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House plants certainly have a way of upgrading any home’s decor. They add warmth to houses while also providing positive energy and, more importantly, oxygen.
Since plastic plants always fall short when compared to real ones. Many people prefer filling their homes with various real plants.
However, plant care can be a pain sometimes unless you’re a botanist. That’s why many people search for all the easy-to-grow plants to decorate their homes with.
If you’re searching for such a leafy friend, you’ll find the kalanchoe at the top of the list. However, despite their free and easy nature, kalanchoes can pose quite a challenge to maintain during the colder winter months.
Well, don’t worry! Throughout our article, we’ll give you all the kalanchoe winter care tips and tricks you’ll need to protect your favorite plant during winter.
What Are Kalanchoes?
Kalanchoes have one of the most commonly stumbled upon plant names. You can pronounce it as Cal-an-KHO-ee, or you could just use any of its other easily pronounced names, like Flaming Katy, Panda Plant, and Widow’s Thrill.
Kalanchoes are natives of tropical and subtropical countries like Madagascar. However, they’ve become quite popular in American homes as house plants.
The kalanchoe has earned its place as a favorite indoor plant with its easy cultivating conditions and bright blooms. These plants require watering only twice a month because they’re succulents, which means they have fleshy leaves that can hold water.
You’d also need to add some good quality fertilizer monthly. That’s all they’ll ask for.
Because Kalanchoes are perennials, they’ll amaze you with their colorful flowers seasonally. However, if cared for properly, you can enjoy their year-long green leaves.
You may also be able to persuade them to bloom more frequently if you follow the advice we’ll give you later.
Can Kalanchoe Survive Winter?
Kalanchoe blooms in sunny atmospheres with temperatures between 50℉ and 70℉. During colder temperatures and darker days, the plant hibernates.
If cared for properly, Kalanchoes survive the winter and are ready to bloom again by late winter to late spring.
Kalanchoe Winter Care
First off, if you live in a place that’s prone to freezing temperatures, think hardiness zones 11 and below, you should consider relocating your kalanchoe indoors. Freezing temperatures can kill the roots and prevent them from ever blooming again.
As for your indoor kalanchoe, you should artificially force the plant into hibernation.
To do that, you’ll have to carefully produce mild winter conditions indoors.
Step One: Limit Sunlight Exposure
You’ll have to limit the plant’s sunlight exposure to a maximum of ten hours a day.
This would require a schedule, with ten hours in the sun and fourteen hours in the dark.
You can do this by moving the plant from a sunlit room to a darker one. You can also put the plant in a closet for the hours when it’s supposed to be in the dark. The easiest way is to prepare an appropriately sized box that you can put on the plant to cover it.
If you don’t get enough sunlight where you live, consider buying a growth light for your plant.
Step Two: Cut the Water and Fertilizer Supply Down
During the hibernation period, you should water and fertilize your kalanchoe less. This means you’ll water the plant once a month and fertilize it every other month.
During winter, the plant’s water needs are less, and the evaporation rate is even lower.
You should carefully check that the top two inches of soil are completely dry before watering your kalanchoe. Otherwise, you’ll be overwatering it, which risks rot reaching and killing the plant’s roots.
Step Three: Maintain Ideal Temperatures
Kalanchoes don’t do well in extremely cold temperatures, even when they’re not in bloom.
Make sure your plant’s temperature doesn’t fall below 50℉. Lower temperatures can endanger the plant’s roots.
To maintain the plant’s temperature, you should pay special attention to your home’s temperature.
Don’t keep your plant near any windows that can expose your plant to cold temperatures. Keep your plant away from any source of cold air that might get into your house.
Can Kalanchoe Survive Frost?
Since kalanchoes are tropical plants, they’re ill-equipped to deal with freezing temperatures.
When faced with sub-zero temperatures, the fluid inside a kalanchoe’s leaves can freeze, forming ice crystals. This makes the plant brittle and liable to breakage.
To prevent this, you must first move your kalanchoe indoors. However, if your indoor temperature is too low for your plant, you should consider covering your plant with a frost cloth or a cloche.
You can bring back a frost-bitten kalanchoe to bloom, but that depends on the amount of time it has been frozen. It’s also uncertain that it’ll rebloom.
This is why, when caring for a kalanchoe in freezing temperatures, preventing frostbite is always better.
We’ve previously mentioned that kalanchoes are seasonal bloomers. However, there’s a sneaky way that you can trick your plant into blooming more frequently so that you can enjoy more of its lively colors.
Simply reset its seasonal timer.
You can do that by mimicking winter conditions as we’ve told you how. Lower its temperature slightly, decrease its sunlight exposure, and lower its water as well as fertilizer supply. This would trick your plant into hibernation.
What comes after winter hibernation? You’ve got it right. Spring blooms.
Just keep in mind to maintain these conditions for four to six weeks. This allows your plant some time to rest before it’s ready to dazzle you with its flowers again.
We fall in love with our kalanchoe plants for all the obvious reasons. Their beautiful colors and easy-going nature make kalanchoes a delight to have around. It’s no surprise we’d want to keep them longer.
All they ask for this winter is to keep them adequately watered—just not so much that their roots rot—and contentedly warm.
After you’ve been through our article, you know all the kalanchoe winter care tips you need. Now you can keep your favorite plant healthy during the colder months of the year, and enjoy the colorful blooms come spring.