Kalanchoe blossfeldiana 

(ka-lan' cho bloss-fell-dee-ah' nah)

Common name: Kalanchoe, Christmas Kalanchoe

Family: Crassulaceae, Stonecrop

Height x width: 6-12" x 6-9"

Foliage: 1-4" long and half as wide; succulent, thick, shiny and fleshy dark green; oblong ovate, margin crenate, opposite off main stem

Flowers: many bright colors including red, orange, pink, yellow; forced for winter bloom; flowers in terminal or lateral cymose panicles held high above foliage, each flower small with petals fused into a tube on lower half, upper half with flaring pointed lobes

Light: bright, sun

Temperature: warm, 60-75ºF

Watering: allow to dry between waterings

Humidity: average

Soil: sandy, well-drained

Pests and Problems: root rots, mealybugs, mites

Growth habit, uses: flowering potted plant for fall and winter

Other interest: native to Madagascar; many other related species many forming plantlets on leaf margins

Other culture: requires a minimum 6 weeks of short days (14-16 hours darkness daily) to bloom, although short days until flowering is recommended (11-12 weeks) to keep plants shorter; low or high temperatures may delay bloom; water less while initiating darkness in fall, or during periods of slow winter growth; fertilize less during periods of less growth

Propagation: stem, tip or leaf cuttings, seeds (not cultivars), division

Cultivars:

Most sold under this species are likely hybrids with other species including flammea and pumila. The following are a few representative or worthy selections.
 
Cultivar flowers other
'Bali' red  
'Calypso' dark pink  
'Feuerball' ('Fire Ball') fiery red compact, small dark green leaves
'Fortyniner' yellow  
'Gold Jewel' yellow  
'Melodie' peach compact, scalloped leaves
'Mini' red dwarf
'Nugget' orange  
'Tom Thumb' dark red, small reddish foliage

The Calandiva series is the latest, bred in Holland by Fides North America (based Costa Rica).  Plants are dwarf, with rosebud flowers that can last 6 weeks.  It is available in a range of colors.


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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