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How to Care for a Kalanchoe Houseplant

Updated April 17, 2017

Kalanchoes are popular succulents that grow well indoors or out. Part of the appeal of the plant is that it is hardy and requires very little maintenance overall. This article will give you a good idea of what to expect from your Kalanchoe, and how to keep it happy.

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Let there be light. These plants are accustomed to warmth and sunbeams and plenty of each. Keep it bright, and the Kalanchoe will be happy.

Don't overwater. Kalanchoes are succulents, meaning that they are designed to retain water. Water it well, then let it dry out. Once the soil feels dry to the touch, it's time to water again.

Pick a good spot for your plant. Kalanchoes can live outdoors or in, as long as they don't get too much water. If the plant happens to get rained on, take it inside for a few days and let it dry out again.

Fertilise annually. Use a water-soluble variety. It doesn't take much.

Give them space. If two or more Kalanchoes are crowded together, their rather heavy leaves can cause physical damage to nearby foliage.

Remove any dead leaves or flowers. Flowers will be rare, and may never occur if the plant is kept indoors.

Give them some air. Especially if it's humid where you live. Kalanchoes will develop brown leaf spots if they get too moist. It may be worthwhile to keep a light breeze up with a portable fan if your indoor air is muggy.

De-bug the plant. Caterpillars are the most common enemy of the Kalanchoe. Unlike some smaller bugs, they're pretty easy to spot and remove. Be on the lookout for egg sacs on the leaves; remove them, and you'll be a step ahead.

Get to the root of the problem. If everything else seems OK, but your plant still isn't happy, gently unpot it and check the roots. If they're bound up, it's probably time for a larger pot.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pots of different sizes
  • Portable fan
  • Water-soluble fertiliser

About the Author

Eric Angevine is a freelance writer and editor from Charlottesville, VA. He writes about sports for ESPN.com, music and environmental issues for Blue Ridge Outdoors, and travel for several publications. He is the Editor of Jayhawk Tip-Off. He attended the University of Kansas and graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.S. in Professional Writing.

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