As a low-maintenance, decorative plant, the Kalanchoe thrives both indoors and outdoors, flowering often and serving as an attractive element in any home or garden.
The origins of the Kalanchoe can be traced back to Madagascar. It's a decorative delight even when not in full bloom and can indeed flower in the middle of winter, with indoor varieties from florists being particularly prone to this behavior.
Though simple to care for, it's crucial to note that the leaves of this plant are slightly toxic to our furry companions like cats and dogs.
Resistant to brief periods of cold, given the soil is well-drained, the Kalanchoe can't tolerate temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. During the early stages of autumn, it's best to keep the plant indoors at night, while it can enjoy the natural light outside during the day. Through winter, keeping it in a bright, but not overly-heated, room is ideal.
If the Kalanchoe is kept indoors, it may need to be relocated to a brighter spot, preferably a window facing south or west.
To ensure the best growth and flowering, it's recommended to fertilize the plant in spring and autumn with a specialized flowering plant fertilizer. Repotting every two years, ideally in October, helps promote its growth and flowering. By May, the plant can be moved back outside.
Unlike many plants, the Kalanchoe is more resistant to drought than over-watering. During winter, watering should be reduced and conducted only when the substrate is completely dry. It's important never to leave stagnant water in the tray. One to two waterings per month are usually sufficient.
To encourage winter blooming, the trick is to expose the plant to sunlight during the day and complete darkness at night. Continue this routine until flower buds start to appear. Keep in mind that the plant has a slow growth rate, taking up to 5 years to reach adult size.
Did you know the Kalanchoe is considered a lucky flower? Another advantage of this plant is that it's not prone to disease, making it a hassle-free addition to your home or garden.