University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #FPS-309

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Kalanchoe1

Edward F. Gilman2


Kalanchoe is a dark green, succulent perennial with scallop-edged leaves and large umbels of flower clusters held above the foliage (Fig. 1). The upright, many-branched growth habit and tolerance of low moisture conditions makes it ideal for groundcover use, rock gardens, raised planters, or containers.

Figure 1. 


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

General Information

Scientific name: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
Pronunciation: kal-lan-KOE-ee bloss-fel-dee-AY-nuh
Common name(s): kalanchoe
Family: Crassulaceae
Plant type: perennial; herbaceous
USDA hardiness zones: 10 through 11 (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 7: Jun; Jul
Planting month for zone 8: Jun; Jul
Planting month for zone 9: Jun; Jul; Aug; Sep
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: Feb; Mar; Apr; Sep; Oct; Nov; Dec
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: container or above-ground planter; edging; attracts hummingbirds
Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Figure 2. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Height: .5 to 1 feet
Spread: .5 to 1 feet
Plant habit: round
Plant density: moderate
Growth rate: slow
Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: crenate
Leaf shape: oblong
Leaf venation: none, or difficult to see
Leaf type and persistence: not applicable
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: not applicable
Fall characteristic: not applicable


Flower color: pink; red; yellow; salmon
Flower characteristic: winter flowering; spring flowering


Fruit shape: unknown
Fruit length: unknown
Fruit cover: dry or hard
Fruit color: unknown
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable
Current year stem/twig color: green
Current year stem/twig thickness: thick


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: slightly alkaline; sand; acidic; loam
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerances: unknown
Plant spacing: 6 to 12 inches


Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: plant has winter interest due to unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowers
Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Growing in full sun to moderate shade, kalanchoe prefers light, sandy, open, well-drained soils and is moderately salt tolerant. Kalanchoe needs very little water and only one light application of fertilizer each year. Plants should be protected from frost. Plant on 8- to 12-inch centers for the best effect.

Flower colors are available in red, yellow, orange, and salmon. The cultivars 'Pumila' and 'Tetra Vulcan' are dwarf selections.

Kalanchoe is easily propagated by seed or leaf, stem, or tip cuttings. New plantlets will occasionally appear at leaf margins and may be removed and potted up individually.

Problems include caterpillars and mealy bugs.

Pests and Diseases

Leaf spotting diseases can be a problem under humid conditions.



This document is FPS-309, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.