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Passing through the windows of a flower shop, it is difficult to resist the temptation when behind the glass is softly blooming. From under the caps of amazing inflorescences of various tones and shades, the compact bush itself is practically invisible. Only a rosette of brilliant leaves of a beautiful dark green color becomes the border of a volumetric bouquet. It is not surprising that such indoor plants are loved by room flower growers, reassured by sellers that they do not need special care for Kalanchoe Blossfeld at home, only reinforce this interest.
It’s hard to imagine that even forty years ago there wasn’t such a rush around this native of Madagascar, as there wasn’t even a variety of shapes and colors of the plant. In nature, the Kalanchoe of this species forms a shrub of rarely branching shoots from 30 to 50 cm in length. And the inflorescences that appear on the tops of the stems, combine flowers with small simple flowers of red coloration.
This is how the plant was discovered by its discoverer R. Blossfeld, in 1932, he brought a sample of Kalanchoe to Europe.
The history of the discovery and breeding of Kalanchoe Blossfeld
The spread of Kalanchoe Blossfeld served as a serious breeding work aimed not only at obtaining new shades, but also creating more unpretentious, home-grown varieties.
At the end of the last century, Dutch and Danish gardeners obtained plants that were more compact and strong than wild plants. The leaves have become larger and brighter, and much has changed in terms of the quality of flowering. Since 1980, Kalanchoe plants with spectacular inflorescences of orange, white, pink, yellow and red tones have appeared at the disposal of amateur flower growers.
And already at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, in Sweden, an interesting mutation was discovered, thanks to which today, in windows, besides the usual Kalanchoe Blossfeld, plants appeared not with four, but with three dozen petals. After a long work, the resulting group of varieties was named Kalanchoe Kalandiva and became a real sensation among gardeners.
The color of Kalanchoe flowers of this type is very diverse and includes not only the colors already mentioned, but also soft green, orange, as well as two-color and variegated combinations. If the usual Kalanchoe Blossfelda blooms up to 6 weeks, then Kalandiva pleases with bright inflorescences up to 2.5 months. At the same time, all cultivated varieties of this interesting plant are unpretentious, and reproduction of Kalanchoe Blossfeld and care for it, with a certain approach and knowledge, is not difficult.
How to make Blossfeld's kalanchoe bloom?
Most often, a flowering plant with a small rosette of leaves, a luxuriant mass of flowers and a small supply of nutrients in the transporting pot comes into the house. While Kalanchoe blooms, do not replant it or feed it. It is much more correct to choose suitable pots for a bush, which can reduce excessive evaporation of moisture and make plant acclimatization faster.
When the Kalanchoe of Blossfeld begins to fade, the faded flower stalks are removed, which redirects the bush's strength to the remaining buds. Mindful of the unpretentiousness of the plant and the uselessness of special care for Kalanchoe Blossfeld at home, many novice gardeners, after the last flowers wilt, transplant the bush into a permanent pot and set it on the window sill, waiting for early flowering. And here they are often disappointed.
In order to see the bright buds again, it is important to know and take into account the peculiarities of the life of the culture, as well as skillfully make Kalanchoe Blossfeld bloom.
This culture has both pronounced periods of growth and rest seasons. This is the time that comes after the withering of all colors. The plant must recuperate, give a green growth and lay new flower buds.
In nature, Kalanchoe bloom in autumn, when daylight hours in the middle zone naturally subside.
To plant future buds, the plant needs to be in the light no more than 10 hours a day, if the lighting is longer, then the plant perceives it as a signal for growth, starting to give new shoots and foliage, “forgetting” about flowering. Therefore, after the withering of the inflorescences, the Kalanchoe Blossfeld is transplanted, fed and necessarily cut to cause the emergence of new lateral shoots.
And then the plant is transferred to the short day mode, exposing the pot to the window in the morning, and after 10 hours removing it in a dark place or covering it with an opaque cap. In this case, in the middle of autumn or in winter the plant will bloom. What are the requirements of Kalanchoe Blossfeld for care, transplantation and reproduction?
Features of the conditions for Kalanchoe Blossfeld at home and its care
Kalanchoe, like other indoor plants, succulents are extremely sensitive to light. Even with a short day routine, the plant needs bright, but not direct sunlight.
- If the bush is under the scorching rays, its color fades, the leaves quickly wilt, dried spots of burns appear on them.
- When there is a lack of light, the leaves become shallow, the stems become weaker, lengthen and lean. And the inflorescences on such Kalanchoe are less dense, and there are fewer buds in them.
Ensuring that the lighting conditions of Kalanchoe Blossfeld are comfortable, you can take care of the additional artificial lighting that is required in cloudy weather, and in winter days, and when plants are located on the northern windows.
Not less than lighting, the importance for Kalanchoe is the organization of watering sufficient to support the growth and development of the plant.
Kalanchoe Blossfeld, especially during flowering and summer days, requires a lot of moisture. But here it is important not to overdo it, because stagnation of water in the ground often leads to the development of rot on the roots and stem, which leads to damage or destruction of the bush.
If the soil for the length of the phalanx of the finger is dry:
- Kalanchoe should be watered with settled water at room temperature;
- be sure to remove excess water from the pan;
- dry wipe the bottom of the pot.
A sign of moisture deficiency in Kalanchoe Blossfeld is considered to be lethargy of leaf blades, yellowing of the lower leaves and drooping of the buds.
When watering, it is monitored to ensure that moisture does not remain on the green parts of the plant, which can cause the development of fungal infections and mold.
For succulents, dry air in the room is not a critical factor. Therefore, at home, care for Kalanchoe Blossfeld does not include spraying."Water treatments" are required only to clean the leaves from dust.
Feeding Kalanchoe is carried out in several stages after flowering. For fertilizer take ready-made mixture for succulents, which is used every two weeks until the end of summer. When the plant picks up the buds, it is better to limit the amount of nitrogen it receives so as not to cause lush foliage growth at the expense of flowering. Sometimes this is enough to make the Kalanchoe Blossfeld bloom.
But with a lack of nutrients, one cannot avoid not only the abandonment of budding, but also yellowing and falling foliage. Kalanchoe also has certain requirements for the temperature in which the plant would be comfortable:
- It is possible to prolong flowering and provide the bush with the most sparing atmosphere by providing about 18–25 ° C during the day and 15–17 ° C at night.
- During the growth period of Kalanchoe, Blossfeld perfectly tolerates temperatures from 15 to 30 ° C, which makes it possible to carry out a pot culture to the garden or to the lighted veranda.
The plant should not be allowed to sit near heating devices or in a stream of cold air. For this species the temperature below +4 ° C is detrimental.
But even with air cooling below 12 ° C or increasing the temperature above 30 ° C, there is no slowdown in development. At low temperatures, the plant goes into hibernation, it does not form buds, reduces moisture consumption, so in this case, irrigation reduces or stops altogether. In the second year of life, the Kalanchoe Blossfeld bushes grow significantly and require pruning in order to maintain a compact neat shape of the plant and get the largest number of inflorescences.
The cuttings from the tops of the shoots obtained when pruning can be used to breed Kalanchoe Blossfeld. This is the easiest way to get new, luxuriantly flowering plants on the windowsill.
Reproduction, transplantation and care of Kalanchoe Blossfeld
The cuttings of Kalanchoe in the warm season rooted for three weeks, and in winter the plant will need a maximum of 4-6 weeks.
In order to develop a full-fledged plant from the top of a young shoot, a 6–8 cm piece of stem with two pairs of leaves is sufficient.
Leave only the upper leaves, the lower leaves are removed, and the cutting is left in the air for 12 hours to dry. Root Kalanchoe Blossfelda can be immersed cutting 3 cm:
- in water with the addition of root;
- mixture of humus, peat and perlite;
- wet clean sand.
In all cases, with diffused light, roots form quickly, and soon a young plant can be planted in a ceramic pot, to a permanent place. Leaves, on the edge of which, when they hit the wet soil, daughter rosettes are formed, can also be used for breeding Kalanchoe Blossfeld:
- Healthy leaves, like cuttings, are dried, then spread on a wet substrate or sand.
- Capacity covered with glass or film and germinated in the light, maintaining the level of moisture in the soil.
- The resulting tiny plants should give rise to roots. Then they are separated from the leaf plate and planted in the ground.
When breeding varietal Kalanchoe Blossfeld, it is important to note that hybrids do not inherit the qualities of the previous generation. Therefore, the bushes grown in this way sometimes bloom and look different.
For planting young plants and transplanting flowered bushes, soil is used for flowering houseplants or a mixture of equal amounts of coarse sand, turfy ground, rotted humus, and non-acidic purified peat.
It is important that the soil is loose and well watered. At the bottom of the pot, it is better than ceramic, make drainage of expanded clay chips. The Kalanchoe Blossfeld transplantation is required when the roots are completely covered with soil and they already lack nutrition. You should not take too wide bulk capacity for planting, because the plant will grow to the detriment of flowering.