How to Grow and Care For Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana is one of the most popular varieties of Kalanchoe grown in home gardens, both indoors and outdoors. In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss takes you through everything you need to know about growing Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana, including its maintenance and care requirements.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana


Blossfeldiana goes by a few different names. You may have heard this pretty plant referred to as Christmas Kalanchoe for its winter blooming time. Other common names for the plant are Widow’s Thrill, and Florist Kalanchoe. The latter is called such because blossfeldiana is one of the most prolific bloomers in the Kalanchoe genus, so it is a favorite among florists.

Most species of Kalanchoe bloom at some point during the year, as long as they are given the right light and temperature conditions. These attractive and interesting flowering succulents are native mainly to the Island of Madagascar. The blossfeldiana species is named for German botanist and hybridizer Robert Blossfeld. Blossfeld introduced blossfeldiana to the horticultural world in 1932.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is most widely known and beloved for its plentiful, colorful blooms and ease of care. This wonderful succulent requires little else of its owner aside from occasional water and a sunny window. Its blooming habit has long made it a popular holiday gift, and it brings loads of colorful cheer in the colder winter months. Who doesn’t love a winter bloomer?

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Overview

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Overview
Plant Type Succulent
Season Winter and Spring
Pests Scale, Mealybugs, Spider Mites
Family Crassulaceae
Exposure Bright Indirect Light
Diseases Fungal Rot, Sun Scald, Powdery Mildew
Genus Kalanchoe
Plant Spacing 6”-12”
Maintenance Low
Planting Depth Surface Level
Soil Type Well Draining, Sandy
Soil pH 6.0 to 6.5
Height 12”-18” tall
Plant with Succulents
Hardiness Zone 10-12 (Houseplants elsewhere)
Watering Needs Low
Attracts Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, birds
Native Area Madagascar


Close-up of flowering Kalanchoe plants in a greenhouse. Plants have large, oval, fleshy, dark green leaves with scalloped edges, and large inflorescences of small single and double flowers in bright pink, bright red and white.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is an evergreen, blooming succulent with colorful flowers.

K. blossfeldiana is one of about 250 species of plants in the genus Kalanchoe. It is a flowering succulent that is most well-known for its long-lasting colorful blooms.

While some Kalanchoe are monocarpic, which means that the plant dies after it blooms, blossfeldiana is not part of this group, and the same plant can live for many years and continue to bloom every year.

Kalanchoes are evergreen, retaining their plump, fleshy leaves year-round. They are technically considered tropical plants but are commonly cultivated as a houseplant outside of tropical climate zones.

Leaf Formation

Top view, close-up of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana in a flower pot. The plant has beautiful, oval, bright green leaves with scalloped edges.
Blossfeldiana has bright green, fleshy leaves that are oval in shape with slightly scalloped edges.

Blossfeldiana’s leaves are bright green and slightly fleshy, although not as thick as some species. They are ovate in shape and have nicely scalloped edges that lend a delicate air to an otherwise sturdy little plant.

There are solid and variegated varieties of blossfeldiana. Nearly all types of Kalanchoe have leaves that blush a red color when given a lot of direct sunlight. If given too much light, however, they can become faded and sunburned.


Close-up of blooming flowers of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana against a blurred leafy background. The flowers are small, double, rose-shaped, bright pink, with slightly pointed petals. A lot of light green buds with a pinkish tint collected in umbrella-shaped inflorescences.
Blossfeldiana cultivars have three forms of petals: single, double, and rose-shaped.

Flowers are what Blossfeldiana is best known for. Sometime between late inter and late spring, these plants sprout clusters of tiny, colorful blooms atop their glossy green leaves.

If the plant is happy, it will produce an inflorescence at the top of each stem, covering the top of the plant with these cheery little blossoms.

There are three different petal formations among blossfeldiana cultivars, single petal, double petal, and rose form. Single-petal blooms have a starlike appearance, with four rounded to pointed petals.

Double petal form blooms have an additional set of 4 or more inner petals. Rose-form flowers are many-petaled and have the appearance of a fully opened rose in bloom.


There are three methods of propagation. While it is possible to grow them from seeds, this is typically not the easiest or most reliable method unless you want to grow a large number of plants at the same time.

From Cuttings

Close-up of a female hand holding a Kalanchoe stem cutting in a plastic white cup filled with soil, on a white background. There is also a large brown earthenware pot with a Kalanchoe mother plant on the table. The plant has a long stem, from which grow oval, bright green leaves with scalloped edges.
One of the best and easiest ways to propagate Kalanchoe is from stem cuttings.

Propagating from stem cuttings is simple and effective and is generally considered the best way to propagate these plants. The process of propagating from cuttings is also commonly called division, as it involves dividing a small portion of the parent plant and using it to grow another identical plant.

The process of division requires the cutting of a leaf or leaves from the parent plant. Using a clean, sharp blade is the most important factor in this process, as it will result in a cut that heals quickly and is more resistant to disease.

Cutting the stem at a diagonal will create the largest surface area from which the roots will grow. The cuttings should be left exposed to light and air until the cut is dry.

It is not necessary to use a rooting hormone, as Kalanchoe leaves will root on their own, although it might speed along the process. However, it will also slow the plant’s ability to adapt to new surroundings and rely upon its own ability to form roots.

Once dry, place cuttings stem side down in small pots filled with damp cactus planting mix. Kalanchoe-friendly soil drains well but will need some moisture to get established.

Try to avoid letting the soil dry out until the cuttings have formed secure roots. Place your cuttings in a space with bright, indirect light. Roots should begin to form within 2-3 weeks.

From Offsets

Close-up of several Kalanchoe plants propagated from offsets, on a wooden background. The mother plant is in a white flower pot, and the transplanted offsets are in tall plastic cups, with soil mixture, for their further transplanting. The plant has beautiful, fleshy, bright green oval-shaped leaves with serrated edges. The leaves are covered with water drops. A tiny yellow flower forms on one of the sprouts.
Blossfeldiana produces offsets with which the plant can be propagated.

Some species of Kalanchoe form tiny plantlets along the margin of their leaves. Blossfeldiana does not, but it does produce plentiful offsets, which can be moved into their own pots and will quickly develop into mature plants.

Kalanchoe plants can be rather invasive, so if you plant them in the same container as other succulents, be sure to keep up with removing those offsets, or they will overcrowd the other plants.

While you can only propagate from offsets as often as the plant produces them, it’s safe to say that this is an effective way to propagate Kalanchoes, as they produce them quite regularly.

From Seeds

Top view, close-up of germinated sprouts of Kalanchoe from seeds in three large round white flower pots, on a light windowsill. The sprouts are small, have 2 pairs of oval, dark green leaves, slightly succulent, with scalloped edges.
Propagation by seed is the slowest method, as you will need to wait until the seeds can be harvested and then germinate them in the right conditions.

Kalanchoe can be propagated from seeds, and if you’re looking to grow a bumper crop, this is the way to go. However, it is the slowest method, so it’s not used as often as the others. This method requires that you wait until after the plant flowers to harvest seeds or purchase them elsewhere.

When growing from seed, Kalanchoes should be started in the summer so they have adequate heat and light to germinate. They need about 14 hours of sunlight to get a good start. The following items are needed to carry out this process: Seeds, Plastic Ziplock bags, small pots, and potting soil.

The first step is to place the seeds in a Ziplock and let them sit in the sun for a day. Then prepare your pots by filling them with a moist potting mix. Standard potting mix mixed with sand or perlite, or cactus mix will work best. Place the seeds on top of the potting mix.

They do not need to be covered. Then cover the entire pot with a Ziplock bag to retain the moisture. You only need to add water if the soil dries out. Place the pots in bright, indirect sunlight, and in a few weeks, you will have tiny plantlets.

How to Grow

Blossfeldiana is a low-maintenance succulent that can survive a variety of conditions, but there are a few elements that will ensure the best performance of your plant. Here are some basics that will keep your blossfeldiana looking and blooming at its peak.

Planting Depth and Potting Needs

Close-up of Flaming Katy flowering plants in beige flower pots, in a greenhouse. The plant has large, oval, bright green, fleshy leaves with slightly scalloped edges. The edges of the leaves have a slight pinkish tint. In small clusters, in the form of umbrellas, bright pink, double, small flowers rise above the leaves.
Kalanchoe prefers well-drained soil with particles such as perlite or sand and a flowerpot with drainage holes.

The depth at which a Kalanchoe is planted is less important than the container and potting soil. A Kalanchoe seedling needs only to be placed atop moist soil, and it will grow roots and be quite happy.

A mature Kalanchoe should be placed in a pot that is as deep and slightly wider than its root system. The same applies to Kalanchoe planted in the ground.

Kalanchoes are succulents, so they don’t tolerate wet roots. The best potting situation for these plants is using a potting mix with some coarse particles, such as perlite or sand, to allow for water to flow through more freely. You don’t want an especially dense potting mix that holds a lot of water.

When selecting a pot for your blossfeldiana, keep drainage in mind. A pot with little or no drainage will hold water in the bottom, even if the potting mix allows it to flow through.

This will keep the roots wet and lead to root rot. The best type of container for a Kalanchoe is one with plenty of drainage holes.


Close-up of three flowering potted Kalanchoes, indoors, on a windowsill illuminated by sunlight. The plant blooms bright yellow, orange-red and bright pink flowers. The flowers are small, double, collected in umbrella-shaped inflorescences.
Kalanchoe thrives well in bright, indirect sunlight.

Most Kalanchoe have an attractive habit of blushing when they get more than enough sun. While this is not all bad, too much direct sunlight will begin to bleach the foliage and cause the plant to dehydrate quickly. The best type of light for a Kalanchoe is bright but indirect light for at least 6-8 hours during the day.

Plants with variegated leaves like a bit more sun than those without, but in general, Kalanchoes, while tolerant of some direct sunlight, will thrive in light that is somewhat filtered.

If you want to experiment with altering the color of your plant’s leaves, do so slowly, as exposing it to full sun for long periods can be overly stressful to these plants.


Close-up of blooming Kalanchoe flowers covered with water drops. The flowers are small, double, have soft pink and hot pink petals, with slightly pointed tips, arranged in several layers. Some green round buds have not yet bloomed.
If you are growing Kalanchoe indoors, then it should be watered once every 2-3 weeks.

Kalanchoes are native to Madagascar, and they are accustomed to living in hot, dry conditions. While these are important factors, the container and location will play a role in how much and how often it needs to be watered.

For an indoor Kalanchoe potted in well-draining soil, watering once every two to three weeks during the growing season and every three weeks in the cooler months should suffice. After the flowers fall, the plant goes into its dormant period and grows less. This time of slow growth means that the plant will absorb less water.

Because water evaporates faster outside, you will need to water more often during hotter months if you keep these plants outside in the summer. Every 5-7 days is a good rule of thumb, although in very hot, dry weather, every 3-4 days will not likely do any damage.

I have a large blossfeldiana that lives most of the year outdoors here in zone 8. I water it every three days in the summer. It is a hanging plant, and the pot has lots of drainage. All these things factor into watering frequency.

Climate and Temperature

Close-up of pink Kalanchoe blossfeldiana blooming in a large beautiful clay pot, in the sun. A small cluster of small, double, bright pink flowers, with slightly pointed petals. The leaves are bright green, juicy, oval, with serrated edges.
Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana is fairly hardy in zones 10-12 outdoors but not below 40 degrees.

Blossfeldiana is hardy outdoors in zones 10-12. My personal experience is that they can tolerate temperatures into the mid 40’s without suffering any damage.

Once it drops into the lower 40’s, the leaves begin to weaken and droop. I have left Kalanchoes outdoors in freezing weather, and they die off completely but come back the following spring by way of offsets.

The optimal temperature for blossfeldiana to produce flowers is 45° at night and 60° during the day. Because of their winter blooming habit, they need a period of time where they have 12-14 hours of darkness and cooler temperatures in order to set buds.

Kalanchoes are not fans of high humidity. They can tolerate moderate humidity, but prolonged periods of high humidity will lead to a higher risk of rot.

Ideally, they should live outdoors in the summer, in a spot that gets lots of filtered light. Then in the late fall, or whenever the temperatures drop into the 40s, they should be brought indoors. Just remember that they need those 12-14 hours of darkness if you want to see flowers.


Close-up of a female hand with a spray gun spraying a young Kalanchoe plant in a white flower pot, against a blurred background of potted plants on a windowsill. The Kalanchoe plant has small, oval, fleshy, dark green leaves with slightly scalloped edges.
Fertilize Kalanchoe should be during the growing season with a balanced universal fertilizer.

Kalanchoes are very good at utilizing the nutrients in their soil. As a result, they need very little in the way of fertilizing. In fact, if you don’t fertilize at all, Kalanchoes will likely be just fine.

If you choose to fertilize, a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer diluted to ½ strength should do the trick. Kalanchoe should only be fertilized during the growing season and no more than 2-3 times per year.

Pruning and Maintenance

Close-up of a gardener's hands in blue gloves cutting a Kalanchoe plant with blue pruners. The plant has large, oval, succulent leaves, with scalloped edges, and stems from faded flowers.
Withered flowers and damaged leaves of Kalanchoe are recommended to be pruned.

Blossfeldiana does not need regular pruning, although deadheading spent blooms will encourage more and larger clusters of flowers.

They truly need very little in the way of maintenance outside of occasional watering. Fertilizing is an option, and repotting is only necessary if you wish for the plant to spread by leaving offsets intact.

Deadheading can be performed by simply pinching off the dead flowers. If you prefer to cut them off, use a pair of clean shears and snip them off just below the base.

The same goes for any dead or ailing leaves. Pinch or trim them off when you see them to help the plant direct energy and nutrients toward newer growth.

The exception to this is that over time, Kalanchoes tend to become leggy and can look a bit scraggly. This is exacerbated by low light conditions. Kalanchoes will grow toward the nearest light source.

If your blossfeldiana is looking leggy, and you’d like to thicken it up, trim the main stem just above the larger leaves and place it in a spot with lots of light. New growth will appear where the old was removed, and the additional light will make for a bushier appearance.


Bengal cat near potted plant Kalanchoe Blossfeld also known as Flaming Katie, indoors. The plant has long stems with clusters of small red flowers, and oval, green with a reddish tint, succulent leaves, with scalloped edges. The cat has a striped color: orange-brown coat with black stripes.
The Kalanchoe plant is toxic to both humans and animals.

All species of Kalanchoe are toxic to humans and animals. This has mainly been an issue in their native habitat during times of drought when food is scarce for grazing animals. Nonetheless, they should be kept out of reach of animals that have a tendency to nibble on houseplants.

There are a number of different varieties that you can choose from, depending on what your goals are. They are typically distinguished by their difference in bloom color as each of them has similar nutrient and environmental needs.

‘Calandiva Red’

Close-up of a flowering plant Kalanchoe blossfeldiana 'Calandiva Red' against a blurred leafy background. The plant has small, double, bright red-pink flowers, with pointed petals arranged in several layers. The flowers are collected in small umbrella-shaped inflorescences.
Kalanchoe ‘Calandiva Red’ has double pink-red flowers resembling tiny roses.
botanical-name botanical name Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Calandiva Red’
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright Indirect Light
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-12

Calandiva cultivars are a beautiful group of blossfeldiana with fully double to rose-form blooms. This plant has deep green, scalloped leaves, which beautifully frame clusters of lipstick red flowers that bear a striking resemblance to tiny garden roses. The deep green leaves stick around all year, making this a pretty plant at all times.

‘Queen Lindsay’

Close-up of a flowering plant Kalanchoe blossfeldiana 'Queen Lindsay' in front of a white background. Large clusters of tiny, double, bright, sunny yellow flowers with slightly pointed petals.
‘Queen Lindsay’ blooms with bright yellow double flowers against dark green foliage with scalloped edges.
botanical-name botanical name Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Queen Lindsay’
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright Indirect Light
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-12

This is another variety with fully double-petaled blooms. Lindsay’s flowers are brilliant, sunshine yellow and come from pretty, yellow-green buds.

Her foliage is deep green and glossy, creating a gorgeous contrast with the brightly hued blooms. ‘Queen Lindsay’ likes lots of sunlight.

‘Pink Queen’

Close-up of a flowering plant Kalanchoe blossfeldiana 'Pink Queen' against a stone wall. The plant has large, dark green, oval, fleshy leaves with serrated edges, and clusters of small, round, green buds and some full-blown pink, double flowers.
Kalanchoe ‘Pink Queen’ produces delightful fuchsia double flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Pink Queen’
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright Indirect Light
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-12

‘Pink Queen’ has a similar appearance to ‘Calandiva Red,’ except that the flowers lean more toward a bubblegum, fuchsia color. This Queen is no diva. She likes lots of bright light and will perform well, producing tons of flowers in late winter.

‘Queen Jodie’

Close-up of a flowering plant Kalanchoe blossfeldiana 'Queen Jodie' against a blurred white background. Clusters consist of small, bright pink and soft pink flowers, with double petals, with slightly pointed tips. Tiny bright yellow stamens are in the center of the flowers.
‘Queen Jodie’ has bright pink, double flowers with yellow stamens in the center.
botanical-name botanical name Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Queen Jodie’
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright Indirect Light
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-12

This variety has bright pink, double-petaled blooms with a spark of yellow stamens in the center and a white eye. Her foliage is bright green.

Jodie has a fun, tropical vibe and can tolerate several hours of full sun. These flowers look just like pink roses as they begin to bloom.

‘Flaming Katy’

Close-up of a flowering plant Kalanchoe blossfeldiana 'Flaming Katy'. The plant bears profusely flowering clusters of tiny, bright red, solitary, 4-petaled flowers. The leaves are oval, juicy, pale green in color with a purple tint on the underside.
‘Flaming Katy’ produces beautiful clusters of tiny, red, single flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Flaming Katy’
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright Indirect Light
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-12

As the only single-petal form flowers on the list, ‘Flaming Katy’ has big shoes to fill, and she does it stunningly. This variety has clusters of red flowers, each bearing four nicely shaped petals that end in a slight point.

Katy is very floriferous. Its inflorescences are large and plentiful, and it can bloom even in medium-light conditions.

Pests and Diseases

Kalanchoes are not especially susceptible to pests and diseases, but they are not impervious. There are a few issues to keep an eye out for, as early treatment is the most effective.

Most pests and diseases are brought in on other plants. Good plant hygiene, such as inspecting new plants and using clean tools, are the best prevention.


Close-up of scales on a bright green leaf. Scales are small, round-shaped insects with brown, waxy shells.
The scales feed on the sap of the tender new growth of the plant.

Scales are tiny insects that feed on the sap of plants. They focus on tender new growth where it is easy to use their mouths to pierce the soft flesh of the plant. These bugs spread easily, but they can be eradicated pretty quickly as well.

If you notice struggling leaves, give it a look underneath. Scales are small and yellow or brown and often found in clusters. Insecticidal oils, like neem oil, can be used to suffocate these little beasts. They will need to be treated more than once to fully exterminate all generations, so be patient and vigilant.


Close-up of a cotton swab dipped in alcohol removing mealybugs on a green succulent leaf. Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects covered with a white, waxy coating.
You can get rid of the mealybug with a jet of water or a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

Mealybugs are small, pale pink to white insects that have a fuzzy appearance. They like humid, warm climates and feed on the sweet sap of plants. They adore succulents because of the abundance of sap stored in their leaves.

Not only can they cause the leaves and flowers of your blossfeldiana to curl and wither, but they also leave behind a sticky mess. Mealy bugs leave a trail of excrement called honeydew wherever they go. This can cause a moldy mess on your plant’s leaves.

Mealybugs are difficult to get rid of because their juveniles are very small and good at hiding. A minor infestation can simply be washed off with a stream of water.

An advanced infestation may require treatment with horticultural oils. A cotton swab soaked in alcohol can also be an effective way to wipe the bugs off of leaves but can be damaging to the plant if done too much or too often.


Close-up of the stem of a Kalanchoe plant infested with aphids. Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects with oval, green bodies. The plant has wilted, dry, drooping flowers.
Aphids are common pests that damage plants, leaving behind sticky honeydew.

Garden aphids are enemy number one. They can spread quickly, damaging surrounding lants, and they leave behind the same sticky honeydew that causes mold to grow. Aphids should be treated with insecticides, and plants should be isolated until no sign of infestation remains.

Fungal Rot

Close-up of a fungal rot-affected Kalanchoe plant, in a flower pot, on a table. The plant has large, oval, rotten, dry leaves covered with brown-black moldy spots. The plant has clusters of pink flowers, also infected with fungal rot.
Fungal rot can occur due to excessive watering or high humidity.

There are a number of different types of fungal rot that can affect a kalanchoe. The most common are root, leaf and crown rot. All of these are caused by overwatering or too much humidity. Keeping your kalanchoe in a drier spot and not overwatering will go a long way in avoiding these issues.

If you find yourself with a case of fungal rot, the best course of action is repotting with fresh potting soil and trimming away any foliage that has been affected. As always, make sure to use clean tools to do this cutting, and clean them between cuts to avoid spreading the disease.


Close-up of Kalanchoe leaves with sun damaged leaves. The leaves are bright green, oval, juicy, with scalloped edges.
If your plant is exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, it may get sunburned.

Sunscald is exactly what it sounds like. If you recall, kalanchoes blush in direct sunlight. This effect is pretty and desirable for some gardeners, but too much sun will burn your kalanchoe’s leaves and lead to rot.

Sunscald in itself is not terribly dangerous, but the aftereffects can be. This can leave your plant’s leaves soft and vulnerable to fungal infection. Any leaves that are affected should be removed, and the placement of the plant in terms of light should be considered going forward.

Powdery Mildew

Close-up of leaves of a kalanchoe plant infected with powdery mildew outdoors. The plant has large, oval, succulent leaves, dark green in color, with scalloped edges covered with a white powdery coating.
Powdery mildew spreads in damp conditions and due to sticky excrement left by aphids.

This fungal disease is the aftereffect of honeydew, that sticky, nasty excrement left behind by sap-sucking insects. Powdery mildew will inhibit your plant’s ability to utilize sunlight and cause a decline in the health of the plant over time.

Part of dealing with an insect infestation is to deal with this powdery mildew. It will need to be wiped from the leaves by hand. Be gentle, as vulnerable plants don’t love to be handled.

Final Thoughts

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a wonderful, low-maintenance plant with high rewards in the flower department. These sweet succulents are attractive year-round with their evergreen foliage, and their winter-blooming flowers are difficult to beat.

This popular succulent is a wonderful houseplant and does well both indoors and out. Just make sure to provide plenty of shelter from freezing temperatures. They are versatile and easy to care for and make a great addition to any houseplant collection.

kalanchoe varieties

Cacti & Succulents

41 Different Types of Kalanchoe Varieties You’ll Love

Thinking of adding some Kalanchoe to your indoor or outoor garden, but aren't sure where to start? There are many different varieties to choose form, depending on your goals. In this articcle, gardening expert Melissa Strauss looks at the many different types of Kalanchoe, with names and pictures of each!

Lavender Scallops succulent growing in garden with green petals that have a red fringe

Cacti & Succulents

How to Grow and Care For Lavender Scallops

Need help determining the best way to care for your Kalanchoe Fedtschenkoi? This popular succulent is low-maintenance and makes an excellent plant for beginners. In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strass walks you through the maintenance and care of Lavender Scallops!