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Article: Introduction to Kalanchoes: Can you ID my kalanchoe?

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Mishal
Caguas
Puerto Rico

October 23, 2009
11:27 PM

Post #7201675

I bought this one at Home Depot a year or so ago, and it bloomed magnificently, you can't tell the height in this photo (and it's the only one I have unfortunately), but the plant was about 6-7 inches tall, from pot-rim to top. However, after it finished blooming it started looking poorly and began to die, and I took cuttings off and so far they're doing well, but none have approached the parent plant in size or have bloomed again.

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DracoVolans
Crestline, CA
(Zone 8b)

October 26, 2009
9:07 PM

Post #7211099

I'm not an expert on these by any means, but I'm going to hazard that you have a Kalanchoe blossifelda, mostly based on it's overall form, growth habit and leaf-shape. But, I have to admit that I've never seen a double-blossom form before. Very lovely plant! Your cuttings might not bloom for quite a while, though- you may have a year's wait ahead of you. The blossifelda in my collection is a fairly slow grower, though it's still blooming like crazy, even a year after I'd found the poor thing in a dumpster! I have it in a sunny spot by my door, and it seems to be doing fine, though it could stand to be repotted into a larger container.

Mishal
Caguas
Puerto Rico

October 29, 2009
11:53 PM

Post #7221923

Succulents seem to be slow growers/bloomers anyway, so I'm not surprised. Thanks for the tentative ID, I'm happy to know what it is, it was the only one they had at Home Depot then, or since.
DracoVolans
Crestline, CA
(Zone 8b)

November 28, 2009
12:15 AM

Post #7314870

Well, it's a lovely cultivar! That red is just gorgeous!
Mishal
Caguas
Puerto Rico

November 28, 2009
12:50 AM

Post #7314939

I know, and great news. One of the cuttings decided to bloom!
DracoVolans
Crestline, CA
(Zone 8b)

November 30, 2009
7:34 PM

Post #7322501

Congratulations! :) It's likely to bloom like gang-busters for a couple of months solid, at least, and slow in blooming over the rest of the year. I'm basing that on how mine is behaving- it bloomed like crazy when I first started caring for it (I got it in pretty dried out, not happy condition), and now it's still flowering, just not as large amounts. Nice to see some colour in my mostly spiky and green container-garden. It's getting into winter, here in California- though to a born-and-bred Northerner like me, this feels like autumn or spring. Heh.

I'm glad your kalanchoe is happy! *grins*
Mishal
Caguas
Puerto Rico

December 1, 2009
1:52 AM

Post #7323667

Nice, glad to hear yours is flowering as well. It might just be that time of year they like. We'll see what this one does, new bunches keep coming up, but it isn't nearly as grand-looking as the original parent specimen was.
DracoVolans
Crestline, CA
(Zone 8b)

December 14, 2009
5:28 PM

Post #7367932

An update on both of our plants: yup, this looks like it's usual flowering time for mine. We just had a lot of rain over the last two weeks, and two of my Kalancoe species are forming a great lot of buds. One is a Coral Bells, or Hanging Kalancoe, and the flowers are a lovely coral red that hang in little umbrals. Lovely things. My Flaming Katy is showing a ton of new buds, too- I'll have a blast of reddish orange in my little container garden.

Yours: yup, it's definitely a Kalancoe cultivar- I finally got to see a double-blossom variety (this one was in the orange shades) and it's possibly an interesting sport that bred true. I'm not certain how double blossoms are "encouraged" in the trade, so I have no idea how to get one happening myself. I got to give it a good looking over, and it has the form, leaf-style and general habit of a Kalancoe. :) Red blossoms will look so cheerful when they're all out!
Mishal
Caguas
Puerto Rico

December 14, 2009
11:31 PM

Post #7368906

Nice, very nice.


Hey, I'm rather curious about your Hanging Kalanchoe, want to trade specimen cuttings? Mine at least, seems to root very easily from the leaves.
DracoVolans
Crestline, CA
(Zone 8b)

January 11, 2010
9:14 PM

Post #7452791

I might like to do that. :) The Coral Bells does pretty well from cuttings. You can just put them in water for a couple of days or so, then when you see fine little rootlets (check often, as they sometimes just rot in the water), plant it in cactus-mix type potting soil. You might even be able to just plant 'em straight into soil after dipping the ends into rooting compound. Kalancoes are an amazingly resilient species, I've learned. I have four species, actually, one you might not want in your garden at all, as it's incredibly fecund and INVASIVE: often called the Mother of Thousands (I have the smaller variety, not the big Mexican Hat Plant one). You can grow a new plant from the tiny little plantlets that grow on the tips of the succulent spikes. They're so eager to grow, those things, they form roots in the AIR, waiting to drop off and wreak mayhem on an unsuspecting garden! My fourth Kalancoe is a species I have yet to identify, though it might be a hybrid Blossifelda: it has larger than average, curly leaves, but I have no idea of the bloom colour or type until mine finishes flowering. It's doing that for the first time since I got it as a cutting two or three years ago. Looks like the flowers might be white or yellow, can't tell yet. :)

Oh, if your Kalancoe is getting "leggy" that could simply mean that it's just growing like it would in the wild, or it's straining to get light (Kalancoes are full-on sun or bright, indirect light plants). Growers get a plant to look "bushy" either via chemical fertilizers or by "nipping" new growth (at the tips of the branches where new leaves form)- once yours is mostly done flowering, gently snip off the new growth at the tips of any branches. This causes the plant to think it's being nibbled on by something, so it protects itself from death by lack of sun-absorbing leaves by generating new growth on lower portions of the plant. If you want to start on this earlier, look for any branches that don't have flowers forming on them, and snip those at the new bits.

As for the possible trade, I'm game. send me your address, and I'll post you some nice big cuttings of my Coral Bells. :) My address is 5430 Corteen Place, #7, Valley Village, California, 91607. If you do decide to send me any cuttings, I'd suggest waiting until the end of January- I'm going to be away for five days, starting on the 20th of Jan. Going to a convention where I'm running a seller's table.

Cheers, and I hope your Holidays were Grand!

Draco
Mishal
Caguas
Puerto Rico

January 12, 2010
10:55 PM

Post #7456450

Thanks! I'll hold off on yours then until after the 20th (and assuming the day after isn't a Friday or weekend). So far, so good on my Kalanchoe, I separated and repotted the big one I had a few weeks ago and it seems to appreciate it, as it's putting out very lush new leaves now and a new blooms. As for a chemical fertilizer for lush growth, a fertilizer that has nitrogen in it is quite good at promoting foliage growth. (And phosphate, in orchid bloom fertilizer, does wonders, as I found out to promote blooms in many other plants, especially in Angelwing Jasmine and Pride of Barbados.)

Oh yes, I know about the Mother of Thousands (one of the most well-named plants ever)! I have some and keep it very nicely contained in a pot smack-dab in the center of the deck. But even getting it to stay there is fun. They're happy to try to grow in wood fencing if they land in a cozy crack!

My address is PMB 88; HC-01 Box 29030; Caguas, PR 00725.

Thanks, and likewise. I hope you have a good time at the convention.
DracoVolans
Crestline, CA
(Zone 8b)

January 19, 2010
5:07 PM

Post #7476298

Egad! They are tenacious little things, aren't they? *chuckles at the image of plucky little green things trying to grow in a crack of wood...*

I try not to use a lot of chemical fertilizers, mostly because I know so little about them. :P I do use Shultze's "plant food"occasionally- I suppose that counts.

I'll be gone until at least the 24th, actually (my away time starts Thursday, on the 21st- we're driving up to San Jose, a nice, seven hour trip, plus a two or three hour stop at a beach known for good sea-glass to hunt for more materials for my jewelry). Every convention is a blast for me- I love wandering around the halls, enjoying the costumes, finding cool conversations and so on.

When I send you the cuttings, I hope they get there quickly- I wouldn't want them to dry out on route. :p We've been getting a lot of rain this last couple of weeks, so they should be pretty much water-logged and should survive with few problems (I'll send at least four cuttings, just in case).

Cheers!

Draco
Mishal
Caguas
Puerto Rico

January 20, 2010
11:26 PM

Post #7480359

Yep, you sound like you'll have a good time on your trip.

I doubt if they'll have too much trouble. Envelopes and light packages (
DracoVolans
Crestline, CA
(Zone 8b)

February 17, 2010
4:46 AM

Post #7565832

Hiya! Sorry I've been so lax in getting back to you! I get easily distracted by life. :p Anyway, I'm wondering how to get those cuttings to you in a living condition- there's been a lot of snow and cold temps on the East Coast... I know Puerto Rico is a tropical island, but anything has to get past the cold, snowed-in places FIRST to get to you... :-)

Any ideas? I can wrap them in tissue, then bubble-wrap, then card-board, another layer of bubble-wrap and put all that into a box... The bubble-wrap might work ok as an insulator as well as keep the cuttings from getting crushed.

What are the rules with importing an alien species to your island? Thought it might be an idea to ask about it. I know some species are tagged as invasives and their importation is restricted (like the Mother-of-thousands)...

Cheers!

Draco
Mishal
Caguas
Puerto Rico

February 17, 2010
10:45 PM

Post #7567611

If Mother-of-Thousands is restricted, it sure doesn't know about it here ;P. (To be honest, there's worse things that are brought in by the plant nurseries.) For the most part, there aren't any travel restrictions that I've seen, last month I sent plants out to Hungary (a firecracker plant, chrysothemis and a begonia snippet, so they're not too hardy to cold) and they weren't given any special tags, arrived safely and as far as I know, have had no problems growing (it was a standing agreement that if they didn't survive the trip, I'd try it again, with more insulation and stuff).

You can probably ship yours the same way I shipped mine to Hungary. I had a bubble mailer: I sent them bare-rooted, but with the roots [where applicable] wrapped in lightly dampened paper towel, with one layer of newspaper wrapped loosely around the whole thing to keep sweating and condensation away from the leaves, and put them in a plastic cup (the semi-firm disposable party kind) with an X of scotch tape over the top to give them protection from thumps along the way. That works fine, and it won't cost you as much as a box will to mail.

It also doesn't cost anything extra to have them stamp the mailer with "Fragile" so it won't end up underneath a 20 pound box of text books (behold, the fate of a yautia tuber before I started putting a plastic cup shell on all my outgoing plants).
DracoVolans
Crestline, CA
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2010
9:05 PM

Post #7584956

Egad... Yeah, I love the mail-service... *shudders at the fate of too many items friends have told her about...* I'll try your method- it sounds like a good one. :-) I've only done one trade, so far- for a Dragon-Fruit Cactus, which made it here fine. She wanted common Aloe Vera! So I sent her six fat clusters. *giggle* Would you like them to be rooted cuttings, or do you think they'd survive a five-to ten day trip without? I'm leaning toward rooting them first, but that will take a couple of weeks- they're slow.

Sorry I seem to be so slow in my replies.. Ack.

Cheers!

Draco
Mishal
Caguas
Puerto Rico

February 27, 2010
5:38 AM

Post #7591297

It's fine, as you can see, my reply's kind of slow too. You mentioned before that your plants had been very well watered. I think cuttings would survive the trip well. I propagated mine by cuttings, and they seem to have appreciated letting the cut end dry out for a little bit first. If you're worried, perhaps you can send me a branchlet cutting instead of the leaves by themselves, that way, at least some of it is bound to arrive in good shape.

Ah, you have dragon fruit too? Oh gosh, what might you like for some of that? I tried a trade on that once, and received two cuttings, but they were cut clean at both ends, unsurprisingly, they didn't make it.

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Other Article: Introduction to Kalanchoes Threads you might be interested in:

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