In tropical environments, kalanchoe thrives in outdoor garden beds, but gardeners in less temperate zones appreciate it as a low-maintenance houseplant that grows to about 6 to 12 inches tall with fleshy, succulent leaves. Flowers blanket some varieties; others sport fuzzy leaves in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Kalanchoe burst into bloom during gray winter and early-spring months. Its tiny red, white, pink, yellow, or orange flowers cluster into dense groups above a skirt of dark green foliage. Count on the blooms to last for several weeks. It is especially striking in the tropics when grown in pots on a patio or porch. Great container planting companions include asparagus fern and majesty palm.
Favorite Foliage Varieties
One member of the kalanchoe family is the panda plant. That might come as a surprise because this non-blooming succulent dazzles with fuzzy, silver gray leaves. Give panda plant bright light and occasional watering. Too much water causes root rot. Easy-to-grow panda plant pairs with succulents like sedums and hens-and-chicks for a playful combination of colors and textures in one container.
Kalanchoe Care Must-Knows
Kalanchoe grows best in a bright sunny window inside the house or a place that receives at least 8 hours of direct sunlight outdoors. Sunny patios or entry gardens are great spots for potted kalanchoe. When planting or moving kalanchoe, be careful of their tender branches; they break easily.
Before watering, check the soil. If it is dry to the touch, water the plant. If the soil is moist, wait a few days and check the soil again. As a general rule, they will need water about once every other week. When in bloom, kalanchoes require more water. Keep soil evenly moist, not soggy.