaining the overall beauty of the plant.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature and humidity are important factors to consider when caring for Kalanchoe plants. These succulents are native to arid regions and have adapted to thrive in dry environments with moderate temperatures. Providing the right conditions will ensure the health and longevity of your Kalanchoe. Here are some guidelines to help you maintain the proper temperature and humidity levels:

Temperature: Kalanchoe plants prefer temperatures between 60°F (15°C) and 75°F (24°C). They can tolerate slightly higher or lower temperatures, but extreme heat or cold can cause stress and damage to the plant. Protect your Kalanchoe from frost and freezing temperatures, as prolonged exposure can be fatal. It’s also important to avoid placing them in drafty areas or near air conditioning vents, as sudden temperature fluctuations can harm the plant.

Humidity: Since Kalanchoe plants are succulents, they have adapted to low levels of humidity. They can tolerate average household humidity levels, but high humidity can lead to issues such as fungal diseases and root rot. Avoid placing your Kalanchoe in rooms with high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens. If you live in a humid climate, provide proper ventilation and take extra care not to overwater the plant.

It’s essential to monitor and adjust the temperature and humidity levels to create an optimal growing environment for your Kalanchoe. Here are a few additional tips to help you maintain the right conditions:

  • During the winter months, when the indoor heating is on, place a tray of water near the plant to increase the humidity around it.
  • Use a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels in the room where your Kalanchoe is located. Aim for a range of 40% to 50% humidity.
  • If you notice signs of low humidity, such as dry or curling leaves, you can mist the plant occasionally to increase moisture levels.

By providing the appropriate temperature and humidity levels, you will create a favorable environment for your Kalanchoe to thrive and produce beautiful blooms. Keeping a close eye on these factors will help prevent stress and ensure the long-term health of your plant.

Watering Guidelines

Proper watering is crucial for the health and growth of Kalanchoe plants. As succulents, they have unique water requirements and can be sensitive to overwatering. Understanding the watering guidelines will help you maintain the right moisture level for your Kalanchoe. Here are some guidelines to help you water your Kalanchoe effectively:

Frequency: Kalanchoe plants prefer infrequent watering. Allow the top inch (2.5 cm) of the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Depending on the temperature and humidity levels, this may be once every 7 to 14 days. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues, so it’s essential to strike a balance and avoid keeping the soil overly moist.

Watering Technique: When watering your Kalanchoe, thoroughly moisten the soil until water drains out of the bottom of the pot. This helps ensure that the entire root system receives moisture. Avoid allowing the plant to sit in standing water, as this can lead to root rot. Discard any excess water that collects in the saucer or tray.

Seasonal Adjustments: During the winter months, Kalanchoe plants go through a period of dormancy. As a result, their watering needs decrease. Reduce the frequency of watering and make sure the soil is almost completely dry before watering again. In contrast, during the active growing season in spring and summer, increase the frequency of watering to accommodate the plant’s growth and higher water requirements.

Signs of Underwatering and Overwatering: It’s important to monitor your Kalanchoe for signs of both underwatering and overwatering. Signs of underwatering include drooping leaves, dry and brittle foliage, and slow growth. On the other hand, overwatering can cause rotting leaves, wilting, and a mushy or foul-smelling root system. Adjust your watering routine accordingly to address any signs of imbalance.

Remember that each Kalanchoe plant is unique, and factors such as pot size, soil type, and environmental conditions can affect watering requirements. By observing your plant’s response and adjusting your watering technique accordingly, you can provide the ideal moisture balance for your Kalanchoe, ensuring its health and longevity.

Soil and Fertilizer

The right soil and fertilizer are key to promoting healthy growth and vibrant blooms in Kalanchoe plants. These succulents have specific soil requirements and benefit from occasional fertilization. Understanding the proper soil composition and fertilizing practices will help you provide the optimal conditions for your Kalanchoe. Here are some guidelines to help you with soil choice and fertilization:

Soil: Kalanchoe plants thrive in well-draining soil that mimics their natural habitat. A good soil mix for Kalanchoe consists of a combination of cactus or succulent soil and perlite or coarse sand. This combination promotes proper drainage, preventing excessive moisture from accumulating around the roots and causing root rot. Avoid using heavy or compacted soils that retain too much water.

Fertilizer: While Kalanchoe plants are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to fertilization, occasional feeding can enhance their growth and blooming. During the active growing season in spring and summer, apply a balanced, water-soluble succulent fertilizer every four to six weeks. Dilute the fertilizer according to the package instructions and apply it to the soil, making sure not to get it on the leaves. In the dormant winter period, it’s best to avoid fertilizing altogether as the plant’s growth slows down.

Application and Dosage: When applying fertilizer to your Kalanchoe, follow the recommended dosage provided by the manufacturer. It’s important not to over-fertilize as this can lead to nutrient burns and other issues. In general, it is better to under-fertilize rather than over-fertilize succulents. Monitor the plant’s growth and respond accordingly, adjusting your fertilization routine if necessary.

Organic Options: If you prefer organic alternatives, you can use compost or organic succulent fertilizers. These options provide a more natural approach to feeding your Kalanchoe while still providing necessary nutrients. When using compost, make sure it’s well-aged and mixed with the soil to avoid introducing excessive moisture to the plant.

Remember to always water your Kalanchoe before applying fertilizer to prevent potential salt build-up and ensure proper nutrient absorption.

By utilizing the right soil mix and occasional fertilization, you can provide your Kalanchoe with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and stunning blooms. Monitoring the plant’s response and adjusting your fertilizing routine accordingly will help maintain its overall health and beauty.

Pruning and Pinching

Pruning and pinching are important techniques for maintaining the shape, promoting branching, and encouraging blooming in Kalanchoe plants. These practices help remove dead or damaged foliage, control growth, and stimulate new growth. Understanding how and when to prune and pinch your Kalanchoe will ensure its health and aesthetic appeal. Here are some guidelines to help you with pruning and pinching:

Pruning: Regular pruning helps remove any dead, yellowing, or diseased leaves from your Kalanchoe. It also helps maintain a compact and attractive shape. Use clean and sharp pruning shears or scissors to make clean cuts, avoiding any tearing or crushing of the plant tissue. Focus on removing individual leaves or stems that detract from the plant’s overall appearance. Prune after flowering to encourage new growth and additional blooms.

Pinching: Pinching is a technique that involves removing the tips of the stems to promote branching and create a fuller, bushier plant. When pinching, use your thumb and forefinger to pinch off the top portion of the stem, just above a leaf node or joint. This stimulates lateral growth and allows the plant to develop more sideshoots. Pinching can be done throughout the growing season, but avoid excessive pinching, as it can stress the plant.

Deadheading: Deadheading refers to the removal of spent flowers or flower stalks. This encourages the development of new flower buds and prolongs the blooming period of your Kalanchoe. After the flowers have withered, use your fingers or scissors to remove the faded blooms. Be sure to sanitize your tools before and after use to prevent the spread of any diseases.

Timing: It’s important to time your pruning and pinching correctly to avoid interfering with the plant’s natural growth cycle. For Kalanchoe plants, spring and summer are the active growing seasons when you should focus on pruning and pinching to shape and promote new growth. In the dormant winter period, minimize pruning and pinching to allow the plant to rest and conserve energy.

Remember to monitor your Kalanchoe plant after pruning or pinching to ensure it is responding well to the process. Proper pruning and pinching techniques will help maintain a healthy, well-shaped Kalanchoe, promote increased branching, and encourage more abundant and long-lasting blooms.

Pests and Diseases

While Kalanchoe plants are generally resilient and resistant to pests and diseases, they can still fall victim to certain issues. It’s important to be aware of common pests and diseases that can affect your Kalanchoe and take prompt action to prevent and manage these problems. Here are some common pests and diseases and the necessary steps to address them:


  • Mealybugs: These small, white, cottony insects can infest the leaves and stems of your Kalanchoe. To control mealybugs, you can use a cloth or cotton swab dipped in alcohol to wipe them off the affected areas. In severe cases, consider using an insecticidal soap or neem oil spray.
  • Aphids: Aphids are tiny, green or black insects that cluster on the undersides of leaves or new growth. You can dislodge them with a strong stream of water or use insecticidal soap or neem oil spray if the infestation is severe.
  • Spider Mites: These tiny pests are difficult to see, but the signs of their presence include webbing and speckled leaves. To control spider mites, rinse the plant with water or use an insecticidal soap spray. Increase humidity around the plant to discourage further infestation.


  • Root Rot: Overwatering or poorly-draining soil can lead to root rot in Kalanchoe plants. To prevent root rot, ensure proper drainage by using well-draining soil and watering only when the top inch of soil is dry. If root rot has already occurred, trim away any affected roots and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.
  • Leaf Spot: Leaf spot can occur due to fungal or bacterial infections. It is characterized by dark, sunken spots on the leaves. Remove and discard affected leaves and avoid overwatering, as excess moisture can promote the spread of leaf spot. Fungicidal sprays can be used if the infection persists.
  • Rotting Stems: Rotting stems can be caused by overwatering or damage to the plant. Trim away the affected portion of the stem and ensure the plant is not sitting in water. Let the cut end dry and callus before replanting to prevent further rotting.

Regularly inspect your Kalanchoe for any signs of pests or diseases. Early detection and intervention are key to preventing the spread and minimizing the damage. Additionally, maintaining proper growing conditions, such as well-draining soil and appropriate watering, can help prevent many pest and disease problems.

If unsure about how to handle a pest or disease issue, consult with a local gardening expert or plant specialist for guidance and specific treatment recommendations. By staying vigilant and addressing any problems promptly, you can keep your Kalanchoe healthy and thriving.

Propagation Methods

Propagating Kalanchoe plants is an exciting and rewarding way to expand your collection or share the beauty of these succulents with others. There are several methods of propagating Kalanchoe, each with its own advantages and requirements. Here are some common propagation techniques to consider:

Leaf Cuttings: Kalanchoe plants can be easily propagated from leaf cuttings. Select a healthy leaf and remove it from the main stem. Allow the cut end to callus over for a day or two to reduce the risk of rot. Then, place the leaf on top of a well-draining soil mix or a bed of moist perlite, ensuring that the bottom end makes contact with the medium. Mist lightly and keep the cutting in bright, indirect light. After a few weeks, small plantlets will emerge from the base of the leaf, indicating successful propagation.

Stem Cuttings: Stem cuttings are another effective propagation method. Choose a healthy stem and cut it just below a node or joint. Remove the lower leaves to expose a few inches of stem. Allow the cut end to dry for a day or two to prevent rotting before placing it into a well-draining soil mix. Mist lightly and provide bright, indirect light. Roots will develop from the cut end, and new growth will emerge from the top of the stem within a few weeks.

Offsets/Suckers: Some Kalanchoe species produce offsets or suckers, which are small plantlets that develop around the base of the mother plant. Gently separate the offsets from the main plant by carefully removing them at the base. Ensure that each offset has some roots attached. Plant the offsets in well-draining soil, keeping them at the same soil level as their original position. Water lightly and provide bright, indirect light as they establish themselves.

Seed Propagation: While less common, Kalanchoe can also be propagated from seeds. Start by collecting ripe seeds from a mature Kalanchoe plant. Sow the seeds in a well-draining seed-starting mix, lightly covering them with soil. Mist the soil to keep it moist, and cover the container with plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse effect. Place the container in a warm and brightly lit area, but avoid direct sunlight. Within a few weeks, the seeds will germinate, and you can transplant the seedlings into individual pots once they have developed a few sets of true leaves.

Regardless of the propagation method you choose, it’s important to provide proper care, including adequate watering, appropriate lighting, and well-draining soil, to help the new plants establish themselves successfully. With patience and care, you can enjoy the satisfaction of propagating your own Kalanchoe plants and watching them grow into beautiful specimens.

Repotting Techniques

Repotting is an essential aspect of caring for Kalanchoe plants, as it allows them to have sufficient space for root growth and refreshes the soil nutrients. Knowing when and how to repot your Kalanchoe will help ensure its continued health and vitality. Here are some guidelines for successful repotting:

When to Repot: Repot your Kalanchoe when you notice signs of a crowded root system or when the plant has outgrown its current pot. This is typically done every one to two years. Signs that indicate the need for repotting include roots poking out of drainage holes, stunted growth, or the pot tipping over due to top-heavy growth.

Choosing the Right Pot: Select a pot that is one size larger than the current one. Ensure that the new pot has drainage holes to prevent water from pooling and causing root rot. Using a breathable pot material, such as terracotta or a porous ceramic, can help promote better air circulation and prevent moisture buildup.

Preparing the Soil: Use a well-draining soil mix specifically formulated for succulents or cacti. Alternatively, you can create your own mixture by combining regular potting soil with perlite or coarse sand to improve drainage. Avoid using heavy or moisture-retentive soils, as they can lead to root rot.

Repotting Process: Start by loosening the soil around the edges of the current pot using a gentle twisting motion, then carefully lift the Kalanchoe out of the pot. Gently shake off excess soil around the roots. If the roots are tightly bound, use your fingers or a small tool to loosen them slightly. Place a layer of fresh soil at the bottom of the new pot. Position the Kalanchoe in the center of the new pot and fill in the sides with additional soil. Gently press the soil to secure the plant, being careful not to compact it too tightly.

Aftercare: After repotting, give your Kalanchoe a thorough watering to settle the soil and encourage root establishment. Allow any excess water to drain out completely. Place the plant in a location with bright, indirect light and observe it closely for the first few days to ensure it’s adjusting well to the new pot. Avoid overwatering immediately after repotting to prevent root damage.

Remember to label the new pot with the date of repotting to keep track of when it will need to be repotted again in the future.

Repotting not only provides much-needed space for your Kalanchoe’s root system but also gives you an opportunity to inspect the plant’s overall health. By following proper repotting techniques, you can keep your Kalanchoe thriving and encourage continued growth and blooming for years to come.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Care

Kalanchoe plants can thrive both indoors and outdoors, but there are some key differences in care requirements between the two environments. Understanding the specific needs of your Kalanchoe when grown indoors or outdoors will help ensure its overall health and longevity. Here are some considerations for indoor and outdoor care:

Lighting: When grown indoors, Kalanchoe plants require bright, indirect light. Place them near a south-facing window or provide supplemental grow lights to ensure they receive enough light. In contrast, when grown outdoors, Kalanchoe plants prefer partial shade, especially during the hottest hours of the day. Filtered morning or late afternoon sunlight is ideal to prevent leaf scorching.

Temperature: Indoors, Kalanchoe plants prefer moderate temperatures between 60°F (15°C) and 75°F (24°C). Avoid placing them near drafts or air conditioning vents, as sudden temperature changes can stress the plant. Outdoors, Kalanchoe plants can tolerate a wider range of temperatures, but it’s important to protect them from frost and freezing temperatures, as prolonged exposure can damage or kill the plant.

Humidity: Kalanchoe plants are adaptable to average household humidity levels indoors. They can tolerate lower humidity, but avoid placing them in rooms with high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens. Outdoors, Kalanchoe plants can tolerate higher humidity levels, but it’s important to ensure adequate air circulation to prevent fungal diseases.

Watering: When grown indoors, Kalanchoe plants should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry. Allow any excess water to drain out completely and avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. When grown outdoors, Kalanchoe plants have slightly different watering requirements. Monitor the moisture levels in the soil and adjust watering according to the weather conditions. Avoid watering during rainy periods, but increase watering during prolonged dry spells.

Protection: Indoor Kalanchoe plants are naturally protected from extreme weather conditions and pests. However, keep an eye out for common indoor pests like mealybugs and aphids, and take action if any issues arise. Outdoor Kalanchoe plants may be exposed to various environmental factors, including pests, extreme temperatures, and heavy rain. Regularly inspect the plant for signs of pests or diseases and provide appropriate protection, such as using organic pest control methods or moving the plant to a more sheltered location during severe weather.

Whether you choose to grow your Kalanchoe indoors or outdoors, it’s important to monitor the plant’s response and adjust care accordingly. Observing the development of new leaves, growth patterns, and bloom cycles will help you determine if any changes are needed in the care routine. With proper care, your Kalanchoe will thrive and bring delightful beauty to your indoor or outdoor space.