Flaming Katy

Botanical Name: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Flaming Katy is one of the few succulents grown just for its blooms. Bright clusters of tiny red, orange, yellow, purple or pink flowers last several weeks. 

When you're buying a Kalanchoe plant, choose one with bright, fresh-looking leaves and plenty of unopened buds.

Kalanchoe plant has glossy, green leaves with scalloped edges that can become red-tinged when exposed to full sun. Although the thick leaves seem sturdy, they are actually quite brittle. Handle flaming katy with care because the leaf tips easily break off.

Kalanchoe care is easy. Keep the soil lightly moist while in bloom, allowing the surface of the soil to dry between waterings. Like other succulent plants, it stores water in its thick, fleshy leaves and can suffer from root rot if it is overwatered. Don't allow the soil to dry out completely, however. Dry soil will cause the leaves to shrivel and turn yellow.

How to Get Kalanchoe Plant to Bloom Again

Although this compact, little house plant is easy to grow, getting it to re-bloom can be a challenge.

  • Long, sunny days followed by shorter hours of daylight are needed to set flower buds.
  • If you move the plant outside for the summer, keep it in the shade. Morning sun is fine.
  • Beginning in early October, keep the plant in a dark room for 14 hours each night for 2 weeks, and give it moderate light during the day.
  • Water it minimally and don't fertilize during this time. Shriveled, yellow leaves are a sign that it's too dry.
  • Flower buds will appear in about 6-8 weeks. Then you can resume with normal care. Flowering may be erratic, but the foliage will still be attractive.
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You'll get the most flowers by deadheading during the flowering season. Cut off flower stems after the blooms have faded to keep the plant looking neat and to encourage more blooms.

Few pests bother flaming katy. Mealybugs are the most common invaders. Watch for white, fuzzy patches near the leaf axils and under the leaves. Root mealybugs could be the cause of a wilted plant. Ease the plant out of its pot and inspect the roots for these pests.

Flaming Katy Plant Care Tips

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Origin: Madagascar

Height: 8-15 inches (20-38 cm)

Light: Bright light to full sun.

Water: Keep the soil mix barely moist. Overwatering will cause leaves to wilt. Plant Kalanchoe in a pot with drainage holes. Water thoroughly, then allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings. Water less after flowering, when the plant is resting.

Humidity: Average room humidity (around 40-50% relativity humidity).

Temperature: Average room temperatures 60-75°F/16-24°C

Soil: 2 parts all-purpose potting mix and 1 part sharp sand or perlite.

Fertilizer: Feed monthly from late spring to early fall with balanced liquid fertilizer.

Propagation: Take stem cuttings in late spring.

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