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blooming plant


BOTANICAL NAME                                the potting mixture lightly moist—with         Kalanchoe blossfieldiana ‘Bisset’
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana                       room-temperature water, then allow the         Calandiva
(kal-an-KO-ee blos-feld-ee-ah-na)             top half of the potting mixture to become
                                              dry before watering again.                     Fides by Dümmen Orange
COMMON NAME                                   TEMPERATURE Indoors, Kalanchoes grow
Flaming Katy                                  well in normal room temperatures—              Kalanchoe blossfieldiana ‘Galera’
                                              70 F to 75 F. Outdoors, they can tolerate      Flaming Katy
DESCRIPTION                                   temperatures from 50 F to 90 F, depending
Kalanchoes are compact plants, with           on season.                                     Fides by Dümmen Orange
branching clusters of tiny four-petaled       HUMIDITY These plants do not require high
flowers atop stems that grow as long as 12    humidity levels; do not mist them.              fun facts
inches and rise out of a dense base of thick  ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY Kalanchoes are sen-
waxy dark-green leaves. The ‘Calandiva’       sitive to ethylene gas, but the degree of        WHAT’S IN A NAME The genus name
series has roselike “double” blooms, each     sensitivity varies by cultivar. Exposure to      Kalanchoe has Chinese derivations;
of which can have as many as 32 petals.       ethylene can cause blooms to fade, dry out       hence, its four-syllable pronuncia-
                                              or fail to open and foliage to turn yellow or    tion. The species name blossfeldiana
COLORS                                        fall off. Keep these plants away from sourc-     was given in honor of Robert Bloss-
Hues include pink, hot pink, red, red-or-     es of ethylene, especially fruit and other       feld, a German hybridizer who, in
ange, orange, salmon, coral, yellow, laven-   produce, and make sure they are treated          around 1932, introduced the plant in
der, purple and white.                        with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower         Potsdam from its native Madagascar.
                                              or during transportation.                        FAMILY MATTERS Kalanchoe is a
DECORATIVE LIFE                               FERTILIZER Feed Kalanchoes with an all-pur-      member of the Crassulaceae
Longevity varies by cultivar and is depen-    pose houseplant fertilizer every two to four     (orpine) family. Relatives include
dent on environment and care. Bloom           weeks while they’re in bloom and/or from         jade plant (Crassula), hen-and-chick-
cycles last from two to six (or more) weeks,  May through September.                           ens (Echeveria), stonecrop (Sedum)
but plants typically can live and rebloom     GROOMING Snip off bloom-bearing stems            and houseleek (Sempervivum).
for two or three years (see “Reblooming”).    after the flowers fade.                          HOME SWEET HOME K. blossfeldiana
                                              REPOTTING Repot every year in late spring/       is native to the African island
AVAILABILITY                                  early summer (June-July). Use a well-drain-      of Madagascar. sf
Kalanchoes are now available year-round;      ing potting mixture.
however, they were introduced as winter       REBLOOMING Before Kalanchoes will form
flowering plants, available from December     new flower buds, they must be kept in
through February.                             complete darkness for 14 to 16 hours every
                                              day for at least two weeks (and as long as
in-store and                                  two months)—preferably beginning in
consumer care                                 early fall. The plants can receive moderate
                                              light for only eight to 10 hours each day
LIGHT Indoors, bright light is required, in-  during this period. Blooms will appear
cluding some exposure to direct sun (which    about six weeks later.
can cause leaves to turn reddish). Out-
doors, these plants need filtered sunlight.
WATER Because of Kalanchoes’ succulent
nature, the soil should be kept on the dry
side: Water sparingly—just enough to keep

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18 / june 2015
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