|Curcuma Ginger Returns 4/1/2012|
|Curcuma Ginger in Flower 2011|
My Kalanchoes are in their second flowers for the year. It has been a strange year. They flowered through the entire winter because it was so mild. About a month or so ago, I cut them way back because they looked so straggly and added a bunch of fresh soil and some all purpose time-released fertilizer. As you can see above, we have some new blossoms coming. Kalanchoes have never really been on my list of favorite flowers for a weird reason from my childhood. My mom had them lining the front walk to the front door. The bees love these flowers. I had gotten a really bad sunburn and had open blisters all over my arms. I have a memory of the bees and the open blisters and these flowers. So, until last year, I refused to have these plants. You'll never guess where I put them. lol I moved them to the lanai after I realized my error. They got a bit neglected until I moved them to the lanai. The patio or lanai is where I spend the bulk of my time.
So let's talk a bit about kalanchoes and what they need. Kalanchoes originated in Madagascar and need temperatures between 60 F and 85 F. Since they are succulents, they are drought tolerant but if you let it dry out completely, it will wither and it will take a while for it to come back. They need bright light, so a shady location is not the best place for it. Too much sunlight and it will grow a lot but reduce its blossoms. This is probably why it's doing so well on my lanai. The insects it is prone to are aphids, scale, spider mites and nematodes. These are simple to propagate. Just cut a stem that's 4 - 6 inches and remove the lower leaves and stick it about 1/2 way into the soil and water like it already has roots and is a plant every 2 -3 days. It should take root and start a new plant that you can share with a friend. Probably the most important thing to remember with your kalanchoe is to never let the temperature fall below 40 F. Bring it inside if it's going to get that cold to protect the plant. Otherwise, it's a stalwart little soldier of a flower.
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