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Kalanchoe- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#91

When some people may hear "Kalanchoe" and think "beautiful blooming plant" but other may think of the extensive, colorful and varying textures of the herbaceous succulent!

TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS what you think of first!

Botanical Name: Kalanchoe

Common Names: Kalanchoe, Chandelier Plant, Devils Backbone, Mother-In-Law-Plant, Mother of Millions, Mother of Thousands

There are TONS of varieties and hybrids of Kalanchoe but here are some just to name a few:

  • Kalanchoe blossfeldiana- this is the most commonly known for it's blooms

  • Kalanchoe laetivirens- AKA Mother of Thousands

  • Kalanchoe delagoensis- AKA Mother of Millions

  • Kalanachoe tomentosa- popular cultivar include Panda Plant, Chocolate Solider, & Teddy Bear.

  • Kalanchoe luciae- AKA Paddle Plant

  • Kalanchoe millotii

  • Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi- popular cultivar is called Lavender Scallops

  • Kalanchoe orgyalis- popular cultivar is called Copper Spoons

  • Kalanchoe beharensis- popular cultivar is called Elephant Ears

  • Kalanchoe pumila

  • Kalanchoe humilis

  • Kalanchoe marmorata

  • Kalanchoe bracteata

  • Kalanchoe marnieriana

Sun Requirements:

Kalanchoe thrives in bright light but can still does well in bright, indirect light. Place these in as much light as possible to get the best results!

If you need any guidance to understanding light, or are in need of a grow light to help increase your light, check out the links!

Water Requirement

These require very little with watering and need to dry in between watering.

Extra humidity is not necessary, but they can tolerate low humidity.


As I always say, there are LOTS of ways to fertilize plants. I currently use Fox Farm's Grow Big Liquid Fertilizer or  Fox Farm's Big Bloom Liquid Fertilizer or flowering plants. I fertilize about every 2 weeks when I water my plants, starting around the end of February through October. I only fertilize once or twice in winter because the plant isn't as active!

For Kalanchoe specifically, I would fertilizer with either one of the fertilizers listed above depending on the goal for my Kalanchoe. Since it is a succulent, I would use a little bit less fertilizer and I wouldn't fertilize as much as I normally would.

There are MANY ways to fertilize and it is completely up to you! There are tons of products out there you can try but an overall rule of thumb for houseplants is that it is best to under-fertilize, rather than over-fertilize. Always use the recommended amount, or less, when applying your fertilizer to houseplants.


Kalanchoe can be propagated with a leaf cutting or stem cutting just like most succulents! After cutting your leaf of stem, allow them to dry out for a few days before placing in soil. This helps prevent the new cuttings from rotting. Place your cuttings in bright or bright indirect light and keep the soil at medium moisture to help

After a few months, you should have a larger root system to be treated as a brand be Kalanchoe plant!

Flowering Varieties

Many people will buy or receive Kalanchoe blossfeldiana and once it finishes blooming, they will throw it away. If you want to try to hold onto this plant, you can try to get it to rebloom again! Kalanchoe just needs time to go dormant, similar to what Holiday Cactus and Poinsettia need.

  • In mid November, place this plant in about 14-15 hours of complete darkness.

    • One easy way to guarantee you are providing the darkness is moving it to your basement with a grow light on a timer for 9-10 hours.

  • Placing it in your basement also helps keep the temps down around 60 degrees F.

  • You will also reduce watering to about every 3-4 weeks

  • Do not fertilize during this time

  • Once you go back to normal lighting, watering and fertilizing in spring it should bloom!

This may not work for you the first time and that's okay! These plants are use to having controlled environments in greenhouses so your home is an adjustment. Some people are able to produce blooms without doing anything different than they normally would during the main growing season!

Other Facts

  • All part of the Crassulaceae family AKA the Stonecrop Family.

  • Native to parts of Madagascar and tropical Africa.

  • Common issues that could occur are root rot or powdery mildew. As long as you allow the plant to dry out in-between watering, this should help prevent both of these issues.

  • Planting your Kalanchoe in well-draining soil is best and can help prevent root rot.

  • In Feng Shui, the Kalanchoe is said to bring positive energy to your home.

  • They are toxic to pets. If you are interested in learning about more pet friendly plants, check out Podcast Ep#31 for more info or the corresponding blog post!

Instagram Q&A

I always ask followers if they had any specific questions, opinions or hot-takes I can address in this podcast and blog. Here are what people told me and and my answers for this topic:

"Pretty when blooming but I kill it every time. Succulents and I are not friends."

  • I am right there with ya! Knowing what I know now, the care isn't too complicated so maybe think about the sunlight in the non-growing season? Or maybe it could be a watering issue? OR if you would rather not, try it again, that's cool too!



Go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and more! Search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more! You can also listen directly on my website under the Podcast page!


Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc.


All your engagement on my podcasts, blogs, and social media posts help other plant lovers find me too!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly (Owner & Creator of Houseplant Homebody LLC)


I am ALWAYS on team "Shop Local" but if you plant shops don't have Kalanchoe, check out Mountain Crest Gardens! Just type in Kalanchoe in their search bar to see what they have!

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