From ancient times it is known that Kalanchoe can be useful in the treatment of many ailments. For example, it will help with ear infections, various skin diseases and a runny nose. However, Kalanchoe is not only a medicinal plant, but also a beautiful lush flower, which, with proper care and timely pruning, will decorate and complement your interior.
What is it for?
Indoor Kalanchoe has about two hundred different species, one of which you will definitely like. Thick glossy leaves of this succulent have a fleshy structure, and at the top of the formed bush there are many lush inflorescences. Interestingly, the flowers can have a different shape depending on the type, for example, a straw or a bell. At the same time, Kalanchoe is quite unpretentious, and will be able to delight you with beautiful inflorescences throughout the year.
It must be borne in mind that in especially sunny places, Kalanchoe quickly grows and stretches, losing a beautifully formed rounded shape . The upper new shoots begin to actively break out of the "common system", and the old ones over time drop the foliage and appear high above the crown. To restore a neat appearance to the plant, pruning will help. In addition, it contributes to the rejuvenation and distribution of the juice accumulated in the overgrown stem into the remaining processes, that is, it makes the bush more juicy. Also, the procedure will allow the root system of the flower to develop harmoniously. By removing extra shoots and shoots, you will help the plant grow a beautiful, uniform crown, give it a well-groomed appearance, and also contribute to lush flowering.
Pruning Kalanchoe consists in removing excessively overgrown shoots, wilted buds and leaves, blocking the full nutrition and healthy development of the plant.
It should be noted that there are several types of pruning:
- the first;
- subsequent secondary (preventive);
- after flowering.
In the article, we will separately dwell on the nuances of each type of trimming, but for a start we will consider the general component.
For high-quality trimming, you need a well-ground kitchen or special garden knife, but a new clerical blade is also suitable. Disinfect the instrument with alcohol in advance. Just in case, you can grab wood ash or crushed activated carbon, which can be used to treat wounds that appear on the stem. Tip: in no case do not pick leaves by hand, as this will lead to damage to the stem and further wilting of the flower.
When it is not necessary to carry out the procedure:
- in the first days after purchase or in a new place, as the plant needs to get used to the new environment and the changing growth conditions;
- during flowering;
- in the acute period of the disease (dead buds and leaves should be removed 2 weeks after the succulent is completely cured);
- 2-3 weeks after transplantation;
- in direct sunlight (after the procedure, it is also recommended to protect the bush from direct ultraviolet radiation);
- in the winter.
Features of pruning depend on the variety of Kalanchoe. In room conditions, only a small part of the many known varieties can grow. It is very important to carry out the procedure in accordance with the characteristics of a particular variety in order to avoid negative consequences.
You are lucky if the Kalanchoe has bright red inflorescences, since such a plant quickly regenerates. This means that the leaves can be cut often and in large numbers, easily forming the necessary crown. Blossfeld cultivar has similar lush flowers, which, according to experienced florists, is distinguished by its vitality. The Kalandiva variety, artificially bred from Blossfeld's Madagascar Kalanchoe, tolerates pruning very well. It is easy to recognize - the flowers of such a plant will be terry.
If the flowers of your Kalanchoe are yellow or white, there is a hybrid in front of you, and cutting it will be more difficult. You can not cut a large number of leaves from a fancy plant, as it can quickly wither. Be careful, try not to touch the stem and neighboring leaves. In case of a sloppy or excess cut, immediately sprinkle the damaged area with wood ash. Due to the complex content and moodiness, light hybrid varieties are bred less often at room conditions.
First and subsequent trimming
The best time for the first pruning is spring. This procedure is the easiest and involves only removing the top two leaves from each of the shoots with a sharp knife. After the procedure, new processes will hatch in the vacant places, and leaves on them.
Now you just have to monitor the condition of the plant and timely make secondary preventive circumcisions, until the succulent crown takes the desired lush and round shape. In the future, you will need to maintain a neat appearance of the flower, preventing it from growing excessively. Remember that the preventive procedure can be carried out exclusively from March to November.
Tip: do not wait until the young leaves grow up. If necessary, trim them immediately after forming.
Another name for pruning after flowering is cleansing. With it, you can remove wilted leaves, buds and remaining peduncles. The principle of the procedure remains the same: remove two unnecessary extreme shoots on the stem. Cut down every flower stalk at the very base, so as not to start the process of decay of the entire bush. So you create the ground for a new flowering and prevent infection of the succulent. Remember: do not start the procedure until you are sure that the plant has completely blossomed.
Thanks to a similar cleaning of the flower, new stems will begin to grow more actively. It remains to give the plant peace, reduce watering and protect it from direct ultraviolet radiation for a month.
Shoots of decorative Kalanchoe can grow up to 50 centimeters in height, however, the appearance of such a high succulent will be depressing. In addition to a sloppy appearance, the minus of the “overgrowth bush” is that he will not be able to give flowers and will quickly fade.
You can not start forming without preparation, as you risk damaging the flower. Do not strive to immediately cut off all the leaves and form a perfect roundness, give the plant time. Although the Blossfeld cultivar can withstand a “hemp” state, such a clipped flower will look worse than an “overgrown”.
If you missed a moment, and the shoots were overgrown and bare the base, the best solution would be to root them separately. Kalanchoe shoots take root well. Tip: Root ten-centimeter cuttings in a circle around the edges of the pot. This will lay the foundation for their proper growth and will allow you to grow a beautiful lush bush. And the main rule of forming a beautiful bush after pruning: say no to bright direct light. Otherwise, your plant will instantly outgrow, stretch and lose its desired shape.
The nuances of pinching
If you carefully monitor the flower and prevent too much growth, serious pruning is not needed. As soon as ugly processes begin to appear over the crown of the bush, they need to be pinched off, that is, a pair of upper leaves should be removed. Try to carefully monitor the shoots and prevent their excessive growth, so further sections will go less painfully for the flower, however, the need for a complete procedure will not completely disappear.
In addition, timely pinching will make the adult bush more dense, branched and rounded, and the rooted cuttings will help to bloom. To do this, occasionally pinch the emerging shoots of a young plant over the fourth leaf.
Tip: the first pinching should be done as soon as the succulent has arrived at your home. This will set the right direction of flower growth and lay the foundation of a lush crown. The method of first pinching is simple: it is enough to remove two or three upper leaves from each branch to ensure the growth of young shoots. Florists are not recommended pinching the plant during the flowering period.
The conditions for keeping the flower at rest, lasting about a month, include:
- limited watering up to once every three weeks;
- being in a dark place without sunlight;
- temperature maintenance up to + 16 ° C.
For indoor shrubs, diffused light is best suited, so you need to remove it from the sunny windowsill. On particularly hot days, additional humidification can be connected by spraying with warm water. In the summer, it is recommended to give additional dressings once a week (a special fertilizer for succulents and cacti, sold in flower shops). For the bush, lower watering is preferred, which sharply decreases in the winter.
Thus, Kalanchoe must be looked after, but such care should not cause difficulties. With a little effort and patience, you can grow a beautiful magnificent plant, famous for its healing properties. And thanks to the large number of shoots that regularly ripen on the main bush, you can please your friends and relatives with a new indoor plant.