Kalanchoes are gorgeous succulent plants that have become extremely popular among plant lovers. These plants are easy to care for and require low levels of care and minimal pruning. However, you should know how to prune your Kalanchoe correctly to keep it healthy and thriving.
To prune your Kalanchoe plant, you will need a pair of gloves and sharp gardening shears. You should prune your plant during and immediately after its blooming season. You will need to prune its blooms, stems, and leaves. If you repot your plant, you can prune its roots as well.
Our guide on how to prune your Kalanchoe plant gives you everything you need to know, from the tools you’ll need, when you should prune your plant, and how to prune each part of your plant correctly.
What You Need to Prune Your Kalanchoe
Before you can prune your Kalanchoe plant, you’ll need to ensure that you have the proper tools. You will need a pair of clean gardening gloves and a sharp pair of scissors or gardening shears.
You should use a clean pair of gloves to avoid contaminating your plant and protect your hands. Similarly, the scissors or shears should be sharp to avoid damaging your plant when pruning it.
In addition to having clean gloves and sharp shears or scissors, you should also have a cleaning solution to disinfect your tools between pruning.
Disinfecting your tools can help to prevent disease transmission and cause illness and harm to your plant. You can disinfect your tools with 70% isopropyl alcohol or a diluted bleach solution.
The bleach solution can be made at home by mixing 2 cups of water with a tablespoon of bleach. You can use this solution to dip or wipe your tools off. Once your tools have been disinfected, you can dry them off or leave them to dry before use.
When to Prune Your Kalanchoe Plant
Kalanchoe plants that are kept indoors usually begin to bloom toward the end of the winter months and stop blooming at the end of spring. Unlike other houseplants, Kalanchoes usually bloom during times when the days are shorter.
Before your Kalanchoe blooms, it should be kept in darkness for the duration of the winter months. Once your Kalanchoe begins to bloom, you can start pruning your plant. You should also prune your plant once the blooming season ends.
How to Prune Your Kalanchoe Plant
Your Kalanchoe plant will need to be pruned differently at different times. Therefore, you will need to know how to prune your plant both before and after the blooming period.
Pruning Your Kalanchoe During the Blooming Period
At the end of winter, you should be able to start pruning your Kalanchoe plant. This should be done until the end of the blooming season, which is at the end of spring. Pruning at this stage is primarily done to encourage new growth in your plant by removing older blooms.
Dead or dying blooms can stop your plant from growing. So, by grooming your plant, you can help to encourage new growth. You will need to remove withered flowers by cutting them away with your shears or pulling them off with your fingers.
Once all of the dead, damaged, or wilting blooms have been removed, you can begin pruning the flower stalks. Ideally, you should cut the stalks just above where the second leaf is growing. You will need to cut back the flower stalks using your shears.
Removing damaged or discolored stalks will also help to encourage plant growth during the blooming period and will also aid branching.
After the stalks have been removed, you can examine your Kalanchoe plant and look for damaged leaves. Yellow, brown, or dead leaves should be removed immediately. You should also prune any leaves that are damaged or dry.
To remove the leaves, you will need to cut the base of the shoots, just above where the stem meets the plant’s branches.
Pruning Your Kalanchoe After the Blooming Season
Once your Kalanchoe reaches the end of its yearly blooming season, pruning your plant is just as important as maintaining it during its growth period. Toward the end of its season, the blooms should begin falling off on their own. Once they start falling, you should start to change your pruning patterns.
A healthy Kalanchoe plant should bloom for many years, but you can keep your plant in peak health after its blooming season by pruning it properly.
Pruning your Kalanchoe during this time will help your plan reserve its energy during dormancy. This accumulated energy can then be used to encourage new growth when the next blooming season begins.
To prune your Kalanchoe during this time, you should trim each of the plant’s stems down to roughly a third of its size. By cutting the branches down, your plant will be able to grow much more quickly and easily during its next growth period.
You should also prune any dying, withered, or damaged leaves, stems, shoots, and blooms at this point to ensure that your plant remains healthy during its dormancy period.
After the pruning is complete, you should ideally move your plant into a sunny spot with plenty of direct sunlight. You can also repot your Kalanchoe plant toward the end of its blooming period to encourage growth during the following season.
It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t repot your plant during its dormancy period, as this can hinder the success of the repotting. Instead, you should try to repot your plant around a month before its blooming season comes to an end.
How to Repot Your Kalanchoe Plant
In addition to pruning, repotting your Kalanchoe plant can help to encourage your plant’s growth. We’ve put together a simple guide on how to repot your plant successfully to ensure that your Kalanchoe flourishes and remains happy and healthy.
Repotting your Kalanchoe plant:
- Using a planter pot at least one size bigger than the current pot, add a thin layer of stones or gravel at the bottom of the pot. This will help to create better drainage for your plant.
- Add potting soil to the new container. Fill the container halfway with the soil.
- Remove your Kalanchoe from its current planter pot. To do this, turn your plant on its side and gently tug at the base of the plant. Remember to do this gently and carefully so that you don’t damage the plant’s stems or leaves.
- Once the Kalanchoe has been removed, brush away any excess earth that is clinging to the plant’s roots. If the soil is wet or stuck, you can run the roots under fresh water to get rid of any excess debris.
- You can prune any dead or dying roots when the roots are fully exposed. Healthy roots should be whiter in color and firm or plump. If the roots are soft or mushy, you should remove them. (Tip: dip your shears or scissors into the disinfectant solution when snipping dead or diseased roots. You should dip them between every snip.)
- After the roots have been pruned, you can place your plant into the middle of the new container. Try to ensure that the plant is centered and isn’t leaning.
- Fill the new container to the top with fresh potting soil. Pack the potting soil lightly around the base of the plant. Be careful not to pack the new potting soil too tightly, as this can lead to soil compaction.
- Water the soil thoroughly until the water begins to run out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the new pot.
Tips tor Pruning Your Kalanchoe Plant
You should only prune your Kalanchoe when it is necessary and during the blooming period. If you prune your plant too much, your plant may become sick. Over pruning may cause damage to your plant.
You should also only prune your Kalanchoe in order to remove dead, discolored, or diseased parts of the plant. Pruning your Kalanchoe for aesthetic purposes may lead to over-pruning.
When cutting your Kalanchoe, you should remember to take your time. Correctly cutting the plant reduces the risk of injury and allows it to recover quickly without too much stress. Improper cutting can cause severe damage to your Kalanchoe.
Heavy pruning during the growing season should be avoided since removing too many leaves raises the risk of starving your plant of nutrients. There will also be less surface area from the leaves for your plant to soak in sunlight.
Remember to use sharp tools so that you don’t cause harm to your plant. Blunt shears or scissors can cause irreversible damage to your plant. You also need to disinfect your tools before and after pruning to prevent cross-contamination or the spreading of disease.
Kalanchoe Plant Care Requirements
Once your Kalanchoe has had its roots pruned and has been repotted, you will need to adhere to the primary care requirements for your plant. By heeding these care requirements, your plant should be able to flourish in your home for years.
Kalanchoe Water Requirements
Kalanchoe plants are considered part of the succulent family, which means that they can go for long periods without water. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay close attention to your plant’s watering needs.
These low-maintenance plants don’t need a lot of water to survive. However, they should be watered when their soil is dry.
You can check the soil’s moisture level by using your finger and pushing it into the ground. If the soil is dry, then it should be safe for you to water your plant. However, if the plant’s soil is still damp, you should avoid watering your Kalanchoe.
If you give your Kalanchoe too much water, it can suffer from overwatering problems like root rot.
Kalanchoe Soil Requirements
A big part of caring for your Kalanchoe plant is ensuring that you are using the correct soil type. This can impact your plant’s overall health and prevent your plant from suffering from fungal and pest infestations, as well as other diseases.
The soil should have good drainage and shouldn’t retain too much moisture. You can use a succulent potting soil mix to pot your plant. Alternatively, you can create your own using peat moss and perlite. If your plant is still retaining too much moisture, you can repot your plant using a clay or terracotta planter. These materials will naturally draw moisture away from the soil.
Kalanchoe Light Requirements
A Kalanchoe plant’s blooming period is characterized by a six-week window. The plant should receive around 14 hours of dim light or darkness in a 24-hour period during these six weeks. The plant will begin to blossom between three and four months after this interval.
Indoor Kalanchoe plants need a good amount of light during their blooming phase. They should be placed in a well-lit room with plenty of natural sunlight during this time. However, you should be careful not to put them in direct sunlight, as the harsh rays can burn your plant’s leaves.
Kalanchoe Temperature and Moisture Requirements
Kalanchoes are easy to care for and can survive and flourish in temperatures of between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures drop below 55 degrees, your plant may struggle to grow and can begin to wither. Similarly, if your plant is kept in excessive heat, it may start to wither and die.
Unlike other houseplants, your Kalanchoe doesn’t require a specific humidity level to thrive. You can keep your plant almost anywhere in your house, and they should be able to grow correctly if the rest of their needs are taken care of!
Kalanchoes are easy plants to care for and will mainly need to be pruned during their blooming phase. This phase begins at the end of winter, and your plant’s growth will start to slow or stop toward the end of spring.
You may need to prune your plant after the growing season to prepare it for the next bloom cycle.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.