Kalanchoe represents a family of more than 115 species of succulent plants that are commonly grown for developing a perennial flower garden. Being a typical succulent plant, Kalanchoe provides a thickish foliage with fleshy, glossy leaves. It is a favored garden plant since it needs minimum maintenance. Often grown as ornamental plants, these succulents bloom into bright, star-shaped flowers during the blooming season. Developing a Kalanchoe garden bed is not difficult, but you need to be careful about planting it. The entire planting process is divided into two parts:
- Preparation of potted Kalanchoe plant
- Planting the potted Kalanchoe plant in the garden
- Seedling Preparation — Kalanchoe seeds are commonly available in garden supplies stores. Prepare a pot with composted potting soil.
- Time — sow the seeds between March and December to ensure faster growth. No fertilizers are needed at this time. A few hours of daily sunlight and occasional watering are sufficient. The potting container should have a few holes to allow quick drainage.
- Sunlight Requirement — initially, place the potted plant in an area with bright light. However, it does not need more than three hours of direct sunlight. Moving the pot indoors for a few hours during hot afternoons is a good idea.
- Preparing the Garden Bed — using a spade, dig a hole to accommodate the potted plant. The hole should be twice as wide as the plant container and 3-inches deeper than the potted root ball.
- Transplanting Potted Kalanchoe — extract the plant out of the pot. Using your hands, straighten the curled-up roots. Unfurl the small hairs around the root ball.
- Securing the Garden Kalanchoe — put the young plant inside the dug-up hole. Start backfilling the garden hole, using the dug-up soil. Tamp upon the backfilled soil bed using our hands but don’t compact the soil bed.
- Watering — pour a small quantity of water. Allow it to be completely absorbed. When the soil bed is almost dry, water again. As the plant grows, this waiting period during watering sessions can be reduced.
The first sign of excess water in a Kalanchoe soil bed is the development of small yellow streaks on the leaves. These markings are easy to see in the backdrop of dark-green Kalanchoe leaves. Frequent watering is not needed. Once-a-week watering regimen is recommended.
You need to prepare a well-draining soil bed since the young roots are vulnerable to water logging, being easily suffocated by stagnating water. Ensure that the soil mix is a bit loamy, but excess clay content should be avoided. Ideally, the soil should have a mild acidic pH range, i.e. between 5.0 and 6.5.
Note: You can add measured quantities of grounded rock sulfur to lower the alkaline nature of the soil. Most retailed rock sulfur packages have instructions regarding the dosage per square yard of soil bed.
It is best to use water-soluble fertilizers for Kalanchoes. You need to fertilize the garden soil bed at least three times a year, including one vital dose during the spring. You can use general organic food fertilizers that are rich in basic macronutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. One dose of fertilization between March and October is recommended.
Using garden shears, prune the dying Kalanchoe flowers and excessively intertwined foliage. This stimulates new growth and de-clusters the developing foliage.