Kalanchoe:  Flaming Katy Plant for Mother's Day Gift

Kalanchoe (K.blossfeldiana) known as Flaming Katy is a popular houseplants known for its succulent leaves and colorful flowers.

It is native to Madagascar and grows to 15 inches high at most. The leaves are shiny and oval with scalloped edges.  The flowers come in brilliant colors of red, white, yellow and scarlet orange on thin stems.

Kalanchoe is often given as a housewarming gift and during Christmas and Valentines Day.  It the perfect plant Mother's Day gift.

If you are fortunate enough to receive one, the first thing you should do is check see if the soil is dry. 

If so, give your plant some water and let it drain off and be sure to empty the water that is drained off. Then place plant in bright light.

The colorful daisy-like flowers bloom in upright, large cluster from 2 to 3 inches across and make a bold statement in any room as a decorative focal point.

How to Care for Your Plant


Light:  This plant is well adapted to growing indoors and must be kept in bright light.  Place your plants near a bright window to get lots of bright indirect light.

If you are in an area where the heat is more intense, it is advisable to keep the plant out of the direct mid-day sun to prevent scorching the leaves. Otherwise, some direct sun is great for this plant. Having brown spots on the eaves may be a sign of scorching.

Temperature:  Average room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C. 

Watering:  Since this is a succulent, which holds water in the leaves, it is drought tolerant and the water requirements are low. They are more forgiving than other plants if you forget to water them! But you must never overwater.  Make certain the pot has at least one drainage hole in the bottom to allow the excess water to drain off.

Humidity:  Low (10 % or more)   

Soil: The soil should be a fast draining potting mix. You can add extra perlite or sand to your regular potting mix to achieve this or you can purchase cactus potting mix. You must never let the plant sit in water for extended periods because this will cause root rot.  Your plant will stop growing, wilt and die.  A terra-cota clay pot is ideal for this type of plant because they are porous which allows the  excess water to evaporate.  This way it is easier to control the levels of moisture in the soil.

Fertilize: Feed monthly with a balanced houseplant food during the growing season. During the winter months, when it is not actively growing, do not fertilize. Be sure to read and follow all label directions.

Propagating:  Keep plant looking good by removing all spent blooms. Prune plant when flowering has ended. It is very easy to propagate: they are usually propagated from the raw end of stem and leaf cuttings that are placed in a small pot or cup of moistened sand. They may root in about two weeks.
Common Problems:  Leaf spots may appear in humid weather. To avoid this position your plant in a well ventilated area and allow sufficient space between pots to allow for air circulation.

Pests:  Mealy bugs will occasionally hide down in the base of the leaves.

How Make Kalanchoe Bloom Again

In order for this plant to flower, it needs 14 hours a night in the dark to simulate the natural blooming conditions in winter when days are shorter.

you can force your Kalanchoe to flower at any time of year by covering it with a box or putting it in a closet for those 6 weeks. During the day, bring the plant back out into a well-lit area and your plant should bright, cheerful blooms.

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