Grow Kalanchoe in pots to reap the rewards this flowering succulent has to offer. In this post, we learn all about growing Kalanchoe in the container.
Botanical Name: Kalanchoe
Common Names: Mother-In-Law-Plant, Devils Backbone, Chandelier Plant, Mother of Millions, Flaming katy, Widow’s thrill
Kalanchoe is a beautiful flowering succulent to have around in the home, office, or any other setting. With over 100 species, it offers flowers that come in glorious shades of red, pink, yellow, and white. The good news is that this succulent can be grown in containers as well. By growing Kalanchoe in the container, you can move the plant around as much as you like. Also, as Kalanchoe thrives in moderate to warm conditions, you can place the pot indoors in winter or even all year round. Here is all you need to know about how to grow Kalanchoe in pots!
How to Grow Kalanchoe in Pots
Choose a spot where Kalanchoe receives bright light, which can be direct or indirect. A well-draining potting mix designed for succulents is ideal. Water thoroughly to saturate the soil and wait for the soil to dry out before watering again thoroughly. Fertilize once a month with a well-balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer.
Buy the plant from the nursery, or if you find a kalanchoe, you can propagate in from cutting as well. Here are steps to propagate Kalanchoe from cutting.
- Take a cutting from an adult kalanchoe plant using a sharp tool and remove the bottom half of the leaves, leaving only a couple of leaves at the top half.
- Leave the cutting on a paper towel for three days, in which period it calluses in a shaded spot.
- Dip the rooting end in the rooting hormone, which facilitates the production of roots.
- Plant the cutting in the potting mix by poking a hole with a finger or pencil and pat the soil around the base, so the cutting doesn’t topple.
- Water lightly at the base and cover the plant with a plastic sheet with some holes to create a greenhouse-like effect.
- Locate the pot at a spot where it receives bright indirect light water weekly so that the soil remains moist.
- In 2-3 weeks, the roots will start to form, and you’ll have a baby kalanchoe!
Choosing the Container
Clay pots are ideal for growing Kalanchoe as the plant has breathing room in these pots. If clay pots aren’t available, plastic and terracotta pots will also do just fine. Make sure the pots have drainage holes at the bottom. As it’s a slow grower and grows to only 6-18 inches when a mature small pot will suffice. You can start with a pot that’s 8-10 inches deep and wide.
Kalanchoe loves to be potted in a new container, so repot in annually to boost growth. The ideal time to repot is at the end of the blooming period, near the end of fall. Do not use excessive force to dig out the pot; instead, take your time to loosen the soil.
Also Read: Flowers that Grow in Pots Indoors
Kalanchoe thrives in bright light so place it at a spot where it receives ample sunlight. To begin with, a south-facing window, a bright spot in the balcony, and even a patio are some excellent areas. In winters, direct sunlight is better, whereas, in summers, bright indirect light will do more good. Too much direct sun can cause harm to the plant!
Being a succulent, well-draining potting mix is a must to grow Kalanchoe, as it’ll succumb to root rot in soggy soil. Go for potting mix designed for succulents, or make one of your own by mixing peat moss and perlite in the same ratio. Don’t use garden soil as it can be contaminated!
The watering needs of Kalanchoe are a bit different than your average houseplant or succulent. Water deeply at the base and allow excess water to drain from the bottom completely. Wait for the soil to dry out completely, which can anywhere from a week to a week and a half, depending on the weather.
Kalanchoe loves warm climatic conditions and won’t tolerate much cold. When grown indoors in the pot, they’ll do well all year round. If you place the pot outdoors, bring it indoors if the temperature reaches below 50 degrees F. Also, temperatures above 80 degrees F are not suitable. Ensure to protect the plant from cold drafts of wind.
Kalanchoe Care in Pots
Cut back the dead and decaying parts of the plant, especially dead flower stalks, after it’s done blooming. Pruning is not only good for aesthetics but also promotes new growth. It has less watering needs after pruning, so reduce watering.
Fertilizing Kalanchoe once a month will boost the growth of the plant, although it isn’t essential. Go for a well-balanced organic fertilizer and apply it in the growing period. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label and not overdo it.
Pests and Diseases
Common garden pests such as aphids and mites cause damage to a certain extent, especially if the pot is outdoors. Easily get rid of these pests by using an insecticidal soap solution or neem oil spray solution. Root rot is another problem, but it only occurs due to overwatering.
Unfortunately, Kalanchoe is a toxic plant for pets per ASPCA! Although pets hardly find it interesting to be on a safer side, keep it out of reach of pets and children. Be on the lookout for symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea, and abnormal heart rhythm.