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What Is Eating My Kalanchoe? (5 Common Pests)

What Is Eating My Kalanchoe? (5 Common Pests)

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Checking up on your kalanchoes to find them eaten is pretty annoying. After you put so much hope into growing these pretty plants, the last thing you expect is to find them bitten into.

However, while they are low-maintenance plants, they are prone to several problems that can deprive them of their beautiful and healthy looks, causing the leaves to be eaten, yellowed, or blackened.

So, what is eating your kalanchoe? Here, we’ll talk about the pests that might be eating your kalanchoe, the kind of diseases that attack them, and ways to protect them.

What Can Be Eating Your Kalanchoe?

Dark spots and mildew are among the issues that face these plants, causing them to be yellow or blacken.

The plants can also be eaten by some pests. Aphids, brown scales, and mealybugs are the most common pests to eat and damage kalanchoe leaves.

To decide which disease is eating or affecting your kalanchoe and destroying it, you have to know the type of damage done to the leaves.

1 – Dark Spots

Dark spots are a kind of fungal condition that can cause leaves to fall and damage their beautiful looks. It results in the appearance of black spots on the leaves.

Fungal diseases grow in moist, overwatering conditions or because of not enough sunlight.

Remove the affected leaves and expose your kalanchoe to more sunshine to get rid of this problem.

2 – Mildew

Powdery mildew causes a slight white webbing on the leaves, which might be accompanied by yellowing or spots. It’s also a fungal condition, but it requires a different way to treat it.

To get rid of mildew, clean your leaves by scrubbing them and spraying them with a potassium bicarbonate solution.

3 – Aphids

Aphids are green pests that crawl on your kalanchoe to penetrate them through their stylets. They feed on the juice of your kalanchoe, resulting in their yellowing and damage.

You can recognize them because they stick to the leaves and are visible. They don’t pose much of a threat in small numbers, but infestations can cause much damage.

Use a water hose to spray aphids off or treat your leaves with neem oil or soap.

4 – Mealybugs

Mealybugs are white cottony pests. They use their stylets to penetrate the plant and feed on its juice.

They are hard to spot because they hide behind leaves. To get rid of these pests, use alcohol to clean your leaves and wipe them off, or spray your leaves with pesticides.

5 – Scales

Brown scales are insects that look like brown lumps. They usually move around at first, but the older ones stick to the leaves permanently.

They also feed on the sap of your kalanchoe, causing the leaves to be yellow and deteriorate. Wipe these scales off to get rid of them.

Are Kalanchoes Toxic To Animals?

Kalanchoe’s characteristics vary because it comes in 125 kinds. However, it’s known to be harmful and toxic to dogs, cats, birds, cattle, sheep, and other pets.

It results in flu-like symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. Despite its danger to pets, it’s not harmful to humans.

Do Deer Eat Kalanchoe?

While deer are known to eat mindlessly when they are hungry, they avoid venomous, toxic plants, powerfully scented plants, and prickly ones.

So, deer aren’t into succulents and wouldn’t be interested in them, which means your kalanchoes are safe.

How To Protect Your Kalanchoe?

If you want to keep your kalanchoes intact, you’ll need to take care of a couple of things. Here are tips to protect your plant:

  • Make sure to expose them to lots of indirect bright sunlight.
  • Grow them in medium to warm temperatures because they would get ruined in cold temperatures.
  • Avoid overwatering your kalanchoes because these plants are succulents that store the water in their leaves. Overwatering them can damage the plant’s roots.
  • Water it if the soil is dry and in need of water until the moisture is visible on the leaves’ surface. Try not to water the leaves to avoid fungal diseases.
  • Apply fertilizer to it monthly.
  • Protect your kalanchoe from being exposed to the rain.
  • Check it for foliage or rotten blooms after blooming and cut them if you find any.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lifespan of a kalanchoe?

A kalanchoe will live until you stop providing it with the required sources to keep it alive. Many kalanchoes have made it to ten years. However, they can become leggy with age.

Are kalanchoes toxic to humans?

Although they tend to be toxic and harmful to pets such as cats and dogs, kalanchoes aren’t toxic to humans.

Is it better to keep your kalanchoe indoors or outdoors?

A kalanchoe is an indoor plant, but it can be put outdoor if the temperature is over 40°F. It needs to be indoor in case of frost.

Is it better to remove dead kalanchoe leaves?

It’s best to get rid of your damaged kalanchoe leaves to help the plant focus more on the growth of the healthy ones and stimulate blooming.

Can kalanchoes be planted with other plants?

Yes, kalanchoes can be planted in pots with other plants. They are best planted with succulents like aloe and jade.

What happens to dogs if they eat kalanchoe leaves?

The toxicity of a kalanchoe is a serious matter when it comes to dogs. If a dog eats any portion of a kalanchoe, it will result in abnormalities in the nervous, cardiac, and digestive systems and may even lead to death.

In which case, your dog must be taken to a veterinarian and immediately treated.

Why is my kalanchoe growing aerial roots?

If your kalanchoe is growing aerial roots, it means it needs more care. To determine where the care is needed, you must inspect the kind of these aerial roots.

Aerial roots might be the result of your kalanchoe preparing for growth, in which case it needs more soil to grow.

Your kalanchoe might also be producing aerial roots to soak up more moisture because it’s drying out.

Final Thoughts

Kalanchoes are attractive plants that add a pop of color to your life while only needing little water and lots of bright indirect sunshine.

Take great care of your kalanchoe to avoid it getting infected with diseases that damage it.

We hope we helped you learn what is eating your kalanchoe, how to get rid of it, and how to protect your kalanchoe!

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Thursday 14th of September 2023

I have 2 types of Kalanchoe and there are tiny dark colored bugs on the under sides of the leaves. I have been spraying them with soapy water and rising them off for about a month and the bugs keep coming back. What should I do? Do the bugs get into the soil?

Lisa Bridenstine

Sunday 24th of September 2023

Oh no, infestations are such a pain. It can take time, but it sounds like you've already put in a good amount. You may want to try another method, like using neem oil, or adding some diatomaceous earth to the soil. Here is an explanation of how to use these different methods:

Best of luck! Lisa