How to Grow Flowering Kalanchoe

By: Julie Day


Flowering kalanchoes are staples of the holiday and florist trade, with their cheery clusters of blooms on compact, upright plants sure to brighten your windowsill. Like poinsettias and holiday cactus, kalanchoes bloom in response to the length of daylight, so they can be encouraged to bloom even during the darkest days of winter.

If you received a flowering kalanchoe as a gift this year, or if you couldn’t resist the bright midwinter color, here are some tips for keeping your plant healthy and blooming for years to come.

About Kalanchoe

Everyone pronounces it differently (and nobody knows exactly who’s right), but we’ve all seen the colorful, happy flower clusters of Kalanchoe blossfeldana, or flowering Kalanchoe. A cousin to the Jade plant, flowering Kalanchoe is a fairly low-maintenance succulent house plant.

kalanchoeFlower heads on kalanchoe blossom in bright oranges, pinks, yellow, red, and white on a compact, upright plant about 6-12 inches tall. The flowers last several months, and the green plants are pretty year-round.

K. blossfeldana is the most common variety of kalanchoe, but there are many varieties to choose from, including pendant (hanging) varieties and nonflowering varieties grown for their unique foliage. All kalanchoes have the same growing requirements.

Kalanchoe Growing Tips

Kalanchoes are pretty low-maintenance plants, thriving in the low humidity of winter households. Choose Kalanchoe plants that have plenty of unopened flower buds, rather than ones in full bloom, and be sure to give them:

  • Light: Kalanches need lots of light, preferably a south-facing window in winter and bright indirect light (or east/west window) in summer. If your Kalanchoe plant is looking leggy and thin, it probably isn’t getting enough light.
  • Soil: Kalanchoe plants do best in a well-draining potting mix designed for cacti and succulents, or stir in plenty of perlite or sand to improve drainage.
  • Temperature: Kalanchoes do fine in normal household conditions, but they need to be kept away from drafts. Keep your kalanchoe above 50°F.
  • kalanchoe

  • Water: Over-watering is the main killer of kalanchoes! Allow your kalanchoe to get dry between waterings. Then water thoroughly until it runs out the bottom, and immediately empty the drainage tray. Never leave the plant sitting in water.
  • Fertilizer: While your kalanchoe is blooming, feed it every few weeks with a balanced organic fertilizer.
  • Pots: Kalanchoes do well in clay pots, and they must have a drainage tray that can be emptied. They’re small plants that don’t often have to be repotted.
  • Summer care: You can put your kalanchoe outdoors in summer, but choose a spot sheltered from rain.
  • Propagation: Kalanchoes are easy to propagate by stem or leaf cuttings. Some varieties will put out plantlets that can be removed and potted.
  • Maintenance: Remove spent flowers to keep your kalanchoe looking neat. You may also want to wipe or gently spray them to remove dust.


How to Make Kalanchoe Bloom

Many people treat kalanchoes as an annual, throwing them away after they finish blooming. Getting them to bloom again requires some discipline, but the fun part is that once you get the hang of it, you can make your kalanchoes bloom on cue! Here are some tips for getting your kalanchoe to bloom again:

  • Flowering Depends on Light: Kalanchoes are photoperiodic, which means they bloom in response to the length of day. They naturally bloom in early spring. To force your plant to set flower buds requires six weeks of simulated winter lighting conditions.
  • Reduce Watering: Water half as often, or even less, during the six weeks.
  • Simulate Night: For six weeks, put your plant in complete darkness for 14 hours a day, and in bright light for 10 hours a day. You can bring it in and out of a closet, or use a cover, to achieve full darkness. After six weeks or so, when you see flower buds forming, you can bring your plant back out into normal light conditions and resume watering. For more tips about photoperiodic blooming, check out our articles on how to grow poinsettias and holiday cactus.

Further Information



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61 Comments on “How to Grow Flowering Kalanchoe”

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  • Tonya McCullough Says:
    October 11th, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I have a Kalonchoe plant in my window in my office. It has gotten so big that I have had to transplant it to a bigger pot twice now. It looks like it might be ready for the next size up. I water it about once a week and feed it the fertilizer spikes. I have had it for at least 1 1/2 years. I can’t believe how easily I have been able to keep it going, as I do not necessarily have a “green thumb”! I love this plant!

  • gerri Says:
    September 23rd, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    HELP…my kalanchoe plant leaves are turning yellow then turn brown then falling off. The plant is thinning out with the falling leaves. What do you think is wrong? It’s about 1 1/2 yrs old. I would love to save this plant. Thank you.

  • eileen ward Says:
    August 24th, 2016 at 11:50 am

    why do my leaves turn brown and how do I prevent it from happening

  • JohnRR Says:
    August 17th, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Great tips on growing these sturdy colourful plants! I have quite a few kalanchoe all different hues but having same issues as others trying to get them to rebloom. They seem to thrive in a centrally heated flat – lots of plants don’t! Will try moving them to a darkend room for a period then back in light to see if that’s provokes re flowering.

    Tx for the advice! Would be great if you could have a reply option to other people’s comments so people could exchange tips more directly?

  • Bob Says:
    July 11th, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I plant them outside as an annual. Southern exposure, but shaded by a tree. They flower all summer/fall.

    Very easy!

  • London Gardener Says:
    June 13th, 2016 at 4:11 am

    I’ve been a gardener for quite a time now, but I can never succeed with kalanchoes. I always follow the growing instructions, but they never flower again. However, the plants do grow bigger and produce more foliage. I’ve tried simulating winter lighting conditions, but I don’t think I did it for 6 weeks. I’ll try your advice and see what happens.

  • Laura Says:
    May 29th, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks a lot for information, found it useful
    God bless!

  • Mary Winnie Says:
    May 15th, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    I was gifted a kalanchoe plant and want to know if it can survive northern WI weather in the spring, summer, fall. Or is it strictly a houseplant? I would like to leave it in pot, outside, during nice weather.

  • Kim Massey Says:
    May 10th, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    I received a Pink Kalanchoe , beautiful! I do wish you would answer the comments when people are asking questions it helps everyone. My ended up dying but was able root a piece of it. And it has grown so big, hasn’t bloomed yet. But it should cause it’s big and beautiful green. Thank you

  • Barb Says:
    March 22nd, 2016 at 8:40 am

    We have a Kolanchoe that we received as a gift at Mother’s Day, 2014. It has been blooming continuously with pink flowers that range from white to deep coral on the same plant. I pinch it back, water it weekly, it sits in an East window and there have been flowers on it at all times for almost two years. We have been waiting for it to stop flowering to prune it back to the main stem. It is about 16 inches above the dirt and in the same pot it came in. What are we doing right. We have had other Kolanchoe plants that we gave up on after a year.

  • Official Comment:

    Lindsay Hughes Says:
    March 16th, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Marge, you can sign up to receive the monthly “Tips for Today’s Homeowner” email here: Just type in your email address and click “sign up.”

  • Marge Hust Says:
    March 16th, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Please add me to your e mail list.
    Thank you very much.

  • Danielle Says:
    March 9th, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Hello. I was given this beautiful plant for Valentines Day that I later found out was a Kolancho. When I received it, it was healthy. After about 5-6 days the leaves started yellowing from the tip towards the stem. Each leaf that yellows also turns brown and curls up and dies. The browning is in the same pattern. From tip to stem. I didn’t water it all within that time frame. I will admit that the plant sat on the coffee table in a room with not much light. I touched the soil and it wasn’t dry to touch but didn’t feel moist either. I have since moved it to a window and given it a little water. Now a week later the leaves are still yellowing and browning. I touched the soil and it is moist. The whole time I have had this plant the buds have been absolutely beautiful and plentiful. But my plant doesn’t look healthy anymore because even though there is a new growth of leaves, the once full plant now looks skimpy. Any advise or fertilizer that I should try. I would rather keep it inside but I will gladly move outside if it means saving it. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. HELP!! Thanks!

  • Cornelia Dewijn Says:
    March 7th, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks for this info, I was familiar with the point setta care and find it surprising the Kolancho needs similar treatment.Do we keep up the winter light treatment even in summer?

  • Maggie Says:
    March 5th, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I had my pink plant since last spring as a gift, moved twice since last winter because my house was getting raised since the Sandy storm and moved home this January. I have been having blooms since last spring, and it doesn’t stop blooming! I just clean up the dead flowers, and it keeps on blooming! I keep it the south/east sun.

  • Sue duys Says:
    February 27th, 2016 at 5:16 am

    I have inherited a large kalanchoe. Have cur away old, spent flowers and am left with some large, damaged leaves. New growth is coming along well, but what to do about the old, damaged leaves ?

  • Suzanne Says:
    February 20th, 2016 at 3:26 am

    I was given a Kalanchoe plant in full bloom a few years ago when a beloved pet of 15 years died. At that time, I had no idea what this plant was, so I put it on the porch with all my other potted plants. It has bloomed each spring, I only water it every few weeks, it’s very easy care. I only wish all my other plants were as beautiful with as little care! We are landscaping out backyard and I was wondering if I could plant this in my garden?

  • steve Says:
    December 24th, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Are KALANCHOEs related to Carrots ?
    because they look similar..

  • Catherine Says:
    December 14th, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Hi, I bought myself a red Kalanchoe plant today, and I was just wondering how often you guys water your’s? Would you say every 2 weeks? I have many plants and I normally sit most of mine in a bowl of water for half an hour for a good drink. I would also like to know if I can water my Kalanchoe this way as well…?

    Thanks x

  • Elizabeth Says:
    December 11th, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    We actually have about 50 kalanchoe plants in our front yard. We live in San Antonio TX. We were so worried that they would die, because we planted them in the hot Sun but they have managed to make it through. Now it looks like they’re alive and they have tons of blooms on them ready to flower what is the next best thing we can do to have them survive the winter? The winters in South Texas really aren’t that cold but we hate to pull them up we think they’re so beautiful. If anybody has any suggestions it would be great to hear them.

  • Trish Says:
    December 7th, 2015 at 8:13 am

    I have 2 plants. The blooms are beginning to droop. Leaves are firm. I don’t have sand in the soil mixture. These plants were in a planter mixture with a violet and Chinese Evergreen. I knew they needed to be separted. Should I change soil?

  • sherry Roe Says:
    November 7th, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Do I pinch the top plant ends when it gets real tall and leggy to force it to bush out like most plants?

  • Vanessa Says:
    October 20th, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    I have a kalanchoe plant since 6 years now, when I got it back then it bloomed purple and since then I let it grow hoping it will bloom sometime. It never bloomed in the 6 years and has grown big. Very bushy, and long long long branches. It almost looks wild. I want to get it bloom again. Do I have to cut the branches back or shorter? I bought it in a pot with no drainage and it does fine. It’s a healthy green plant and every time I water it, it grows longer and reaches out to the window.

  • Rosie Carroll sr Says:
    September 5th, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Yesterday found a green plant with 2 stems, and not enough soil. Looks like Jade plant or kalanchoe, but green no flowers. It is pungent like liniment or turpentine?? I want to know what kind of plant it is. Last night I tried to fix what little soil it has and watered it. Put it in south winter in unused room. Gave it TLC and helped it to stay upright in window. This afternoon it looked really healthy. I was told to get some outside soil and fill it up more, re water it? What are your answers here, especially the strong pungent odor like turpentine? Why would someone put it out? Thanks.

  • Irene Bush Says:
    September 2nd, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Six weeks in the closet to help flowering reminds me of when I had an amaryllis and kept it up that way for 5 years.

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    September 1st, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Hi Neal,
    The purpose of the comment section below each of our articles and videos is for visitors to comment on the post or respond to a comment posted by other visitors. While we read all the comments posted, with over 3,000 posts on our site, it isn’t possible for us to respond to individual questions from visitors.

  • Neal Says:
    September 1st, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Would be a better site if you answered some of the questions that are posted. What good is a comment section if you caan’t get support or suggestions!

  • Dawn Says:
    June 30th, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve been reading the questions. For those of that aren’t getting a response, just Google Kalanchoe care. Lot’s of good info.

  • Becky Says:
    June 26th, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I got cuttings from my old kalanchoe and planted them in small pots, they are growing well, green and full of leaf. The question is how can i make them flower for the first time?

  • Fran Says:
    June 21st, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Bought a Kalanchoe and would like to transplant it. Is there special requirements for keeping this plant in full bloom most of the time. Please let me know should there be special needs. Thank you.

  • Judy Austin Says:
    June 18th, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I just received a Kalanchoe from a friend yesterday. The plant name was on the side of the pot! This info I found on the internet is very helpful.

  • Jan Judd Says:
    June 16th, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I received a “Milos” Kalanchoe for a get well wish after I HAD SURGERY. How do I take care of it in the house?

  • David Says:
    May 31st, 2015 at 9:50 am

    After reading, I hope someone can tell me where I can get the seeds for the pink or red tetraphylle?
    Thank you, Dave

  • Mark Says:
    May 28th, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    My Kalanchoe plants bloom almost constantly year round. I have 3 plants. They get afternoon full sun. I fertilize every two weeks with a water soluable fertilizer. I pull off old blooms and new blooms start within weeks. At least one plant is always in full bloom.

  • Rosalind Grau Says:
    May 3rd, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    I just bought a beautiful red Kalanchoe plant and it was full of buds, but now the bunches of buds are hanging like upside down. I hope they don’t die. I know not to over water it and it is in a pot with good drainage. Please tell me what to do so this beautiful kalanchoe plant thrives, “Thank You

  • Barbara Says:
    April 30th, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I have mine outdoors…it was in a very, very small clay pot and was bought at Trader Joes. I have transplanted it in a pot about 2 sizes bigger and it’s doing great. Is it ok to be outside?

  • Lorraine Says:
    April 29th, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Jay Roberts,

    I found lots of them at my local Home Depot, there were numerous colors and sizes. They were in several locations in the store today, 4/29.

  • Jay Roberts Says:
    April 26th, 2015 at 1:47 am

    I saw a planter full of flowering multi colored Kalanchoe and it was incredable! I researched it, found out it’s name, and have looked for a place to purchace. I have looked in every where, espeacially in Nurseries that speacialize in cacti and succulants here in Vista CA.,and other places. It should grow out side prolificly here. but it is not to be found, or heard about for that matter. My question, is there a good way to come about these beauties? I have found a seed resource, but understand it is easier to start from a leaf. Any and all information is much appreciated! Thank you J.

  • Vicki Says:
    April 24th, 2015 at 8:41 am

    My kalanchoe is about a year old & a foot tall. It’s very full of flowers & beautiful but the leaves are turning yellow. Do I need to cut it back & if so, how far?

  • johne Says:
    April 23rd, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    it sure would be nice if you’d post answers to some of the question posed

  • penny burl Says:
    April 19th, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Can kalanchoes be grown outside at all in the uk?

  • nigel preston uk Says:
    March 16th, 2015 at 6:18 am

    Hi there, great article & very informative. I have a mystery plant which I’ve been trying to identify & I think its a hanging kalanchoe with pink flowers but I’m not sure. Could I possibly email several images to yourselves,
    Many thanks

  • Mary Manvell Says:
    March 12th, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I live in Cape Coral, FL. (sub-tropical) Can I plant my kalanchoe plants outdoors. The area has some shade, sandy soil, great drainage but is exposed to rain.

  • arlene gwynn Says:
    March 7th, 2015 at 6:22 am

    My K. Was a gift 4 yrs. ago, about 6″ tall. It’s now 20″ diam. 18″ high. It has been a mass of bloom since Christmas and is gorgeous. When weather permits it will go out on the deck for summer. This is truly a plant for anyone who doesn’t have a “green thumb”. I have started about a dozen new plants. They make great little gifts which are low maintenance for the busiest folks. We enjoy springtime in our home all winter long. To think we almost threw it out after the first year! So glad we didn’t!

  • Quinn Clowney Says:
    February 22nd, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Please tell me how to take care of my kalanchoe plant. I bought 2 plants February 21, 2015. The picture of the flower is beautiful. One pot has buds on it. Can’t wait for it to bloom. Please help me as what to do.

  • Carole Reddekopp Says:
    January 23rd, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I’ve had my kalanchoe indoors since autumn, it’s lush and beautiful. A few of the larger leaves, however, have a white film on them. I’ve removed those, but would like to know what that is?

  • Marjorie Kuhn Says:
    January 15th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you for your helpful information. I am not a good gardener but am trying again. I love the looks of other people’s Kalanchoes and have a start from my sister.

  • Lee SL Jenny Says:
    December 2nd, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    I just received 2 pots of kalanchoe plants from a friend. Please update me on how to take care of my kalanchoe plants.
    Thank you

  • Joe Monotoya Says:
    November 14th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Where can I buy a Kalanchoe plant? Home depo does not have it. I am also looking for LANTANA plants.

  • Irene Tschirpig Says:
    November 12th, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Are kalanchoe only indoor or can u plant in the garden

  • judy elsner Says:
    November 5th, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I received this plant on feb.2014. I repotted into a clay potwith drainage and put on my front porch facing west.The plant grew beautufullyand is very pretty green. How do I get it to bloom? should Im bring it indoors now? the temp is in the 30’s in the early morning, 60 nd 70 during day. How do I know when to repot it. thanks for any help you can give me. judy elsner

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    October 27th, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Sudie,
    Thanks for the positive feedback! I have added your email address to our monthly newsletter. You should receive the first one on November 1st.

    October 27th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Please put me on your e-mail list. Thank you for great instructions on successful tips for growing great plants.

  • Judy Says:
    October 9th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    My Kalanchoe has grown twice in size on the deck and I now have it inside. The leaves are beautiful green but have some white/tan little things on them looks like a miniature seed but need to know if it is a bug or disease. can someone help me…thanks Judy from CT

  • Lyle Says:
    September 14th, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    My wife and I enjoy Danny’s show. I’m pleased to now be able to use his website. We live in SOCAL and at the moment it is 105 degrees. About a month ago we planted in the ground 3 Kalanchoes along the driveway. This heat doesn’t seem to faze them at all. We want to plant the Kalachoes along the sidewalk in a 1 foot strip next to the picket fence. How close should we plant along this 50 foot strip? What is the plants growing radius? Will they overgrow onto the sidewalk? This strip gets the full afternoon sun.

    September 14th, 2014 at 2:42 pm


  • Judy Says:
    June 2nd, 2014 at 7:13 am

    I have been given a small Kalanchoe in a pot but can’t grow plants indoors because of allergies. I live in southeastern Australia (cool winters, very hot summers) and would like to keep it outdoors. Is it OK to plant it in the garden, or should I leave it in a pot? My entire courtyard is extremely wind-exposed.

  • Linda Says:
    April 30th, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Can I plant kalanchoes on my deck and put them in wooden planters across the banasters? thanks

    December 26th, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Have been growing my pink Kalanchoe for years in my kitchen window, facing West. It blooms around Christmas and later I trim it back and it blooms again in the summer. Since it sits above the sink, I just give it a “drink” once in awhile. Really enjoy the pretty blooms in the kitchen. Fun and easy to grow and take care of the way I have learned to do. They are fun and lovely. S. Marcy

  • Sheryl Carmack Says:
    April 26th, 2013 at 8:42 am

    My question is that I have several big Kalanchoes and the shoots are really tall and in full beautiful blooms all over; now the question is do I cut the shoot down to the bottom or just under the bloom??


  • Eleanor DeLuca Says:
    March 9th, 2013 at 11:01 am

    I will try your advice for forcing flowers and hope I am successful. Actually I was looking for info about the kalanchoe that I’ve had since last year. It is very healthy and has gotten bigger but the main stem hasn’t gotten thicker and I’m afraid it won’t support the top heavy plant. Also, there seems to be rootl-like growth coming from the spot where the lst stem comes out of the main stem and in various other spots where stems come out of the main stem.
    I hope we can help my kalanchoe. Thank you

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