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A Kalanchoe beauty

April 13, 2018
By H.I. JEAN SHIELDS - Garden Club of Cape Coral ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Kalanchoe is a vibrant, long lasting tropical houseplant of many colors. The most popular pronunciation of its name is "Kal-un-KOH-ee."

The popular plant is a genus of about 125 species of tropical succulent flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae. It is mostly native to tropical Africa.

Each stem is a vibrant green with a top mound of colorful tiny flower heads. The firm scalloped leaves are a deeper green and closely surround the entire pot.

The colors will be all one shade: white, pinks, orange or mixed.

I received one as a gift at Easter, Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana. Each floral stem holds at least 12 of the tiny, violet-like or maybe even rose-like blossoms.

The plants come in a large size and smaller petite size. They are a tropical plant and do not like temperatures less than 45 degrees. They can be planted in soil, in tropical areas but mostly they are enjoyed as a houseplant.

These plants like bright, indirect sun and never real close to a hot window. This plant is a succulent and you know that it will not need a lot of water. The leaves and stems hold plenty of water and if you leave the plant in its colorful foil, you must remove it to water and let it drain, maybe every two weeks.

The flowers will last for two months or longer. You can trim away a few leaves and trim off leggy looking stem bouquets. It is technically a perennial but can be thrown away after flowers fade.

Yes, you can propagate the leaves, and even in the fall, trim the plant and place it in a dark closet every single night for 2 months for new growth. Check your computer for exact detailed routines.

Plants do not need fertilizing while flowering. No pests usually in the house, outside the usual little pests, which will be erased by a little application of Neem.

Tulips and daffodils are fading fast, I see society garlic, tall and stately still growing in median of Santa Barbara Boulevard.

The Cape Coral Parkway median has looked very colorful this spring, in spite of the heavy traffic and auto fumes.

Water problems, as usual this time of year, are getting to be a problem. June is 7 weeks away and we need to be watchful of garden and lawn watering, like now.

Mother Nature has been showing her worst side lately with fires, and temperatures dipping down. She just might stay in a bad mood in the coming weeks and delay the normal rainfall we need.

Be ready.

Happy gardening till we meet again.

H.I. Jean Shields is Past President of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.



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