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Kalanchoe – Easy-Care succulent Houseplant

Kalanchoe plants are succulents, which means they do not require much care to keep them alive. They can survive desolate conditions in certain climates and a room-temperature atmosphere inside your home or office.


There are many benefits to owning a Kalanchoe blossfeldiana plant. It is ideal for the person who is gone most of the day or does not have a green thumb. This article will explain how growing succulents can improve your life and bring color to your environment.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

The Kalanchoe blossfeldiana plant, AKA the Christmas kalanchoe, flaming Katy, or Madagascar Widow’s thrill, is a native houseplant of Madagascar. 

Benefits of Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe has many benefits. The succulent plants consist of vitamins, mineral salts, enzymes, polysaccharides, organic acids, and tannins. All of these constituents play a crucial role in healing. 


Its leaves have medicinal properties for ailments, such as the common cold, infections, inflammation, rashes, and asthma. It can aid in the detoxification of the body and decrease depression, anxiety, and pain. 

Kalanchoe juice has healing properties that can treat allergies, cuts, flu-like symptoms, stomach aches, migraines, and other ailments. To make the juice, grind up leaves and squeeze them into liquid. 

Organic compounds in the leaves have helped slow the growth of cancer cells. Applying its warm leaves to painful areas of the body can lessen pain levels. 

Air Purification

Succulents make perfect air purifiers. They release water into the air and remove contaminants or volatile organic compounds (VOC). These plants draw the impure molecules to the roots, turning them into plant food. 

The water creates humidity in the air that moistens mucus membranes, decreasing dry throat and nasal passages so you can breathe better. A moist environment can also prevent dry skin. 


Humans need less carbon dioxide and more oxygen to survive. Succulents differ from other plants because they absorb carbon dioxide and continue to produce oxygen, releasing it into the air. As a result, we breathe in oxygenated air. 

Concentration, Memory, and Stress

Succulents improve mental clarity and focus due to fewer contaminants in the air. Research has shown that nature contributes to improvement in concentration and memory.

Having indoor plants may increase happiness and decrease stress. The fact that they are easy to please can lower anxiety.

Ambiance and Aesthetics

Succulent plants add color to a room, which can change the whole tone of your living space. They can be relaxing and peaceful.

Ease of Care

Succulents are easy to care for because they do not require much attention. They prefer neglect as long as you provide them with ample sunlight and little water. Occasional propagation may be necessary.

The Appearance of the Kalanchoe

The Appearance of the Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe is tolerant of drought and can survive in the desert. It grows 1.5 tall and 1.6 feet wide. Its leaves create a cross-like pattern as they form four right angles across from each other. Flowers range in color from white, orange-gold, or red to lavender. 

Flowers of the single varieties are in clusters and consist of four petals on each blossom. The bright petals, up to 26 on each flower, of the double varieties stack up in different shades on jade green stems.

Growth of the Kalanchoe

This kalanchoe succulent blooms from July through September in temperatures of 50 to 70 degrees during the day and 45 to 65 degrees at night. In its natural habitat, primarily the tropical and subtropical regions, it survives best in temperatures greater than 65 degrees.

This plant grows best in fast-draining soil, consisting of a 40:60 potting mix of perlite/peat moss. Fertilizer with a phosphoric content, 10/15/10, will produce nice 


The Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is non-invasive, meaning it does not spread and smother nearby foliage.

Kalanchoe Care

The Kalanchoe plants do not tolerate frost and need to be indoors during cold months. They prefer dimmer light conditions during that time so that their buds can form. In the mornings, they do well in bright light.

These tips might help you keep your plant healthy and happy:

  • If you decide to move your Kalanchoe succulent outside, do it gradually. Plants unfamiliar with direct sunlight can become too hot and start to die. 
  • Rotate the plant so that it gets an even amount of sun. If the succulent leans to one side, it might need more light. 
  • Change the location of the pot according to the time of day. The afternoon sun can scorch your succulents, and placing them in a lightly shaded area may prevent damage. 
  • Using your finger, check the soil for dryness. When the upper 1-¼ inch of the soil feels dry, it is time to water.

Kalanchoe succulents require little maintenance. Occasionally wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust. Their flowers will last for several months as long as they receive proper care. 

Watering the Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Watering the Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Like most succulents, kalanchoe blossfeldiana can go without water for two weeks. They store water in their leaves and stems, so they do not require a lot of watering. Too much can cause root rot. You only need to water the kalanchoe when it is dry. 

Water the soil directly until you see it draining through the holes at the bottom of the pot. Use less water if there is no outlet in the container for it to escape. 

Another technique for watering is to place your potted succulent in a pan of water and let the soil absorb the water from below. Remove the pot when you see that the top layer is moist. 


If you notice early signs of overhydration, stop watering the plant and let the soil dry before adding more water. Catching early symptoms will allow you to propagate the live parts of the plant.

Over-watering a kalanchoe succulent can cause damage to the leaves. 

  • They can swell and eventually burst. 
  • The leaves turn a lighter color to translucent. 
  • They become soft and mushy, then fall off.

Too much water can also attract pests, such as mealybugs and gnats. If your plant has an infestation, spray it with 70% isopropyl alcohol.


Although these plants do not require much attention, they can still dehydrate. Wilting, drooping, or shedding leaves means it is time to water. Sometimes it is challenging to determine if it is dehydration or another problem. 

A dry succulent will have dead brown leaves on the bottom. The leaves may begin to fall. They may also be dry and flat, meaning they have lost their moisture. These signs indicate that your plant is in desperate need of water. Be careful not to overwater, as that can do as much harm. 


This kalanchoe succulent is still good after it loses its flowers. It easily reblooms in six weeks as long as it gets 10 hours of sunlight and 14 hours of darkness. It only needs scant water after the first three weeks. 

At the end of six weeks, new buds will appear. Place the plant in a sunny area outside that is not intensely hot, and return to watering it regularly. Soon the succulent will know that Spring has arrived and it is time to bloom. ½ strength fertilizer once a month keeps the blooms big and beautiful.

How to propagate kalanchoe

How to propagate kalanchoe

If you notice your kalanchoe succulent has overgrowths, it may be time to propagate. It is challenging for the parent plant to thrive with extra weight. Removing excess leaves, stems, and flowers (deadheading) will ease the burden of the plant. 

When the flowers fade, cut them at the base, and the side buds will open. Deadheading has several purposes:

  • it makes the plant look nice and last longer
  • It lets the buds open
  • It provides less work for the plant during re-seeding.  

Cut old stems and leaves and let them dry before replanting them in a new pot with fresh soil. Since these plants retain water, the offsets can survive while growing roots. 

Is kalanchoe poisonous to cats?

Kalanchoe contains cardiac glycosides, compounds that help the heart pump efficiently in heart failure patients. Cats can become ill if they ingest parts of the plants. 

Early toxicity can cause excessive salivating, gastrointestinal symptoms, and depression in a cat. Symptoms can be fatal if your cat swallows too much. Speak with your veterinarian if you think your cat has ingested excessive amounts.

If your cat chews on everything, you may need to put the plant out of its reach or consider another type. 


These frequently asked questions may help you decide whether to own a Kalanchoe blossfeldiana.

Is kalanchoe an outdoor plant? 

Kalanchoe succulents can survive outside in zones 10-12. They do not like freezing weather and need to be indoors when the outside temps drop below 45 degrees. If you live in a cooler region, it is best to grow the plant indoors.

How much sun for kalanchoe? 

Kalanchoe needs bright light but cannot tolerate the afternoon sun very well. If you grow the plant inside, it needs a bright window facing south during the winter. It requires approximately six to 10 hours of sunlight a day. Summertime means it needs less light.
When outside, it can grow in direct and indirect sunlight. Long periods of direct sunlight may burn the leaves, so move the plant when it gets too hot.

Is kalanchoe toxic to humans? 

Kalanchoe is not poisonous to people but can cause nausea and abdominal discomfort. The succulents should stay out of the reach of children and pets to prevent possible ingestion. 

Is a kalanchoe a succulent? 

Yes, Kalanchoe is a succulent that people grow for the colorful, bright flowers. The blossfeldiana is one of the most popular types.

How often do I water kalanchoe? 

Water the plant when the soil is dry, about every two weeks. Too much or not enough water can kill the plant. 

Why is kalanchoe called Widow’s thrill?

Widow’s thrill is succulent, which symbolizes eternal love, wealth, and endurance. It blooms for about eight weeks, can withstand harsh conditions, and makes a perfect gift to someone special. 

Why are my kalanchoe leaves curling?

Your kalanchoe may be getting too much direct sunlight. You may need to move it to a shadier spot where it can still receive light. It is possible the succulent may be too chilly and needs a warmer location. 

Why are my kalanchoe leaves drooping?

Your kalanchoe may be too dry. Signs of dehydration include wrinkled, shriveled, and wilting leaves. Drooping leaves also indicates your plant needs water. 

Why are my kalanchoe leaves turning brown?

Your kalanchoe is probably thirsty. You only need to lightly water it because it holds water in its leaves and stems. Too much water will eventually destroy it. To help alleviate this, you may need to re-pot it in new soil that is moist. 

Why are my kalanchoe flowers dying?

Your kalanchoe may be dying due to a lack of sunlight. Like most succulents, the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana loves the sun, but too much may burn the leaves. Check the soil to see if it is draining well. If there is too much clay, water may collect at the roots and drown them. 

Summing Up

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is perfect for the individual without a green thumb. These plants, being succulents, like it when you neglect them because they are not finicky and can tolerate dry conditions.  

As long as you provide at least six hours of sunlight and water only when the soil is dry, your Kalanchoe succulent will be happy and healthy.

Kalanchoe grows indoors and outside but cannot tolerate frigid temperatures or intense heat. 

Kalanchoe plants are therapeutic in many ways, including treatments for medical conditions, air purification, oxygenation, mood elevation, and ambiance.

Kalanchoe can be toxic to pets and should stay out of their reach. Although they are not commonly dangerous to humans after ingestion, these succulents can cause gastrointestinal symptoms.