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Kalanchoe prolifera – Blooming Boxes

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Scientific Name

Kalanchoe prolifera (Bow.) R.-Hamet

Common Names

Blooming Boxes

Synonyms

Bryophyllum proliferum

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Kalanchoeae
Genus: Kalanchoe

Description

Kalanchoe prolifera is a fast growing and interesting succulent plant with up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, typically unbranched stems holding foot (30 cm) long pinnately compound succulent green leaves in opposite pairs that have reddish purple colored petioles and leaf margins when grown in bright light. As the leaves drop the stem has interesting leaf scar bands along the thick stem, which as the plant matures after several years, is topped with 3 foot (90 cm) tall panicle of greenish orange flowers in late winter – the green calyces of the flower are box shaped and nearly hide the pale orange petals. The plant declines after flowering but many new plantlets form in the inflorescence and the main plant will often sucker up with a new stem so a colony is easy to establish.

How to Grow and Care

Kalanchoes are not particularly hard to grow, and the flowering varieties are highly rewarding for their colorful and long-lasting flowers. They prefer bright, sunny locations, especially in the summer growing season. During the winter, consider a south-facing window. Water moderately throughout the summer and reduce watering in the winter. Let the soil surface dry out between waterings, and in the winter, the plant can almost dry out. Watch the fleshy leaves for signs of water distress. They prefer warmth. Do not let fall below 55ºF (12.7ºC). An ordinary potting soil mix is fine. Feed bi-weekly in the summer with a liquid fertilizer, or use slow-release pellets.

Many kinds of Kalanchoe will produce tiny plantlets along the leaf margins that can be individually potted up… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Kalanchoe.

Origin

Native to Madagascar.

Links

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