All About the Kalanchoe Plant
This is a really pretty colored small flowering plant. It is what many would consider an “old world” flower. Most of these plants, of which there are about 125 species in one genus, are plants of an herbaceous nature and grow perennially. Some, however, are biennial or even annual. To grow this flower, be sure you get all the instructions regarding their requirements. They do love full, bright sunlight and not much water. They like being in warm weather and will not survive anything below about 55º F. People sometimes plant them specifically for their attraction of butterflies.
Description of the Kalanchoe Plant
This is a plant that has been well known in the tropics for a very long time. It can grow about two feet tall and is just as wide in circumference. There is one particular species of Kalanchoe that actually grows the height of a man, about six feet tall, but most of them are the shorter variety. The flowers are yellow, red, white, orange and many variations thereof. Their leaves are spongy and succulent and prefer to live in arid conditions. Leaves have a shape that is slightly scalloped and may even have a little reddish tinge in it. They are perennials and will start blooming in the spring. Kalanchoe are unique in the sense that they can grow cells on the inside of their petals in order to open flowers up and when they want to close the flowers, they grow additional cells on the outside of the petals.
Uses for the Kalanchoe
One good use is ornamental. They make great hanging plants from your porch. In fact, this is one of the better ways to keep them if you worry about temperatures dropping in your area during the night. If they are in hanging plants, they can easily be brought inside during the colder nights. It can be used in planters along with other flowers. Because you have to be careful not to mix flowers that require much water with those that do not need much watering, you may want to mix Kalanchoe with some cacti or some other tropical that requires very little moisture. You would be amazed what beautiful and interesting planters you can make with your arrangements. It would not be a good idea to even think about having this flower in a flower arrangement and definitely not in a bouquet. They just would not look good in either because their heads do grow in clusters. They are strictly decorative and will brighten you’re porch or your flower garden.
Kalanchoes can grow in doors as well as outdoors. They add spots of color and light wherever you plant them. As houseplants, they do very well, especially since they like the indoor temperatures. The only thing you have to be careful about is that you do not overwater them. Outdoors, they attract butterflies to make your flower garden or rock garden even more interesting and enjoyable. The Kalanchoe is very easy to grow providing you live in a temperate climate. It cannot survive freezing temperatures even after it is well established. It loves the full sunlight and it prefers well-drained soil. To keep the Kalanchoe pretty and so that it will bloom again, snip off the dead heads and dead leaves.