Kalanchoe Brasiliensis – An Easy Guide on Care and Benefits
Kalanchoe brasiliensis blooms are just what you need to brighten up a gloomy winter day. They have enormous, heavy, dark green leaves, making them beautiful plants, even without any flowers.
These plants belong to the Crassulaceae (or Kalanchoe) family, which boasts over 145 plant species. And out of these, three Kalanchoe varieties are renowned for their medicinal properties: the Brazilian Kalanchoe brasiliensis, the Kalanchoe Adans, and the Malagasy Kalanchoe pinnata (or k. pinnata).
But they aren’t plant-and-forget-about wonders. So, if you want your kalanchoe to bloom, you must take proper care of it. That means giving it at least four hours of direct sunlight during the day to encourage bud development and potting it in aerated soil so it doesn’t rot.
In this article, we will look at the growing and upkeep of kalanchoe, as well as the health advantages of the plant.
How to Grow Kalanchoe From Cuttings
Here’s how you can grow kalanchoe from cuttings:
- Take three-inch cuttings from the tips of branching kalanchoe varieties.
2. Remove any flowers before rooting the cuttings in potting mix, which should be wet and placed in a clay pot or a tray. You can also make your own mix by using peat and vermiculite in equal parts.
3. Plant the cutting an inch underground, severed end down.
4. Keep the soil slightly damp but not soaked until roots grow, then place the tray or pot in a space with plenty of indirect, bright light. It’ll take a few weeks to grow.
How to Grow Kalanchoe From Plantlets
Plants that reproduce easily are viviparous, developing tiny plantlets with roots along the leaf edges. When the plantlets are mature enough to thrive on their own, they will detach from the parent plant and root in the soil below.
If you want to grow kalanchoe from plantlets, let the rooted plantlets fall to the ground independently before carefully removing them. Then, in a pot or on garden soil, place them on top of a cactus potting mix that has been lightly watered, and follow their growth.
How to Grow Kalanchoe From Seed
You can plant kalanchoe seeds if you can find them. But to do it properly, you’ll need a plant that’s a couple of years old, has flowered, and has been pollinated. Here’s what to do:
1. Take the seeds out of the packet. They’ll be very small, around the size of dust or pollen. You can plant them in your home at any time or wait until the nighttime temperatures routinely approach 60 degrees.
2. Fill a shallow tray with drainage holes with a seed-starting mix or succulent soil.
3. Spray the medium with water.
4. Spread the seeds on the soil and gently press down to cover them.
5. Cover the tray using a dome or clear plastic. It will maintain normal humidity levels.
6. Place the sealed tray in a warm, sunny location for at least four hours daily (inside or out). If the soil dries up after being covered with a plastic bag or a dome, spray it with water before returning the cover.
Even though germination rates are frequently low, kalanchoe seeds should sprout within a few weeks.
A Quick Guide to Kalanchoe Brasiliensis
Easy Tips to Grow Kalanchoe Brasiliensis
The majority of Kalanchoe species of plants grow slowly, and factors such as their living environment can influence both their height and width. However, indoor kalanchoe plants are often smaller than those grown in outdoor conditions.
1. Give Them Plenty of Sunlight
If you’re growing kalanchoes outside, they like full sun or partial shade, depending on their needs. If they don’t get enough light, they can start looking unhealthy and won’t bloom as much.
But if you’re growing them inside, ensure they get at least four hours of intense, direct light. And regardless of whether you keep them outside or inside, ensure they’re safe from the cold during winter.
Plus, kalanchoes need at least 60° F at night, whether inside or outside. But 70˚ F during the day is excellent. Also, if you’re growing kalanchoe in a pot north of Zone 9 or 10, where it doesn’t do well, be careful when the weather gets cooler.
2. Make Sure Their Roots Don’t Get Wet
When growing plants in pots, choose a pot with enough space and good drainage. A pot that’s too small can restrict the growth of the roots and lead to waterlogged soil.
Plus, you can use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape, preventing the roots from sitting in water for prolonged periods. You don’t want the roots to become waterlogged because this can lead to root rot and other problems.
You could also use succulent soil or a well-draining potting mix to ensure the pot drains well. These soil mixes contain perlite or sand, which can improve airflow and prevent water from pooling around the roots.
How to Prune and Maintain Your Kalanchoes
If you want your kalanchoe plants to live and grow, you should only water them when the soil’s top few inches are dry. Using a wetness meter to determine when to water can help you avoid overwatering and root rot. That said, you could also use your finger to gauge the dryness of the soil.
You should also remove dead leaves and buds throughout the summer. This is more of a matter of physical appearance, but it could also help you get rid of bugs and diseases.
Plus, depending on how fast the type you choose grows, you may need to repot your plants every year or two if you are growing them in containers. If you can see roots from the drainage holes, it’s time to get a bigger pot for your plant.
Another essential thing to do is to bring the kalanchoe plants inside before frost if you live in a cold area or if a cold snap is coming. They can handle dryness, but a hard freeze will kill them.
You could use a cover or plastic bag to protect plants growing in the ground from a sudden cold snap.
Overwatering and Underwatering Symptoms
Let’s talk about signs of overwatering and underwatering your kalanchoe plant:
When you overwater your kalanchoe, you might notice that the leaves start turning yellow or brown, and they may even become mushy or slimy to the touch. Another indication is wilting, even though you’ve given it plenty of water.
Plus, if you take a whiff and detect a not-so-pleasant smell coming from the soil, it’s a sign your poor kalanchoe is suffering from too much moisture, and its roots might be rotting.
When your kalanchoe is not getting enough water, its leaves can become dry and crispy, and they might even start to shrivel up, making your plant look sad and dehydrated. If you touch the soil, it will feel dry and thirsty, and your plant may appear weak or wilted.
So, to keep your kalanchoe happy, finding the right balance when watering is essential. You want to provide enough water to quench its thirst without drowning it.
Also, remember to check the moisture level of the soil regularly. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your kalanchoe. But if it’s still moist, hold off on watering for a little longer.
Health Importance and Demand for Medicinal Plants
Kalanchoe brasiliensis Cambess and Kalanchoe pinnata (Lamarck) Persoon, both in the Crassulaceae family and known as “coirama” and “saio,” are commonly used as a potential treatment for peptic ulcers
In addition, K. pinnata is classified in the National Relationship of Species of Interest of Health Unic System (RENISUS). Its anti-inflammatory, ulcer-healing, and antioxidant defense systems have made it an essential component of traditional medicine for decades.
According to research, the leaf juices of K. brasiliensis and K. pinnata protect the stomach from damage induced by indomethacin and ethanol in rats. They are also used for medicinal purposes to treat inflammation, rashes, burns, and skin infections.
With its gorgeous leaves and flowers, kalanchoe, also known as the tree of happiness, has many properties that will make you want to grow it. However, that’s not what makes it unique.
Kalanchoe’s ability to help people with arthritis, insomnia, depression, and anxiety is what makes it so incredible. But that’s not all. The plant can improve your immune system’s ability to eliminate toxic substances from the body.
If you follow all the tips mentioned above, you can grow a healthy and beautiful kalanchoe you can use as an accent and a medicine. But before you grow your plant, make sure you know where you want to place your succulent and have a special place for it.