I live in mild coastal california where summer temps rarely get above 80 degrees. Here kalanchoe can be grown outdoors in full sun. The plants are denser and more floriferous than plants grown in the shade. The foliage color is a light yellowish green, but I have not experienced any leaf-scorch. (I think this foliage color compliments some flower colors and clashes with others.) Plants grown in the shade are the rich, dark green one would expect, but flowering is a little sparser. These plants seem to appreciate cool, moist winters and dry summers.
I've read that kalanchoes need fourteen hours of darkness for a month in order to set buds, which might explain why people trying to get them to rebloom indoors might be having problems. (Maybe following recommendations for forcing poinsettias is a good idea.) My (outdoor) plants begin blooming in January and continue through the spring. Don't be in too much of a hurry to deadhead these plants, because just when it looks like a cluster of flowers has finished blooming and is spent, a new round of buds forms on the old cluster and continues the show for another month.
On Jul 4, 2006, LongviewNovice from Longview, TX wrote:
I brought this plant home from my wife's funeral in March. Didn't know what it was and I just stuck it in the ground. It's been blooming non-stop (written 7/4/06) in full sun, sandy soil. It gets watered each morning thru a drip emitter. It seems very easy to grow.
On Jun 10, 2006, staceysmom from (GayLynn) Appleton, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
I grow this indoors all winter giving less water. I move outdoors at the end of May, early June. I have mine in full shade and it thrives and is very healthy. It starts to bloom indoors and really takes off when moved outdoors. Love the way the blossoms open up a yellow color and slowly change to pink then a salmon color. I pinch off the spent blossoms and it just keeps making more and more all summer.
I live upstate New York. I got one as a houseplant gift for Christmas last year. It was in full bloom. I put it outside, in the spring in a part shady place - northeast side of my house. The flowers were gone by that time. The leaves grew much smaller then when I first got it and it looked very straggly with the bottom of the long stems practically bare - just a few of the smaller leaves on top. I brought it in just before a hard frost and put it in an unused, heated bedroom in a south window, not paying much attention to it. Suddenly it started getting buds in December and here it is March and it has been flowering like crazy - so I brought it into the livingroom with the rest of my plants.
I just read that it should be pruned back after flowering. Hopefully, that will take care of the lower branches looking so bare and awful. The top is full of pink flowers and looks beautiful but the bottom looks bare with some brown spots.
On Jan 10, 2006, purewildbarley from Orem, UT wrote:
Like greenlarry, I have kalanchoes that naturally receive longer nights. They bloom like crazy! Is there any secret to getting the blooms more compact? Mine bloom on different layers, looking a bit more scraggly than those I see in florists' shops.
And is it natural for the older leaves to dry up, or a product of over- or under-watering?
On Jan 20, 2005, greenlarry from Darlington United Kingdom wrote:
I took a small cutting from my mother's sickly plant(she must have had one as the usual gift), and now it is in flower, producing tweo white flowerheads! Real easy to grow but does like a fair bit of water for a succulent(thinner leaves)
This plant is a short day flower producer, which means it needs less hours of sunlight in late autumn/winter in order to flower. Luckily I have those conditions in Britain naturally so it flowered for me!
On Dec 8, 2004, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
Always had trouble with this plant in full sun... guess it's really not a full sun plant- survives, but never looks good.
Just found out recently that this, and many other Kalanchoe species are toxic- have a cardiotoxin and poisoning with them is common in S Africa where most species are from. Probably taste bad or we'd be seeing even more toxicity I'm sure... but just something we all should know. Keep your dogs from eating your Christmas Kalanchoes!
On Oct 3, 2004, xoxokristinoxox from Fort Wayne, IN wrote:
HELP! Have had mine for 2 years now, but it doesn't want to seem to flower! It is healthy and keeps getting so tall I have to pinch it back. However, no flowers..... When I see these in the store the leaves are wider but not as thick as mine. Could this signify part of the no bloom cause? How can I make it bloom?
On Nov 4, 2003, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:
I agree with the note above regarding hardiness. These plants will survive frost in zone 9b if under some cover. I found some growing 'wild' on the edge of some woods, probably where someone had discarded leaves or cuttings and you could see where it had frozen off the previous year and re-budded.
On Oct 1, 2003, TerriFlorida from Plant City, FL wrote:
I'll have to say something about the hardiness note -- I had the orange Kalanchoe overwinter lots of years in zone 9b. It prefers protection from frost, but apparently near a house and under fallen leaves was enough here. I also had this only in a pot by the door. Then, I picked off old leaves and tossed them where the gutter drained -- and they rooted and formed their own colony. I have had no great luck with any color other than the orange type, don't know why. I probably tried too hard -- they do seem to prefer neglect from me.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (2 reports) Phoenix, Arizona Tempe, Arizona Camarillo, California Capistrano Beach, California Clayton, California Fresno, California Lodi, California Merced, California Oak View, California Pleasant Hill, California San Dimas, California San Jose, California San Pedro, California Santa Clara, California Thousand Oaks, California Villa Park, California Yorba Linda, California Alamosa, Colorado Bartow, Florida Beacon Square, Florida Bithlo, Florida Boyette, Florida Broadview-pompano Park, Florida Haverhill, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Juno Beach, Florida Keystone Heights, Florida Longwood, Florida Macgregor, Florida Miami, Florida (2 reports) Plant City, Florida Seffner, Florida South Daytona, Florida Spring Hill, Florida Tampa, Florida Umatilla, Florida Warrington, Florida West Vero Corridor, Florida Baton Rouge, Louisiana Zachary, Louisiana Alden, New York Deposit, New York Belton, South Carolina Anderson Mill, Texas Carrollton, Texas Glenn Heights, Texas Longview, Texas Port Arthur, Texas Port Lavaca, Texas San Antonio, Texas (2 reports) Spring Branch, Texas Appleton, Wisconsin