Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Poelln.
Flaming Katy, Christmas Kalanchoe, Florist Kalanchoe, Madagascar Widow's Thrill
Kalanchoe globulifera var. coccinea
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a bushy succulent with erect, little-branched stems that bears thick fleshy scallop-edged leaves. It grows up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall. Leaves are dark green, oblong to ovate-oblong, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long, and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide. Flowers are small, tubular with four petals, scarlet, and appear in dense terminal clusters in early spring.
This popular species was introduced around 1930, and ever since, it has been grown because of its ease of cultivation and brilliant flowers. Today, numerous cultivars with different flower colors (red, purple, pale violet, pink, orange, yellow, and white) have been created by horticulturists.
USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Kalanchoe care is minimal but be cautious about light levels. Intense sunlight can burn the tips of the leaves. Place pots in partial sun to light shade areas when growing Kalanchoes.
The flowering varieties are highly rewarding for their colorful and long-lasting flowers. They prefer bright, sunny locations, especially in the growing season. Water moderately from fall to winter when the growth is most active. Reduce watering during the hottest summer months when the plants are mostly dormant and winter when the growth slows down significantly. Let the soil surface dry out between waterings. Watch the fleshy leaves for signs of water distress. An ordinary potting soil mix is fine. Feed bi-weekly during the growing season with a liquid fertilizer, or use slow-release pellets.
These small plants require repotting every few years. When repotting, take additional care in handling as the leaves are somewhat brittle and can snap easily. Clay pots work exceptionally well for planting Kalanchoes. Ensure pots can drain well and saucers can empty easily.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Kalanchoe.
This species is native to Madagascar.
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