Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a houseplant that is so unpretentious, that it can be recommended not only for beginner gardeners, but even for young children who are attempting to care for green wards. There are a lot of advantages of flowering Kalanchoe: a compact size (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana rarely reaches 40 cm), rich color palette (the breeders have brought many intermediate shades from five primary colors), medicinal properties of its leaves (Kalanchoe’s juice has anti-inflammatory and healing properties).
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a longtime herbaceous blooming succulent plant; species of the genus Kalanchoe of the family Crassulaceae. In wild nature it grows on Madagascar. It’s also a popular blossoming houseplant.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana prefers moderate watering without drying of ground com, the substrate should be loose and moist, however the stagnation of water is highly undesirable. Because it can lead to waterlogging of soil, decay of the roots and death of the plant.Being a tropical plant, Kalanchoe prefers moist air and high temperature. In winter the temperature shouldn’t fall below 18ºC. Lowering the temperature to 13-15°C is valid, but in this case, the development of Kalanchoe'll completely slow down.
During the period of active growing the plant should be fed with complex fertilizers. You should pinch the plant to enhance branching. Kalanchoe can bloom almost year-round if it has a proper care. However, some growers are not able to achieve an abundant blossoming, despite fertilizing, correct watering and intensive lighting. The lighting's the key to the secret of successful growing of Kalanchoe. The fact is that the plant prefers bright sunlight, it feels good on southern windows, however Kalanchoe won’t blooms with long light day. In this case, you should artificially reduce light day for the plant, putting it in some dark place or covering it with a paper cap. The latter's preferred, because covering the plant from the light, you don't change the conditions of its usual habitat.
The plant blooms mainly in winter and spring, so even in winter feedings aren't stopped, their number just should be reduced. Do not use fertilizers with a high content of nitrogen, it can lead setting of green mass. You can also feed Kalanchoe with fertilizers for cacti and succulents. To enhance flowering it is recommended to grow Kalanchoe in closer flowerpot. This not only encourages abundant blossoming, but also holds the growth of plant.
Kalanchoe is usually transplanted in spring. The plant isn't picky to substrate, the main thing is to provide quality drainage. Kalanchoe multiplies with apical cuttings. They are rooted in water and then planted into a compact flowerpot.
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The plant doesn't need a long period of a rest. To provide the repeated bloom it’s enough to withstand reduced light conditions during month. Prolonged deficiency of light causes the appearance of elongated shapeless shoots pale green twigs. Gardeners cut them, giving the plant the needed shape. Even hard pruning of Kalanchoe with the presence of live bottom kidneys isn’t awful. The plant rather quick gains green mass and becomes more attractive.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is resistant to diseases and the pests. However, strong humidity and surplus of nitrogen in the ground can cause appearance of powdery mildew. It is a fungal disease that is treated with antifungal drugs. On the other hand, mealybugs may attack the plant in conditions of excessive dryness. Mealybugs should be removed by mechanical way, air humidity should be increased, and the plant needs to be treated with insecticides.