Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

From the Kalanchoe genus, the blossfeldiana is one of the most well-known succulent plants. More commonly, this plant is known as the Flaming Katy or the Window's-thrill. It is primarily grown for its flowering ability rather than its foliage like other succulents.

Succulents, in general, are tough plants that can withstand arid climates as they retain water in their stems and leaves. They are characterized as being thick and fleshy. They are ideal houseplants because they are low maintenance and perfect for plant owners who are on the go. Below we will provide more information about this popular houseplant.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Plant Overview

The Kalanchoe blossfeldiana originates from Madagascar and is an herbaceous plant. Although they naturally bloom in the spring, a grower can make them bloom any time of the year. Flower blooms can be in various colors, such as lilac, orange, red, or yellow. The blossfediana's small but fleshy broad green leaves will turn a reddish color when given enough sunlight.

This small houseplant, smothered in blooms, is often given as a gift for its color. Ultimately, it is often quickly tossed because it is assumed that it will not rebloom. But if it is given the right growing conditions, the blossfeldiana will bloom again; it just takes a little time.

As a deciduous perennial, the blossfeldiana will go dormant or semi-dormant during part of the year. The flower stems will die back and then reappear when the growing season begins.

How to Propagate Kalanchoe

How to Propagate Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Care Guide

In this care guide, we are going to provide you everything you need to know about how to care for your Kalanchoe blossfeldiana.

Light

Upon receiving or purchasing this plant, it will tolerate being placed in a darker area of the house for about a month. Generally, this happens because we tend to sit new plants in kitchens, living rooms, or bedrooms to show them off and enjoy them.

For long-term purposes, the plant will need to near more sunlight. Otherwise, it will begin to grow spindly or leggy, making it look strange since it is a compact, little plant. An hour of sun a day will suffice if you want to move it to and from locations. Be mindful that too much sunlight will increase its need for water.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Watering

With proper sunlight, the blossfeldiana doesn't require constant watering. Due to its succulent nature, this plant is perfect for those who may forget to water their plants regularly or travel a lot.

For those who are more attentive with their watering, this plant will reward you greatly with a multitude of blooms. You'll know when to water because the soil will be completely dried out. Water fully, letting the soil become soaked. Do not water again until the soil has dried out again.

Soil

A Kalanchoe plant will grow best in well-drained soil. Be sure to choose a blend that doesn't hold too much moisture. Look for a 50 percent potting soil and 50 percent cactus mix.

Alternatively, you can use a 60 percent peat moss and 40 percent perlite mix. To ensure proper drainage, plant your Kalanchoe in a clay pot, which can help pull excess water from the soil.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Feeding

When feeding the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, it should only be done when the plant is not in bloom. Once all the flowers have faded, wait a few weeks to feed the plant.

You can use standard food for houseplants for the Kalanchoe. Standard food typically has higher amounts of potassium or potash. Feeding should be done every couple of months.

Humidity and Temperature

When it comes to succulents, humidity is generally not something you will need to worry about unless it is abnormally high.

The blossfeldiana thrives best in temperature ranges of 50°F (10°C) up to 72°F (22°C). If it slips outside of this range, the plant will be ok for short durations.

Most importantly, avoid frost, scorching by the sun, and too much humidity. If too much humidity occurs, use adequate ventilation to prevent Botrytis (Grey Mold) or Basal Stem Rot.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Grey Mold

Grey Mold is generally caused by an airborne fungal which lands on dying or damaged plant tissue. Often you will see small wounds on plants; this is perfectly normal. A problem arises when the plant is not healthy enough to fight the fungus, and its environment is cool and humid.

The rotting patches will be covered in grey fungus, which appears as dead brown patches on the leaves or stems, while petals will have white or pale brown spots. To help the plant survive, remove the infected parts and improve its ventilation.

Basal Stem Rot

Basal Stem Rot is caused by fungal mycelia, which is found living in most soils. Normally it will live peacefully without affecting the plant. However, if conditions become too damp from overwatering and there is poor ventilation with cool temps, the fungus will multiply rapidly and attack the plant.

When rotten patches (black or discolored) are seen at the base of the plant or anywhere on the plant, the plant is at risk of death. To treat the plant, cut out the rot and dust with an anti fungicide (sulfur). Often the base is too badly affected to save the plant. Sometimes, cuttings can be taken so that you can propagate the plant.

A helpful plant tip: When temperature or light levels are low, reduce watering amounts.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Propagation and Repotting

Propagation of this plant is easy with leaf cuttings. To do this, you will cut or gently remove a leaf from the plant. The cutting will need to dry out for a few hours before potting (raw edge down) in a free-draining soil.

Repotting the blossfeldiana is simply done once the plant has finished blooming. The soil will need to drain freely. Add grit or sand to aid with this. This plant will require repotting every couple of years.

When repotting for the first time, nutrient deficiency can occur. There are several nutrient deficiency symptoms, but you will mostly experience unusual or poor growth in your blossfeldiana. Things you may see are:

  • Leaves that are very small or oddly shaped.
  • Plant color is dull or maybe transparent in some places.
  • No flowers, flowers are discolored, or the flowers are aborted before they can open.

To treat the plant, fertilize using an all-purpose mixture or fresh compost. Choose one or the other, not both as they will burn the plant.

A helpful plant tip: Wait at least eight weeks before fertilizing your plant. Also, be gentle when repotting; the leaves of this plant are brittle and break off easily.

Growth Speed and Height/Spread

The Kalanchoe blossfeldiana's growth is typically slow, no matter its environment. Its maximum height and spread are reached within 3 to 5 years. As for its height and spread, this small plant will never be taller or wider than 12 to 18 in. As mentioned above, if your plant becomes spindly, it's not getting enough light.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Flowering

The flowering of this plant is what gained it the name Flaming Katy and Window's-thrill. With more than 50 blooms at a time, this small flowering plant displays a big pop of color in any room.

A helpful plant tip: To get the blossfeldiana blooming again, keep it in a semi-bright location. Once it has flowered and begins to fade, let it rest for a month or two. During this time, reduce water and do not feed. Then resume standard care.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Problems

Above we noted that rot and mold could affect this plant if it isn't properly ventilated. In addition to these problems, there are others such as:

  • Leaf Curl or Distortion
  • Yellow Leaves
  • Wilting Leaves
  • Dusty Leaves

As you may notice, all of the above issues deal with the plant's leaves. The least concerning is dust. Some Flaming Katy owners worry about breaking the leaves if they wipe down the plant. To remedy this, just simply place in a gentle shower at its next watering.

In regards to curl, distortion, yellowing, and wilting, these occur because of watering problems or insecticides. See below for more information.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Leaf Curl or Distortion

Curl and distortion will occur when the plant has come in contact with an insecticide. If it gets too bad, the plant will ultimately die. Try organic insecticides instead.

Leaf Yellowing

When a plant does not get enough water, it will pull all the nutrients from its leaves. This measure of self-preservation causes yellowing and then shedding of some leaves. Yellowing and shedding are not good for the plant's lifespan, so be sure to water properly.

Wilting

Like yellowing, wilting leaves are due to watering issues. Most would think wilting would be attributed to underwatering; however, with the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, it is also a sign of overwatering.

Should the plant be overwatered and the leaf damage is significant, the plant will most likely die. You can always lift the plant from its pot to check for rot to be sure.

When the leaves are wilting, check the soil to determine if it is from over or underwatering. If it's underwatered, the soil will be dry and vice versa. If underwatered, a good soak will help restore the plant and its leaves.

Best Digital PH Meters

Best Digital PH Meters

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there other names for this plant?

This plant is also called the Kalanchoe, Panda plant, or the Christmas Kalanchoe.

What soil pH is best for this plant?

The best type of soil for the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is acidic.

What is the hardiness zone for this plant?

The USDA hardiness zones are 10, 11, 12.

What is the full mature size of this plant?

The mature size of this plant is 12 to 18 in tall and 12 to 18 in wide.

When does the blossfeldiana bloom?

This plant will bloom during any season.

Kalanchoe Varieties

  • K. Manginii: This variety features fleshy leaves and large, bell-like pendant flowers.
  • K. Porphyrocalyx: Also called Pearl Bells, this variety consists of rectangular, slender leaves. It has purple pendant flowers.
  • K. Beharensis: This Kalanchoe has large, velvety leaves, which come in a silvery pale green.
  • K. Pinnata: Characterized by fleshy, green leaves, this variety has tiny plantlets growing along its margins.

Care Guide Recap

Let's recap the important things to remember when caring for your Kalanchoe blossfeldiana.

  • Average watering. Check the soil to determine the plant's needs. In summer, plan on once a week. Remember to let the soil dry out between waterings.
  • No low light. Average to bright light will be needed for this plant's survival. Avoid scorching the leaves.
  • Warm temperatures are best for this plant. Keep the temperature above 50°F (10°C). Feeding is only needed every few months.

Before purchasing this plant for yourself or others, it is important to mention that this plant is poisonous to pets. If poisoning occurs, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and abnormal heart rhythm. Take your pet to the vet immediately if you suspect the pet has eaten the plant.

We hope the above guide is helpful to you so that you can care for and keep your Kalanchoe blossfeldiana.