How to Grow Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe are vibrant plants, commonly seen as indoor pot plants. Also sometimes called widow’s-thrill, this succulent plant comes in a wide range of colours and shapes. Interested in adding a kalanchoe plant to your own home?  Find out how to grow the plant below!

About kalanchoe plants

The kalanchoe is native to Africa. This plant has soft leaves and small, bright flowers. Depending on the type, it may have leaves that grow in hanging ropes, in curled tubes, florets, or like small bushes. Being succulents, these plants like plenty of sunlight, and do not need too much water to be healthy and happy.

Different types of kalanchoe

There are many different types of kalanchoe plants out there, so you’ll have lots of options to choose from. With so much choice, you can decide whether you want a quirky and eye-catching variety or something a little more lowkey and dainty. Some kalanchoe varieties include: 

  • Paddle Plant: Sometimes also called Flapjacks, this variety of kalanchoe has soft green leaves with orange-red accents. 
  • Calandiva: A kalanchoe plant that looks a little like a small, green-leafed shrub, this succulent has brightly-coloured flowers that can be pale pink, red, cream, yellow, or a myriad of other colours.
  • Oricula: A particularly interesting-looking kalanchoe, this plant has leaves that curl in on themselves. These leaves can be a grey-green colour or more of a lime green, that can turn orange or red (particularly in cooler climates).
  • Coral Bells: This variety is perfect for growing in a hanging pot, with green disc-shaped leaves that cascade down. It also produces sweet, bell-like flowers that can light pink, red, violet, or orange.

Is a kalanchoe plant an indoor or outdoor plant?

Kalanchoe is a plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. The specific conditions needed for your kalanchoe will depend on the variety of plant you choose to grow, but in general, these plants can thrive in or outdoors as long as they are given a bright and sunny spot.

How to grow kalanchoe

Like many succulents, kalanchoe tend to be pretty hardy, making them great for beginner gardeners or those who want a plant that requires little maintenance. Here are the general steps for growing your kalanchoe. These steps will cover propagating a kalanchoe from a cutting. 

Step 1: Source your cutting

Maybe a friend or family member has a kalanchoe plant that you’ve been eyeing off. If so, ask them if you could possibly take a piece to grow your own plant! If you don’t have a kalanchoe that you can source from, you can likely buy a plant with roots from your local nursery, which will already be established and easy to re-plant.

Step 2: Take your cutting

Cut off a healthy-looking piece of the plant that has plenty of leaves. This cutting should ideally be around 5 to 7 inches long. Remove a few of the bottom leaves and let the cutting sit in a dry spot until the tip that will be planted hardens. Alternatively, you can place your cutting into a vase with water in it until roots begin to appear and then plant it.

Step 3: Plant your cutting!

Where possible, use a clay or ceramic pot for your kalanchoe. Fill the pot with well-drained soil as kalanchoe don’t like to be left in soggy, water-logged soil. Place the cutting into the pot and pack the soil around it – if you like, you can also place plastic around the pot to keep moisture in. Position the new plant in a spot that gets indirect light. If you planted your cutting without roots, it should begin producing roots within about three weeks! 

Step 4: Care for your kalanchoe

Once established, kalanchoe plants should be positioned in a bright and sunny spot, either in or outdoors. Water your plant each time the soil dries out, and pinch off any flower deadheads when they appear.

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