Growing Kalanchoe - Knowledgebase Question

Downey, CA (Zone 10)
Question by dmouse496
August 22, 2005
My husband gave me a beautiful, flowering Kalanchoe and was told it was easy to grow. I've kept it in the kitchen with plenty of sunlight, but it's still dying. The stems are drying even though I've watered it, and the leaves are getting fungus. I do remember some years ago seeing that the leaves would grow roots, but these are not doing so & I don't want to lose the plant. Can you please Help me?


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Answer from NGA
August 22, 2005

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Fungus is not a good sign! It could be that you've kept the soil too moist, or there's too much humidity (or poor air circulation) around your plant.

Here are some guidelines for growing kalanchoe; I'd prune back the affected plant parts so the fungus doesn't spread and then follow the guideline below:

CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS

Light: Abundant sunlight with at least four hours of direct sunlight per day will help to keep its compact growth habit

Watering: Water Kalanchoe thoroughly when the top few inches of the soil feels dry to the touch.

Temperature: Kalanchoe grows best when cool temperatures are provided. Night temperatures should be between 50-60?F and day temperatures between 65-70?F to insure the longest possible blooming period.

Humidity: Regular home humidity is acceptable.

Feeding: When Kalanchoe is finished flowering, feed with a water soluble liquid fertilizer for flowering houseplants twice monthly during the growing season (March to September).

Transplanting: Re-pot Kalanchoe in the early spring, after flowering, into a rich, well-drained, porous mix of one part sterilized houseplant potting soil, a handful of crushed stones, one part coarse builder's sand and one part organic matter.

Propagation: Kalanchoes propagate easily by 3-4" stem cuttings placed in a moist, light soil mix. Harden off the cuttings for several days and then use a rooting hormone on the ends before placing them into a light soil mix.

Maintenance: To encourage branching and produce the most growing tips capable of bearing flowers, prune and shape Kalanchoe after flowering. In order to re-bloom the plant for Christmas; give it an extended period of darkness for thirty days. Beginning September 1, cover the plant with a black cloth from 6 PM to 7 AM each night until October 1. Under these conditions, the plants will develop flower buds and be in bloom for the holiday season.

Special Note: If re-blooming is not required for Christmas, Kalanchoe will bloom in the spring under normal houseplant growing conditions.

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