How to care for kalanchoe plants

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Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) is a small, fall-blooming shrub native to the island of Madagascar in Southern Africa. Scallop-edged, thick green leaves and foliage-topping clusters of tiny flowers make kalanchoe a popular indoor plant in colder climates, where it blooms in spring.

Kalanchoe flowers are available in white and a wide range of yellow, pink, red and orange shades. With normal care, kalanchoes thrive as green plants after they bloom. They'll respond to extra attention with a new crop of long-lasting, colourful flowers.

Grow your kalanchoe in a well-draining, organically rich medium. A 50/50 or 60/40 mix of peat moss and perlite will keep it happy.

Place your kalanchoe in bright indoor light or a window with at least four hours of direct daily sunlight. Inadequate light leaves the plants spindly.

Extend your kalanchoe's blooming period by keeping the plant between 10 and 21.1 degrees Celsius during the day and 45 to 65F at night.

Water the kalanchoe deeply from beneath its leaves when the top few inches of its soil are dry. Plants in wet soil for extended periods are susceptible to stem and root rot.

Feed your actively growing kalanchoe monthly from March to September with a flowering house plant fertiliser.

Repot your kalanchoe after it flowers. Use a pot one size larger than its current one. Cut back its old flower stems and any leggy growth.

Return the kalanchoe to a sunny window. After your final spring frost, place it outdoors in a partially shady spot. Bring it in before your first fall frost or three months before you want it to flower.

Give your kalanchoe 10 hours of light and 14 hours of complete darkness every day for up to six weeks. Placing it in a dark closet between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. will work. When flower buds show above its leaves, resume the plant's normal care.