Kalanchoe Pumila, also called flower dust plant, is a small houseplant that is known for its ability to grow in low light conditions and withstand periods of drought. It also does not need any fertilizer to thrive on neglect!
Kalanchoes are native plants found in Northern and southern Africa, Madagascar, Southern Asia as well as parts of Australia so they can handle dryer climates better than other types of succulents like cacti or aloes. They do best when grown outdoors during warmer months but should be brought inside before frost hits their natural habitat.
The kalanchoe plant is succulent and belongs to the Crassulaceae family. It has fleshy leaves that are arranged in rosettes with flowers that can come in many colors from white, pink, red, and yellow. These plants produce small but showy flowers within their leaf clusters during the summer months which makes them popular for landscaping purposes.
Kalanchoe pumila propagation
Kalanchoes are propagated both from seed and stem cuttings, so it’s best to plant them in clusters of at least three since the leaves on kalanchoe plants will wither after flowering, making a cluster more attractive than just one kalanchoe potted plant by itself.
To plant kalanchoe plants, prepare your container by filling it up halfway with your potting mix that has been moistened sufficiently but still holds some moisture when squeezed into a tight ball, then set aside the mixed potting soil while you prepare your plants for planting.
Once taken, the cutting must then be dipped in hormone rooting powder before being planted into potting soil or a soilless mix such as peat moss that has been sterilized in boiling water for five minutes.
These should be treated with fungicide as kalanchoes are especially susceptible to infection by fungi and will rot away if they’re not given protection from damp conditions.
It can take anywhere between one day and two weeks before roots appear on the surface of the medium where kalanchoe pumila was placed after taking its cuttings from parent plants; this varies depending on plant species, growing conditions, and kalanchoe pumila’s age.
Kalanchoe pumila care
Kalanchoe Pumila is a fairly low-light plant. It does best in bright indirect sunlight or under fluorescent lights.
Kalanchoe grows best in bright shade or morning sun with protection from the hot afternoon sun. They need four hours of direct sunlight per day for healthy blooming plants that produce flowers all year long as they can tolerate more heat than other succulent plants during summer months when daytime highs exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Kalanchoe pumila need a well-draining soil mix that drains quickly. A mixture of cactus potting soil, perlite, and sand makes an excellent kalanchoe planting medium once you add drainage material such as peat moss or coarse gravel. They do not like to be waterlogged since they’re native to dry regions with intermittent rainfall; their natural habitat is the deserts in southwest Africa.
Kalanchoes are easy to grow, but they need more water than most other succulents. Use a hose or watering can with lots of holes and give them enough water that the soil is completely wet down at least 12 inches deep.
kalanchoes are heavy feeders and need a constant supply of fertilizer to produce large, beautiful blooms. Use a granular slow-release fertilizer mixed at the recommended rates for plants in containers or add 20-20-20 liquid fertilizers diluted with water every week during periods of plant growth.
They are accustomed to the warm, dry temperatures of their native habitat. Generally speaking, kalanchoes should be allowed to experience night-time lows between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months.
Kalanchoes thrive at about 75-80% humidity, so if you live in a cool environment like Utah where it gets below freezing in the winter, use an electric hand warmer plugged into a timer at night, to help keep kalanchoe blooms from shriveling.
If kalanchoe pumila is pruned too hard, it will not flower properly and may die back to the ground level or even below that point. It’s best to use a sharp pair of garden shears for this job because they do less damage than hedge clippers which have wider blades with more teeth on them.
Always cut just above an outward-facing bud (if you can see one), or at least two nodes past any buds. The kalanchoe should be able to shoot new growth from either side of where you make your cut so if there are no visible buds, then it doesn’t really matter what direction you’re cutting in as long as the kalanchoe pumila is able to shoot new growth from where the cut was made.
Cut off any dead leaves, flowers, or stems with a pruner before you make your cut into the kalanchoe pumila, and always be sure that all of what you’re cutting away has already died back first (with just one exception: flower spikes can sometimes look like they’re still alive even when they’ve dried out, so it’s best to wait until after the flowering season to do this).
Prune each kalanchoe pumila at least three times in its lifetime but no more than six because anything above this will not have enough time for recovery periods between cuts which could lead to kalanchoe pumila being stunted or killed by the pruning process and will slow down kalanchoe pumila’s ability to flower, which may lead you to believe that your kalanchoe pumila is “getting old.”
The flower dust plant, Kalanchoe pumila, thrives best in a pot with drainage holes and needs to be re-potted at least once every two years. It can also take up more space than it seems like it should because the roots for this flower are very deep, so if you’re using an indoor container, then make sure that there’s at least one foot of free height from top to bottom and six inches of width across, but these measurements might not work as well when your flower is outside where there may need to be more space around its root systems or extra containers used instead (at which point the kalanchoe pumila will require less frequent repotting).
If transplanting outdoors, the flower dust plant should be re-potted in mid-summer. If it’s going to stay inside, then do this during spring or fall, but try not to repot kalanchoe pumila any sooner than three years after the last time you did, because they need at least that much of a recovery period before being subject to stress again and flower production will start slowing down if too many flowers are lost as a result.
The growth rate of kalanchoe pumila is very slow. It can take up to a year for this flower dust plant to reach about eight inches in height, and it will only flower once during its lifetime. The flower duration ranges from two days to four weeks or more if kept indoors under cool conditions with plenty of light. Kalanchoes are not frost tolerant plants, which means they do best when grown in subtropical climates as opposed to cooler temperate zones.
Kalanchoe pumila can be grown outdoors within USDA hardiness zone 11b, which is typically part of the Mediterranean. It does best in full sun and prefers soil that has been well-drained or with a mulch cover to keep it moist through dry spells.
The flower dust plant will flower under these conditions but it may not flower for long without cool temperatures indoors. Those who live in zones 12a – 14b should grow kalanchoe pumila outside during warmer months and bring them inside when winter sets in so they don’t freeze.
Kalanchoe pumila is not toxic to humans or animals. The flower dust plant may, however, be a potential allergen for people with allergies to latex, which is found in some kalanchoes and other succulents. Anyone who suspects they are allergic should avoid contact with the flower dust plant as well as any other plants from this family of plants until their doctor clears them for exposure.
Pests and diseases
Kalanchoe pumila does not have many pests or disease problems. The flower dust plant is occasionally prone to mealybugs, which are easy to wipe from the leaves with a damp cloth and could be controlled by introducing ladybugs into your garden space if you choose that route.
Pests like aphids will also appear on occasion, though they can be easily removed as well with just a quick rinse of soapy water from the hose. Diseases such as root rot, stem blight, leaf spot fungus, and rust disease may occur in some cases but it’s rare for them to become serious health concerns without additional factors in play at the same time.