Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Growing Guide

Grow Kalanchoe (Flaming Katy) plants in your Garden or Home

The Kalanchoe blossfeldiana plant is native to the African island of Madagascar. This low maintenance plant that makes a very popular house plant, where it is cherished for its attractive pink flowers that seem to bloom for an eternity, and for it's ease of care.

It is a hairless (glabrous) succulent plant that performs best in gardens warmer areas that have plenty of full sunlight. It has a roundish bushy nature, with a spread ever so slightly larger than its height.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Calandiva

photograph by Leonora (Ellie) Enking; CC.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Flaming Katy picture by 石川 Shihchuan; CC.

It is a slow-growing evergreen that is susceptible to the cold. Ideally grow in areas where the temperature remains above 10°C (50°F) as it is known to be cold sensitive.

If you live in a cooler area then bring indoors or keep under glass in the colder months.

Quick Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific name: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
  • Common Name (s): Flaming Katy, Christmas kalanchoe, florist kalanchoe, Madagascar widow's-thrill.
  • Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): 10 to 12 (down to 7 if bringing indoors over winter) / H1B

Plant Details

  • Life Cycle/Type: Perennial. Evergreen. Succulent. Bushy Nature.
  • Plant Height: 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm)
  • Plant Spread: 6 to 20 inches (15 to 50 cm)
  • Blooms: Spring. May differ if grown as an house plant. Long lasting.
  • Flower Details: Scarlet red, pink, salmon, or yellow
  • Leaf Foliage Details: Green. Ovate. Shiny. Glossy. Glabrous. Fleshy.

Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Full sunlight or Partial shade. Sheltered location.
  • Suitable Soil Types: Sand, Loam. Well Drained.
  • Suitable Soil pH: Most soils types are fine.
  • Soil Moisture: Moist, but let dry out between watering to prevent potential root rot.
  • Sowing, planting, and Propagation: Spring. Sow seeds into a gritty loam compost or propagate from offsets.
  • Care: Low maintenance. Takes from two to five years to reach full size. Provide moderate water when growing. Liquid fertilizer (ideally phosphorus rich); apply two to three times during their first growing season. Do not wet leaves when watering. Remove dead flowers at the stem. Pinch to help maintain shape. Deadhead plants to maintain blooming.
  • Indoor plant Specifics If growing as an house plant then they perform best in clay pots set atop rocks or gravel to help improve drainage. Ideal temperature is night = 60°F / 15°C; day 70°F / 21°C. Plants require a period of short day length (approx. two months of fourteen hour darkness; minimal watering) to initiate flowering. Best flower bloom results occur with eight to ten hours of natural light (full sun or very bright indirect light).

Further Information

  • Best used for: Drought resistant. Low maintenance. Patio. Container. House.
  • Miscellaneous: the name Kalanchoe originates from the Chinese name for the plant (Kalanchauhuy).
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Further Reading and References used for this Kalanchoe blossfeldiana growing Guide: Wiki; SF Gate

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