Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a glabrous branching herb native to Madagascar. The fleshy, dark shiny green leaves will reach 3 inches (7.7 cm) long by up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide with lobed edges. Many hybrid forms available today, coming in a variety of sizes and floral colors that reach from dwarf plants only 6 inches (15 cm) tall to plants over three times taller. Floral colors range from the traditional red to yellows, oranges, salmon, to pink and almost any color in between. This plant is known as the Christmas Kalanchoe because of their showy blooms in winter. They are of easy culture.
Blooming: In the greenhouse, the plants bloom starting in December and last 6-8 weeks.
Culture: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana need full sun to high interior lighting, with a well drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. The plants are well watered and allowed to dry somewhat in between waterings. During the growing season (spring and summer), the plants are fertilized every month with a balanced fertilizer. Beginning in mid September, the plants are moved to 14 hours of continuous darkness every day to promote blooming. During this period, no fertilizer is used. In 3 or 4 months, the plants should be blooming. After the plants have bloomed, they should be cut back to promote new growth and fertilized every 2 weeks. Keep plants trimmed to encourage compact and bushy growth.
Propagation: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is easily propagated from cuttings in the spring.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana was featured as Plant of the Week December 23, 2005 - January 5, 2006.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.