Evergreen succulent was first described by Kamel at the beginning of the last century. The name of the culture was taken from Chinese. Another name for the culture, Christmas Kalanchoe, is associated with the color of buds that open in the winter before Christmas. The plant is common as a home flower in many countries.
Kalanchoe Blossfeld comes from the family Crassulaceae. The name culture got from breeder Robert Blossfeld. The plant was first introduced in 1932.
Appearance: erect shrub, on average, the height of the flower is 30 cm with an abundance of short branched shoots. The leaf plates are large, green, smooth, the edges are curved, on some varieties there is a red border. The color of the buds of wild culture is bright red.
Kalanchoe flowers are small, collected in inflorescences, from 30 to 60 buds. With the help of selection, varieties with various colors of flowers of any saturation were derived: white, orange, pink, yellow, peach, light green, two-tone, variegated combinations.
In vivo, culture is common in Madagascar, home plants are grown due to decorative qualities. Individuals obtained by breeders have large foliage, the number of petals varies from four to tens. New groups of Kalanchoe became known as Kalandiva. This variety, unlike Blossfeld, blooms for two and a half months.
Kalanchoe is used as a medicinal plant in folk medicine, its juice is used as a healing agent for burns, various injuries of the outer layers of the skin. In modern medicine, this type of culture is practically not used and is not officially recognized as a therapeutic agent.
At home, the culture is subject to slow development. To form a compact plant, obtain abundant flowering and preserve the decorativeness of a flower, Kalanchoe should be properly looked after. The main points of care are observing the number of hours of daylight and adjusting the watering of the plant.
For the cultivation of Kalanchoe Blossveld, windows on the south side are suitable. When placed on the west, east, and north sides, the culture will need an additional light source. In dry, hot times, the plant needs ventilation and temporary shading from scorching rays.
Changing the length of daylight affects the process of laying flower buds. Kalanchoe belongs to the culture of a short day, so for the formation of the kidneys the plant needs a series of long and short days throughout the year. Some varieties need a short period and vice versa. On average, 10 hours of light per day is enough for a flower lasting 6 weeks, at the end of the inflorescence period they will become visible. An increase in the length of the day leads to a compact formation of a bush, abundant flowering.
In the summer, the flower needs 14 hours of light for 6 weeks. However, increased temperature can have a negative effect on the plant, including the laying of flower buds.
Suitable for the growth and development of culture, the air temperature fluctuates around 18-24 degrees. The plant at low temperatures enters a dormant period, ceasing to form buds. When staying for a long time in a room where the air is warmed up to +10 degrees, the flower is prone to the occurrence of diseases and may even die.
The culture is adapted to dry air, but for prophylactic purposes it is recommended to wet the leaves and stems of the flower 1-2 times a week.
Kalanchoe Blossfeld calmly tolerates a dry substrate, like all succulents. Excessive moisture in the soil leads to the development of the fungus, rotting of the roots, stems and neck of the plant. Watering is recommended to be done as the soil dries up at least half or a quarter, in the winter months when the culture is cold, watering the plant is rarely done, only after the earth coma has completely dried.
During the flowering period (from winter to summer), Kalanchoe must be fertilized. Flower feeding is carried out in small doses once a week, special soluble preparations are used for Kalanchoe or succulents. At the time of bud formation, nitrogen-containing fertilizers are not used; flowers require potassium and phosphorus.
After the end of the flowering period, it is required to remove all wilted and dry peduncles. The slice is made at the level of the first or second pair of large leaves. Further growth of the shoot ends with the formation of a peduncle; lateral shoots growing from the leaf axils form new apical peduncles.
Older plants require formative nipping. The tops are plucked mainly to stimulate the peduncles of peduncles, active branching.
Modern varieties of Kalanchoe enter the market already formed and do not need such manipulation.
The loss of compactness of the bush, decorativeness and lengthening of shoots with a drooping effect leads to the lack of sufficient light. In this case, a cardinal crop is cut, leaves are removed, the shoots are cut to half length or more. After the procedure, the plant is placed in a bright place, the cut material goes to root.
On an industrial scale, the cultivation of Kalanchoe to preserve the marketable appearance of the plant uses inhibitor drugs that inhibit the growth of the flower, so that the culture turns out to be compact and plentifully flowering. Under normal conditions, the plant becomes tall, the gaps between the leaves increase.
Plant transplantation is carried out after complete braiding by the roots of the soil mixture, as well as in cases of culture gulf or old sparse soil. In the first embodiment, Kalanchoe is transplanted by transshipment, that is, without removing soil. In a new pot, a few centimeters wider than the old, a nutrient mixture is poured, a landing pit is formed in the center in which the plant is placed.
In other embodiments, it is also not recommended to wash the substrate and roots during a transplant, unless the plant has been infected with fungus and other diseases. The frequency of transplantation depends on the age of the Kalanchoe and its condition, on average, the process of changing the pot occurs every 2-3 years.
Kalanchoe can be propagated in two ways: seeds and cuttings taken from the leaf or stem of the plant. The second method is faster.
Apical cuttings are placed in the shade for 24 hours before planting. After this, the fragment is immersed in a loose substrate composed of a mixture of peat and sand. Proportions 1: 1. The cuttings and topsoil should be sprinkled with warm water. The finished material is placed in a warm place with a constant temperature of +20 degrees. Perhaps a deviation of several degrees, the main thing is that there are no sharp jumps in temperature. Roots appear after 2-3 weeks.
Leaf stalk. The leaf is harvested from an adult plant, a large, juicy fragment without defects is selected. The workpiece is placed downward in a moist substrate in greenhouse conditions. The emergence of roots occurs in a few weeks.
Seed propagation is used in creating new varieties and updating old ones. Kalanchoe seeds are small, sown on the prepared earthen mixture in rows without sprinkling on top. After sowing, the container with the material is covered with a film or any transparent object to create a greenhouse effect and is placed in a lit place, without contact with direct sunlight. The emergence of sprouts occurs on day 10, after which the greenhouse is removed.
Important: if propagation by seeds is carried out in winter or autumn time, the future culture is placed under phyto-lamps. Seeds should be lit 12 hours a day.
Pests and diseases
The causes of diseases in most cases are associated with improper care of the crop. The content of the flower in short daylight conditions or with constant shadow placement leads to the defeat of powdery mildew, which manifests itself in the form of a white coating, similar to grains of flour. Powdery mildew is a fungus, to combat which the culture is treated with liquid-soluble preparations - fungicides and sent to the flower for quarantine.
Staying Kalanchoe in cool conditions in a damp room or with flooded soil leads to the appearance of mold, late blight, and decay of the root system. As in the case of powdery mildew, the culture should be treated with a substance containing fungicide, a complete replacement of the substrate with a new one followed by treatment of the affected roots with coal or healing drugs.
Common pests of Kalanchoe:
- scale shield;
Scale is a small brown insect that feeds on the sap of the plant. In the process of its vital activity, the surfaces of the flower are covered with a sticky transparent coating, and the leaves and shoots are dotted with tiny bugs.
Aphid affects the plant in the warm summer period, when the culture is placed near an open window or on the balcony. Insects are attracted to nutrient ground. Signs of aphids:
- the inside of the leaf is covered with small white flying “butterflies”;
- “wet” spots — traces of aphid feeding — form on leaf blades and shoots.
Mealybug - an insect that looks like a scale insect, but with a dusty white back. It affects all the terrestrial parts of the plant, leaving behind sugary secretions, on which the soot fungus develops.
Prevention and treatment of flower from pests consists in a systematic inspection of the culture for the presence of strange spots, sticky areas, moving insects. When a malady is detected, Kalanchoe is treated with insecticidal preparations in several stages, the earth mixture is replaced.
For all therapeutic procedures, it is recommended to use water-soluble drugs because of the xylene content of the insecticides, which can adversely affect Kalanchoe.
Noncommunicable diseases that affect the culture include dropsy. It occurs due to the content of the flower in cool conditions with simultaneous waterlogging of the soil. Leaf plates are covered with convex brown spots, similar to warts. Dropsy should be treated by replacing the soil and placing the culture in a warm, bright place. Watering must be adjusted.
Alkalization of the soil leads to deformation of young leaves, their poor growth and development, loss of color. The ground should be shed with soft water with the addition of acidic substances, for example, a few drops of lemon juice per liter of liquid.
Look for tips on caring for Kalanchoe Blossfeld in the video below.