Among the choice winter blooming house plants, increasingly popular as a Christmas plant, is Kalanchne blossfeldiana, a small sub-shrub which grows about 12 inches tall. This delightful member of the Crassula family is suited to indoor growing.
The flower panicle, made up of many, small, crowded scarlet florets, is most attractive.
If given good growing conditions, new shoots appear regularly throughout the winter months to provide a continuous display.
Kalanchoe Care Instructions
A native of Madagascar, the plant requires sun and a well drained, light soil, one suitable for cacti. On top of an inch of broken crock or charcoal to provide the best of drainage, use a soil made of equal parts of coarse sand and good potting soil or compost with a tablespoon of dry manure for a four-inch pot.
After planting, water thoroughly to settle the soil and fill air pockets. Thereafter keep the plant on the dry side in a 55 to 65 degrees temperature for active growth and continuous bloom.
Plants can be grown from cuttings or developed from leaves laid on the soil, these plants usually bloom more freely than seedlings. If they fail to bloom after the first year, it is usually because of too much water or too little sun.
Kalanchoe laciniata, a taller plant more suited to the conservatory or greenhouse, produces larger flowers in a range from yellow and orange to pink and scarlet.
Kalanchoe flammea with yellow blossoms, does well in a cool greenhouse.
The species known as life plant (Kalanchoe pinnata) is seen often as an escape in tropical America, though its habitat is India. The ïellowish-white flowers, purple tinted, are three inches across.
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