Does Kalanchoe Fear Cold? How to Overwinter It & Ensure New Blooms?
Kalanchoe are fleshy-leaved perennial herbaceous plants of African and Asian origin whose beautiful flowers offer a wide range of attractive colors. In Europe, they are grown primarily as easy-going houseplants that adapt to a variety of conditions. But does the Kalanchoe fear the cold? Can it survive the winter? How to make it flower again the following year?
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Does Kalanchoe Fear Cold: How to Care for It in Winter?
As the cold part of the year approaches, wondering if your Kalanchoe feels the low temperatures is only logical. Ultimately, we would like to help this plant overcome the challenges of winter dormancy and enjoy its beauty year after year, right?
Does Kalanchoe Fear Cold?
Being succulent plants of tropical origin, Kalanchoes are not entirely hardy species. In fact, they feel most comfortable between 17 and 22°C/62 and 71°F. And while most varieties can tolerate temperatures as low as 4°C/39°F without suffering significant permanent damage, it’s best to bring them indoors when temperatures start to drop below 10°C/50°F. There are, however, Kalanchoe cultivars with some degree of cold tolerance that can withstand lower temperatures and even light frosts, even if only for a short period of time.
Can This Succulent Survive the Winter?
Yes, in general, Kalanchoes are resilient and can survive winter with proper care. Many varieties are quite hardy, and brief temperature drops to -1°C/30°F will not permanently damage them. Good examples of this genus are: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana (sometimes sensitive), Kalanchoe daigremontiana (more resilient), Kalanchoe tomentosa, Kalanchoe luciae, Kalanchoe thyrsiflora and Kalanchoe pumila (least chilly).
Obviously, this does not mean that you can plant Kalanchoes in the ground, because prolonged periods of temperatures below 4-5°C/39-41°F will undoubtedly cause their foliage, stems and roots to suffer. Additionally, there are other factors that come into play in winter such as humidity, air circulation and light. Either way, if you notice discoloration or wilting of the leaves and stems, it is very likely that your Kalanchoe has been exposed to more cold than it could handle.
How to Overwinter Kalanchoes?
What about caring for Kalanchoe in cool weather? As winter approaches, focus on gradual acclimatization. In other words, you must give your Kalanchoe the necessary time to adapt to cooler temperatures. Start by gradually exposing it to slightly lower temperatures over the course of several weeks, and you will reduce the risk of thermal shock.
Another good idea is to prune your Kalanchoe before winter arrives. Remove any dead or diseased plant parts to prevent the spread of pathogens during the dormant period and promote healthy growth afterward.
Make sure the drainage holes in your Kalanchoe’s pot are not blocked, which could cause root rot. Once winter arrives, keep your Kalanchoe in a room where the temperature is between 12 and 18°C/58 and 64°F. Avoid areas prone to drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations to avoid stressing the plant unnecessarily.
Since the Kalanchoe likes bright light, place it near a south or west facing window to maximize sun exposure.
Space out watering considerably in winter, but be careful not to let the soil dry out completely. Use room temperature water.
How to Make Kalanchoe Flower Again?
In order to stimulate bud formation, this succulent needs short days with a maximum of 8 to 9 hours of light. In order to make the Kalanchoe bloom again in spring, water more frequently at the end of winter, adding liquid fertilizer to the water.