They Are Happier Now

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Kalanchoe plants were always planted in the bright shade.

However, under the shade, they grow really slow and easily rot due to over-watering. I find it hard to adjust watering schedule due to the unpredictable weather we have. So, after the above kalanchoe (anyone knows the ID?) rotted, I decided to place my Kalanchoes in the open - under the full sunlight and subject to 'full rain'.

At first I mixed vermiculite, perlite and gravel to use as the growing media. But later I realised that vermiculte and perlite are not really necessary. Now, I just sit my Kalanchoes in gravel after washing off most the soil and leaving only some soil attached to the rootball.

I was also able to propagate more Kalanchoes by using its leaves and stem cuttings in gravels. The Kalanchoe Fedtschenkoi plants below were grown using a stem cutting I received from my neighbour in September. Now it has multiplied and grown much bigger! And the Kalanchoe Orgyalis above... I used its leaves to propagated new plants. For both leaves and stem cuttings, I just poked them into the gravels.

With this new growing media, they are watered daily. Also, the pot has to be placed on secure places so that the pot will not tumble easily.


I find cactus respond well to this method also. But for other succulents like Echeveria, its leaf breaks easily under the rain.

Happy discovering what your plants love!

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  1. So nice your Kalanchoe is, like bells. :)
    I really like Echiveria but it´s hard to survive them in the winter.
    Have a nice day.

  2. Great information to know Stephanie. I bought three last February and had them out in the sun and rain last summer and they did very well.They were brought in this winter and what puzzles me is how to get them to bloom again for me. Any suggestions? Should I lay off of the fertilizer?

  3. Good work Stephanie, I can't even get them to survive in my windows..

  4. They sure look good! I haven't tried this medium but I'd like to give it a try. I love reading about your experiments and all your kalanchoes look healthy!!

  5. I love the square pots they have nowadays.

    Your kalanchoes are pretty!

  6. My kalanchoes seem to have multiplied all by themselves in the shade, but I might move some cuttings out into the sunshine to induce flowering. thanks for the advice

  7. I have not seen the top one. My kalanchos are in full sun, planted in the ground.

  8. The first one is rather unique. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  9. Cactus are dessert plants, so normally they love sun and dont like too much water. That's why they rot, you give them a lot to drink and they got drunk, haha! If they are in the shade they elongate and not looking nice.

  10. I used to grow lots of cacti and succulents, and I'm sorry to say that I don't really prefer Kalanchoe. This is simply because they tend to be leggy at certain pin even when put under the sun.
    The flower rarely survive Malaysia monsoon season.
    Nevertheles, I love its beauty. I just don't go well with it being a crybaby. :-D

  11. Your Kalanchoe looks healthy with beautiful bloom!
    Hope the Monsoon rain stop so that our plants can survive!

  12. Lona, the last time my cactus re-bloomed was about a few weeks after I bought it. I don't credit myself for able to do so. I am still searching for the right method. But I am still applying fertiliser. And hopefully with brighter sky, I will see new blooms.

  13. It's good to experiment given the variable weather conditions lately. Part of gardening is having an empathy for the plants needs and being observant. You are obviously doing more than a good job. Congratulations on your healthy looking Kalanchoe.

  14. You have arranged your plants in such nice groups. I'm sure they like being together :)

  15. I like the name Kalanchoe..Mexican? Anyway love the flowers too, it looks so lush and healthy!

  16. Looks like the plants are happy, with an understanding gardener that cares, they really flourish!

  17. Your Kalanchoe's look really great. Some people say that cactus (succulents) are desert plants, that they like the sun and not too much water. That is not always the case. A lot of succulents come from places that do not have sun all the time and they grow the best in the shade. Matter of fact even some cactus that you would think can take full sun can not. I have found out the hard way by having some beautiful cactus actually become sunburned. So you pretty much have to go by trial and error where you live. If a succulent is not doing well where you have it then try another place. That is what I do.

    I am curious how your succulents will do in the long run without much soil. I would think they need the nutrients unless you supplement often with fertilizer. Kind of like hydroponics.

  18. The Kalanchoe looks a lot like Kalanchoe uniflora, the one known as the Wendy Kalanchoe. They do like full sun. All of your Kalanchoes are looking great!

  19. Hi, Your Kalanchoes are doing great with delightful blossoms and leaf colors! Even in the desert, I sometimes have plants that rot. Maybe I should try changing the growing media. :)

  20. I had these type Kalanchoe before, somehow they look very beautiful when they are in buds and bloom (especially when they are purchased).
    But afterwards they tend to slowly wither and die.
    I had immediately take cuttings and replanted them and they regenerated quite well. I had them for years but they never seemed to flower.
    (Even with good fertilisers) and so, I guess its some kind of technic required (I guess) like blooming a cactus kind of stuff (keeping them in cold temp. in dark & then exposing them to bright light & warmth - may do the trick)
    Which is lot of work for this plant.

  21. Steph, so awesome! Plants are like children; one has to constantly wonder what they like and cater to their needs. A big 'virtual' hug to all your plants! Have a good weekend.


  22. Hi Steph. You make a fine plant detective ... analyzing the clues and finding out what each plant really loves.

    I have a Kalanchoe Fedtschenkoi planted directly in a limestone embankment ... it seems to love this too!

  23. Hi Steph, interesting post. People often assume I grow cacti or succulents if I don't water, but I always thought they might rot when it rains a lot unless it is really really well drained. But as you say, it's fun trying different things on the road to understanding a plant's needs. cheers, catmint

  24. Good ideas! I always overwater these guys and then they rot. Why do I do that??!! Yours look great.:)

  25. These kalanchoes are really pretty. I have a kalanchoe still alive after a couple of years - perhaps they are enjoying my neglect. They don't ever bloom for me though. ho hum.

  26. Hi Steph! I never realize succulents can adapt to 100% gravel this well as media!! I may want to try some kalanchoes using only coarse gravel like what you did. Here's hoping that's the solution to my neverending problems with my plants rotting!! Thanks for sharing!! :D

  27. All, thanks for sharing your experience on growing kalanchoe. Your reactions/feedbacks on this media are really interesting.

    Lona, further to what I have mentioned above, I hope your kalanchoe will bloom for you soon ;-)

    Alvin, rohrerbot, catmint, antigonum, diane, if you use this method, you can just water same frequency as other plants in the garden. Easy ;-)

    Wendy, wow I am amazed! I hope it will bloom this year.

    Prospero, a plant detective? ha ha... that's a cool occupation.

    Bernie, thanks for the hint on the plant name.

    James, Candy, will take note of your advice. Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it :-D

    p3chandan, native to Madagascar.




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