Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana – Propagation, Care, and Toxicity

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana
By Melissa Strauss at All about Gardening

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana plant is widely cultivated as an indoor and outdoor houseplant.

There are many synonyms for Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana. Because it blooms in the winter, this lovely plant is sometimes called Christmas Kalanchoe. Widow’s Thrill and Florist Kalanchoe are two more names for this plant. The latter is so named because the Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana variety is highly prized by florists because of its prodigious flowering.

As long as they are exposed to optimal lighting and temperatures, most Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana species will produce flowers throughout the year. Beautiful and unique, these blooming succulents originate originally from the island of Madagascar. The German botanist and hybridizer Robert Blossfeld is honored with the naming of the blossfeldiana species. In 1932, Blossfeld presented blossfeldiana to the horticultural community.

Because of its vibrant flowers and low maintenance requirements, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana has gained widespread popularity. Aside from some sunshine and water, this lovely succulent needs very little more from its caretaker. Given its propensity to bloom during the holidays, it’s no surprise that this plant is often given as a present. Everybody enjoys a beautiful winter flower.

Plant TypeSucculent
SeasonWinter and Spring
PestsScale, Mealybugs, Spider Mites
ExposureBright Indirect Light
DiseasesFungal Rot, Sun Scald, Powdery Mildew
Genus  Kalanchoe  
Plant Spacing  6”-12”
Maintenance  Low
Planting Depth  Surface Level
Soil Type  Well Draining, Sandy
Soil pH6.0 to 6.5
Height   12”-18” tall
Plant with  Succulents
Hardiness Zone 10-12 (Houseplants elsewhere)  
Watering Needs  Low
AttractsHummingbirds, bees, butterflies, birds
Native AreaMadagascar

Classification of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

There are over 250 different species of plants in the genus Kalanchoe, including Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana. It’s a kind of blooming succulent that stands out for its vibrant flowers that linger for weeks at a time.

Blossfeldiana Kalanchoe may survive for many years and continue to bloom year after year, in contrast to the monocarpic Kalanchoe, which dies once they’ve produced their flowers.

The evergreen kalanchoe keeps its lush, meaty leaves throughout the year. While they are officially tropical plants, many people outside of tropical climatic zones grow them as houseplants.

Read: Pothos vs Philodendron: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Leaf Formation

Bright green and somewhat meaty, the leaves of Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana are not as thick as those of other species. They are oval in outline and have scalloped margins that give this tough little plant a more delicate appearance.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana comes in both solid and variegated forms. When exposed to intense sunshine, the leaves of almost all Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana species become a delicate shade of crimson. However, they will fade and become burnt if exposed to too much light.

Flowers of Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana is well-known for its beautiful blossoms. Clusters of small, brightly colored flowers appear atop the glossy green leaves of these plants some time between late winter and late spring.

If the plant is content, it will send up flower spikes (inflorescences) at the tips of its stems, carpeting its canopy in bright blooms.

Single-petaled, double-petaled, and rose-shaped blossfeldiana flowers are all possible. The four rounded to pointed petals of a single-petal flower create a star shape.

Typically, double-petaled flowers will have four or more inner petals. Flowers that take on the shape of a rose have numerous petals and resemble a rose in full bloom.

Read: Types of Philodendron: Exploring Diverse Varieties


There are three main ways that information may spread. Growing them from seeds is doable, but it’s not the simplest or most dependable option unless you’re planning on cultivating a very big crop.

From Cuttings

Stem cuttings are often regarded as the greatest method of propagation for these plants since they are easy to take and root quickly. Propagation from cuttings, also known as division, is the technique of utilizing a tiny piece of a parent plant to produce a new plant with similar characteristics.

To perform a division, a leaf or leaves must be removed from the parent plant. Cutting using a clean, sharp blade is the most crucial step since it promotes faster healing and reduces the risk of infection.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana
By Readbeach,

The roots will have the most surface area to grow into if the stem is cut at an angle. It’s best to let the cuttings dry in the open air once they’ve been made.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana leaves will root on their own; a rooting hormone will not be essential, although it may hasten the process. However, this limits the plant’s capacity to develop new roots in response to environmental changes.

After the cuttings have dried, plant them in tiny pots with moist cactus planting mix, stem side down. Soil suitable for kalanchoes drains quickly but still requires watering as plants get established.

Until the cuttings have established deep roots, avoid allowing the soil to dry up. Cutouts should be exposed to strong, indirect light. Within a few weeks, roots should start to develop.

From Offsets

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana species that produce plantlets do so along the leaf edge. Blossfeldiana doesn’t, but it produces a lot of offsets that soon grow up to be full-fledged plants and may be transplanted into their own containers.

If you plant Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana with other succulents in a container, they may quickly outgrow the space unless you remove their offsets regularly.

Offset propagation is an efficient method for growing Kalanchoes, however, it can only be done when the plant produces offsets, which is rather frequent.

From Seeds

If you want a bountiful harvest of kalanchoe, propagating it from seeds is the way to go. The downside is that it’s the slowest option, thus it’s seldom utilized. In order to collect seeds using this approach, you must wait until after the plant has flowered.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana needs warm temperatures and bright light to sprout from seed, so starting them in the summer is ideal. About 14 hours of daylight is ideal for them to begin going. You’ll need seeds, plastic Ziploc bags, miniature planters, and potting soil to get started.

First, you need to expose the seeds to sunlight for a full day after placing them in a Ziplock bag. Then, fill your containers with damp potting soil and get them ready. Cactus mix, which consists of sand or perlite added to regular potting soil, is ideal. Spread the seedling medium over the top.

They can go without a coverup. Then, to keep in the moisture, use a Ziploc bag to cover the whole pot. Water the soil only if it becomes dry. Put the containers in indirect sunlight and you’ll have seedlings in a few weeks.

Read: Exploring the Touch Toxicity of Pokeweed and its Surprising Effects

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Care

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Care
By Elison at Readbeach

Although Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana requires little care and can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions, optimal growth may be achieved with the help of a few simple factors. Following these fundamentals, your blossfeldiana will always look great and flower beautifully.

Planting Depth and Potting Needs

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana thrives in almost any container with good potting soil, so don’t worry too much about how deep you put them. If you plant a Kalanchoe seed on damp soil, it will germinate, develop roots, and flourish.

The ideal container for a mature Kalanchoe is one that is as deep as the plant’s roots and somewhat broader. The same holds true for rooted Kalanchoe.

Succulents like kalanchoes can’t stand having their roots soaked. These plants do best in a potting mix that has coarse particles, like perlite or sand, so that water may drain more easily. A potting soil that retains a lot of water is not what you want.

Choose a container with drainage holes for your blossfeldiana. Even though the potting mix is permeable, water will pool in the bottom of a pot if it has inadequate drainage.

This will cause root rot by keeping the roots constantly damp. Kalanchoe plants thrive in containers with plenty of drainage holes.


When exposed to too much sunlight, most Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana has a charming tendency to flush. While little sunshine is beneficial, too much may cause the plant’s leaves to bleach and lead to rapid dehydration. Bright yet indirect light for at least 6-8 hours a day is ideal for a Kalanchoe.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana can handle some direct sunshine, but they really flourish in indirect or filtered light, with the exception of plants with variegated leaves, which like a little more sun than those without.

Slowly expose your plant to full light if you want to experiment with changing the color of its leaves; doing so for extended durations might be too stressful for these plants.

Read: Jade Plant Types: Exploring a World of Green Varieties!


Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana are endemic to Madagascar and thrive in sunny, arid climates. The amount and frequency of watering required will also be affected by the container and the location.

Watering a Kalanchoe houseplant once every two to three weeks during the growth season and once every three weeks during the colder months is sufficient, provided the soil drains effectively between waterings. The plant enters a period of reduced growth and dormancy once its blooms fall. Since the plant is growing more slowly now, it needs less water.

If you want to keep these plants outdoors throughout the warmer months, you should be aware that you will need to water them more often. The general recommendation is every 5–7 days, although, in really hot and dry conditions, every 3–4 days probably won’t do any harm.

In my zone 8 garden, I have a huge blossfeldiana that spends most of the year outside. In the heat of summer, I water it every three days. This is a plant that can be hung, and its container has plenty of drainage. The frequency of watering depends on all of these factors.

By Melissa Strauss at All about Gardening

Climate and Temperature

Outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones 10–12, Blossfeldiana will thrive. From what I’ve seen, they’re OK being exposed to temps around the mid-40s.

When the temperature falls below 40 degrees, the leaves start to wither and fall off the trees. I have seen the full depth of Kalanchoes when I put them outside in frigid weather, but they have always come back the following spring thanks to offsets.

Temperatures of 45 degrees at night and 60 degrees during the day are ideal for flower production in blossfeldiana. Because they bloom in the winter, they need a period of 12-14 hours of darkness and lower temperatures to produce fruit.

High humidity is not good for kalanchoes. They can handle a little of dampness, but too much for too long increases the danger of decay.

They thrive best in filtered sunlight and should spend the summer months outside. Then, when the temperature drops below 40 degrees, which usually happens in the late autumn, they should be taken inside. Remember that in order to perceive flowers, they need those 12-14 hours of darkness.


Kalanchoes are exceptionally effective at extracting nourishment from the earth they’re grown in. Thus, they have low fertilization requirements. Kalanchoes can survive without fertilizer in most cases.

A balanced, all-purpose fertilizer diluted to half strength should do the work if you decide to fertilize. Fertilizing kalanchoe should be done only while the plant is actively developing, and no more than twice a year.

Pruning and Maintenance

Even though Blossfeldiana does not need frequent pruning, you may promote more and bigger flower clusters by removing wasted blooms as they fade.

In reality, the only real care they need is the occasional application of water. Plants may be fertilized, and repotting is required if you want the offsets to grow into new plants.

Pinch off the spent blossoms to conduct deadheading. If you would rather have them lopped off, you may use a sharp set of shears to do so.

The same goes for any leaves that seem to be dying or dead. To encourage the plant to put its resources into new development, pinch or cut them off as soon as you see them.

However, Kalanchoes have a tendency to grow lanky and scraggly looking over time. Dim lighting makes this problem much worse. Plants like kalanchoes will naturally go toward the brightest area.

Trim the main stem just above the bigger leaves and move the blossfeldiana to a bright location if you want to encourage new growth and bulk up the plant. As a result of the increased exposure to light, new growth will emerge at the sites of previous pruning.


Kalanchoe plants of any kind pose a danger to human and animal health. This has mostly been a problem in their natural environment during droughts when grazing animals face food shortages. However, pets who like to chew on houseplants should be kept away from them.

Read: Unveiling the Hidden Dangers of ZZ Plants to Cats

Popular Varieties of Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

There are a number of different varieties that you can choose from, depending on what your goals are. They are typically distinguished by their difference in bloom color as each of them has similar nutrient and environmental needs.

Calandiva Red

BOTANICAL NAME Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Calandiva Red’
SUN REQUIREMENTS Bright Indirect Light

Calandiva cultivars are a beautiful group of blossfeldiana with fully double to rose-form blooms. This plant has deep green, scalloped leaves, which beautifully frame clusters of lipstick-red flowers that bear a striking resemblance to tiny garden roses. The deep green leaves stick around all year, making this a pretty plant at all times.

Queen Lindsay

BOTANICAL NAMEKalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Queen Lindsay’
SUN REQUIREMENTSBright Indirect Light

This is another variety with fully double-petaled blooms. Lindsay’s flowers are brilliant, sunshine yellow and come from pretty, yellow-green buds. Her foliage is deep green and glossy, creating a gorgeous contrast with the brightly-hued blooms. ‘Queen Lindsay’ likes lots of sunlight.

Pink Queen

Pink Queen has a similar appearance to ‘Calandiva Red,’ except that the flowers lean more toward a bubblegum, fuchsia color. This Queen is no diva. She likes lots of bright light and will perform well, producing tons of flowers in late winter.

Queen Jodie

This variety has bright pink, double-petaled blooms with a spark of yellow stamens in the center and a white eye. Her foliage is bright green.

Jodie has a fun, tropical vibe and can tolerate several hours of full sun. These flowers look just like pink roses as they begin to bloom.

Flaming Katy

As the only single-petal form flowers on the list, ‘Flaming Katy’ has big shoes to fill, and she does it stunningly. This variety has clusters of red flowers, each bearing four nicely shaped petals that end in a slight point.

Katy is very floriferous. Its inflorescences are large and plentiful, and it can bloom even in medium-light conditions.

Read: Prairie dropseed – Varieties, Propagation, and Care

Pests and Diseases of Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Kalanchoes are not especially susceptible to pests and diseases, but they are not impervious. There are a few issues to keep an eye out for, as early treatment is the most effective.

Most pests and diseases are brought in by other plants. Good plant hygiene, such as inspecting new plants and using clean tools, is the best prevention.


Scales are tiny insects that feed on the sap of plants. They focus on tender new growth where it is easy to use their mouths to pierce the soft flesh of the plant. These bugs spread easily, but they can be eradicated pretty quickly as well.

If you notice struggling leaves, give it a look underneath. Scales are small and yellow or brown and often found in clusters. Insecticidal oils, like neem oil, can be used to suffocate these little beasts. They will need to be treated more than once to fully exterminate all generations, so be patient and vigilant.


Mealybugs are small, pale pink to white insects that have a fuzzy appearance. They like humid, warm climates and feed on the sweet sap of plants. They adore succulents because of the abundance of sap stored in their leaves.

Not only can they cause the leaves and flowers of your blossfeldiana to curl and wither, but they also leave behind a sticky mess. Mealybugs leave a trail of excrement called honeydew wherever they go. This can cause a moldy mess on your plant’s leaves.

Mealybugs are difficult to get rid of because their juveniles are very small and good at hiding. A minor infestation can simply be washed off with a stream of water.

An advanced infestation may require treatment with horticultural oils. A cotton swab soaked in alcohol can also be an effective way to wipe the bugs off of leaves but can be damaging to the plant if done too much or too often.


Garden aphids are enemy number one. They can spread quickly, damaging surrounding lants, and they leave behind the same sticky honeydew that causes mold to grow. Aphids should be treated with insecticides, and plants should be isolated until no sign of infestation remains.

Fungal Rot

There are a number of different types of fungal rot that can affect a kalanchoe. The most common are root, leaf, and crown rot. All of these are caused by overwatering or too much humidity. Keeping your kalanchoe in a drier spot and not overwatering will go a long way in avoiding these issues.

If you find yourself with a case of fungal rot, the best course of action is repotting with fresh potting soil and trimming away any foliage that has been affected. As always, make sure to use clean tools to do this cutting, and clean them between cuts to avoid spreading the disease.


Sunscald is exactly what it sounds like. If you recall, Kalanchoes blush in direct sunlight. This effect is pretty and desirable for some gardeners, but too much sun will burn your kalanchoe’s leaves and lead to rot.

Sunscald in itself is not terribly dangerous, but the aftereffects can be. This can leave your plant’s leaves soft and vulnerable to fungal infection. Any leaves that are affected should be removed, and the placement of the plant in terms of light should be considered going forward.

Powdery Mildew

This fungal disease is the aftereffect of honeydew, that sticky, nasty excrement left behind by sap-sucking insects. Powdery mildew will inhibit your plant’s ability to utilize sunlight and cause a decline in the health of the plant over time.

Part of dealing with an insect infestation is to deal with this powdery mildew. It will need to be wiped from the leaves by hand. Be gentle, as vulnerable plants don’t love to be handled.

Read: Propagate Pothos Like a Pro: Your Essential Guide

Final Thoughts on Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a wonderful, low-maintenance plant with high rewards in the flower department. These sweet succulents are attractive year-round with their evergreen foliage, and their winter-blooming flowers are difficult to beat.

This popular succulent is a wonderful houseplant and does well both indoors and out. Just make sure to provide plenty of shelter from freezing temperatures. They are versatile and easy to care for and make a great addition to any houseplant collection.