When I saw a bright yellow kalenchoe plant at one of the local dollar-stores I could not resist buying it. Yes, it was small but it is such an easy to grow plant with such vivid colors I could not resist. Even when the flowers fade after many weeks of bloom the rich green succulent leaves are attractive. Kalenchoes are tender perennials and so will bloom every year if you take care of them. They are also easy to propagate so you can produce new plants to give to or exchange with friends. If you live in a warm frost-free area you can plant kalenchoe in your garden for year round interest. In colder areas you can use them in your garden as annuals or bedding plants, an inexpensive option if you propagate your own. Unfortunately, kalenchoe don’t like wet soil, and can develop leaf problems in humid or heavy rainfall areas, but they tolerate heat, drought, and salt spray.

Type: Tender perennial.

Bloom: Small flowers in vivid colors are produced in terminal clusters in summer and fall.

Foliage: Thick, succulent, coarse, dark green leaves.

Size: 12” H x 12” W.

Light: Prefer full sun but tolerate part shade if grown outdoors; need some direct sun has houseplants.

Soil: Light, quick draining; tolerates alkaline soil.

Fertilizer: Use a light application of a general purpose fertilizer once a year on outdoor plants; once a month on houseplants. Too much fertilizer will result in vegetative growth at the expense of flowers.

Hardiness: Zones 9-10.

Care: In humid or wet areas space plants to promote good air circulation.

Pests and Diseases: Leaf spot in humid wet conditions.

Propagation: Stem cuttings (allow to dry for 24 hours before placing in rooting medium); division of offsets produced at base of mother plant.

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By Karen