Useful information

Kalanchoe Blossfeld: care, reproduction

Kalanchoe Blossfeld

Blossfeld's flowering Kalanchoe is one of the most popular indoor plants. It is unpretentious, requires little maintenance, grows well at home, serves as a decoration for offices and is often presented instead of the traditional bouquet. It is one of the leading potting crops in Europe, mainly in Denmark, Holland, Germany and Switzerland. An undoubted advantage for growers is the ability to cause flowering at any time of the year, which is especially appreciated in the winter months. Without any special problems, Blossfeld's Kalanchoe blooms itself in northern latitudes by January, therefore it is often called the Christmas Kalanchoe.

The generic name comes from the Chinese name for one of the Kalanchoe species, and the specific epithet is assigned in honor of Robert Blossfeld, who introduced this plant in 1932 in Potsdam.

Kalanchoe Blossfeld (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) - one of the species of the genus Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe) family Tolstyankovye (Crassulaceae)... It is a perennial evergreen succulent plant. Stems are numerous, weakly branching and bare, lignify over time. They form a round bush with a diameter of 30-50 cm. It grows slowly. The leaves on the stem are opposite, fleshy, glossy, dark green, ovoid or almost rectangular, about 5-10 cm long, crenate along the edge, sometimes with a red border.

The flowers are about 1 cm in diameter, tubular, collected in branched racemose apical inflorescences. With the development of the peduncle, vertical growth stops. Further growth occurs due to branching and growth of lateral shoots, which eventually also end in terminal inflorescences. The natural color of the corollas is dark red. Cultivated forms also have double flowers (Kalandiva series of varieties) and various colors: white, pink, yellow, salmon or orange. The flowering time falls on winter - the beginning of spring; with artificial cultivation, flowering can be achieved at any time of the year. Flowering is long, in some varieties it lasts up to several months.

Kalanchoe Blossfeld

In nature, this species grows on the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa, in semi-arid and relatively cool conditions.

In indoor conditions, the plant is unpretentious, but in order to achieve subsequent flowering, certain conditions must be created.

Conditions of detention and care

Lighting and its effect on flowering. High light intensity is required for compact growth and good flowering. For growing, windows with a south, east or west orientation are suitable. In the hot season, it is necessary to provide good ventilation and slightly protect the plant from the midday sun to protect it from overheating. In case of insufficient natural light during the growing season, additional artificial lighting may be required. When growing cuttings and young plants for which it is still early to bloom, you should maintain a day length of approximately 12 hours. To do this, in September and March, plants are supplemented for 1 hour, in October and February - 2 hours, in November and January - 3 hours, in December - 4 hours.

By changing the length of daylight hours, you can cause flowering at any time. Kalanchoe is a short day plant. To set flower buds, it is necessary to alternate between long and short days in the annual cycle of the plant. For some varieties, a very short period of short days is sufficient, for others it is quite long. For the best result, it is advisable to keep the plant for 6 weeks with a day of light for no more than 10 hours. By the end of this period, the apical clusters of the inflorescences become visible. An increase in the length of daylight hours in the subsequent period will allow the formation of a more compact and dense inflorescence.Depending on the variety, it takes from 9 to 13 weeks from the beginning of the short-day period to flowering. It must be remembered that even with a short daylight hours, the light intensity must be high.

Kalanchoe is very sensitive to light, therefore, for the successful establishment of flower buds, good protection from any source of it is required for 14 hours a day. Such conditions naturally develop in autumn in northern latitudes. From mid-October, the length of daylight hours will be about 10 hours, and if you keep the plant in a room where no electric light is turned on in the evenings, you can expect flowering in some varieties from the end of December.

If you want to cause flowering in the summer, from mid-March to mid-October, you will need to protect the plant from light for 14 hours a day for the same 6 weeks. However, in summer, too high temperatures can affect the setting of flower buds.

Kalanchoe Blossfeld

Temperature and its effect on flowering. The optimum temperature for vegetative growth of Kalanchoe is + 24 + 27 ° C during the day and + 18 + 20 ° C at night. During the period with short daylight hours, necessary for the establishment of flower buds, the temperature should be maintained at about + 18 ° C. Temperatures below +16 and above + 24 ° C during this period will negatively affect flowering.

Watering. Kalanchoe, by their nature, are quite resistant to drought, they can tolerate short periods of lack of moisture, but should not be brought to a loss of turgor and too thorough drying. This plant does not tolerate constantly damp soil, which leads to decay of roots and stems. Watering should be done depending on the stage of growth and external conditions. In summer, in warmth and in bright light, Kalanchoe is shed after the soil dries from above by a few centimeters. In winter, during rest, watering is significantly reduced, the soil is allowed to dry out thoroughly, but not completely. It should be watered with soft, settled water from above, but trying not to get on the leaves and the base of the stems. The plant will tolerate a slight drought much better than constant waterlogging.

Soil and transplant... Kalanchoe needs a well-drained soil. For its preparation, you can use ready-made universal slightly acidic peat substrates (pH 6-6.5) with the addition of 1/3 of the volume of perlite. They are transplanted every 2-3 years by careful handling after flowering with the addition of a small amount of fresh soil into a standard-shaped pot 2-3 cm wider than the previous one.

Air humidity for the Kalanchoe, it does not really matter, the leaves are covered with a waxy bloom, which protects them from dry room air.

Top dressing introduced during the period of active vegetative growth. You can use universal complex fertilizers with microelements. The optimal ratio of the main nutrients will be NPK 20-10-20. It is not recommended to fertilize flowering plants with fertilizers, since they have a high dose of phosphorus. An excess of phosphorus can provoke a lack of zinc, to which the Kalanchoe is very sensitive.

Kalanchoe Blossfeld

Trimming and pinching. After the end of flowering, it is necessary to completely remove the old peduncle. To do this, it is cut to the level of large leaves. With the formation of the apical peduncle, the further growth of the shoot ends, but lateral shoots begin to grow from the axils of the leaves, which over time, under suitable conditions, will also lay their apical peduncles.

Older varieties need a neat pinching of the top, this stimulates branching and the establishment of a larger number of peduncles. Modern varieties that go on sale have good branching and do not require special pinching.

Old specimens that have lost their compactness and decorativeness, with long and drooping shoots, which are often formed in low light, are best cut off dramatically and exposed to bright light, and the tops of the heads to root and renew the plants.

To preserve the compactness and abundance of flowering during industrial cultivation, preparations are used based on growth inhibitors (daminoside, ancymidol), which are sprayed over the leaves at the stage of short days. At home, without the use of retardants, the Kalanchoe becomes taller and looser.

Reproduction

Seed reproduction used for growing old varieties and for breeding new ones.Kalanchoe seeds are very small, they are sown on the surface of a well-prepared substrate. Slightly acidic peat soil is mixed with sand or perlite in equal proportions, steamed, filled with prepared boxes and moderately moistened. Seeds are sown in rows, lightly pressed, but not sprinkled with soil. After sowing, the box is covered with a transparent film or glass, placed in a bright diffused light. At a temperature of + 20 + 22 ° C, sprouts appear on the 10th day. After the seedlings appear, the film or glass must be removed.

By sowing seeds in March, you can get a small flowering plant in December. Sowing seeds in January will allow you to get a full-fledged flowering plant in winter. For the normal growth of seedlings from January to the end of March, it is necessary to provide it with additional lighting according to the scheme of 12-hour daylight hours.

The Kalanchoe has a rather short juvenile period, up to 8 pairs of leaves, during which stimulation with short days will not lead to flowering. After this age, the plants will be ready to set flower buds.

Vegetative reproduction. For most modern varieties, a vegetative propagation method is used, in which all the characteristics of the original plant are preserved.

For this, top cuttings 5-8 cm long are taken. The bottom pair of leaves is removed. For 1-3 days, the cuttings are allowed to air dry in the shade. Rooting hormones are optional. The rooting substrate is made up of equal shares of slightly acidic peat soil and perlite or sand. The soil is pre-steamed to destroy pests and pathogens. For the convenience of rooting control, the prepared soil is laid out in transparent disposable cups with drainage holes made. The lower part of the cutting is immersed in the soil, from where the leaves were removed. Cuttings are often sprayed so that the leaves do not lose turgor or are placed in a spacious greenhouse with regular ventilation. The optimum temperature for rooting is about + 21 ° C, bottom heating is desirable. Cuttings give roots in 2-3 weeks. Young plants obtained from cuttings do not have a juvenile period and are ready almost immediately for flowering induction.

Kalanchoe can also be renewed from leafy cuttings. A separate leaf is cut off, planted in the ground and covered with a transparent cap, after rooting, small children are formed on it, which over time can grow into full-fledged plants. But it will take much longer than rooting stem cuttings.

Read more in the article Cutting indoor plants at home.

Kalanchoe pests and diseases

Kalanchoe is susceptible to attack by mealybugs, aphids, scale insects, whiteflies.

About pest control measures - in the article Houseplant pests and control measures.

Give preference to water-soluble preparations, as Kalanchoe is sensitive to xylene, which is used as a solvent in some insecticides.

On hot and dry days, as well as with a lack of light, Kalanchoe can be affected by powdery mildew, when extensive felt white spots appear on the leaves. Treat with fungicides (Skor, Topaz).

With a cool content and waterlogging, the plant can get sick with late blight, root rot, gray mold. Treat with fungicides (Skor, Previkur, Profit Gold), change the conditions of detention. In the event of root rot, it is best to root healthy cuttings and renew the plant.

With a cool content and simultaneous waterlogging, a non-infectious disease can occur - dropsy. Small raised dark warts or brown crusts appear on the leaves. Avoid overnight watering, heavy watering in cool conditions.

When the soil is alkalized, zinc deficiency can form, while young leaves become light, small and curved. Water with soft water, sometimes acidify the watering water with 1-3 drops of lemon juice per 1 liter of water.

Possible problems after buying Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe Blossfeld comes to our stores from Dutch auctions, for several days the plants undergo transportation in cool and humid conditions, packed in decorative plastic bags, and sometimes even well spilled beforehand. Under these conditions, plants can become susceptible to fungal diseases. Carefully inspect the plants when buying, especially the base of the stems, do not buy specimens with obvious signs of mold and weeping spots on the leaves.

Kalanchoe Blossfeld

At home, carefully inspect the plant again, be sure to remove the colorful packaging bag, put it loosely so that the flower is well ventilated from all sides. Remove all sore spots on the leaves. Place in a bright, diffused light and gradually accustom to the sun's rays, since during transportation the plant was in the dark. In the future, after adaptation, the plant should stand on a sunny windowsill.

Quite often, after transportation and long standing on the shelf of a flower shop, a large number of flowers quickly wither at the Kalanchoe, they should be carefully removed, and after the entire inflorescence has faded, the peduncle should be completely removed. Such plants are well stimulated to bloom, new flower stalks will soon develop and with enough light in the sun, flowering can last until late autumn. In subsequent years, flowering will not be as long and lush.

Transplanting is not required immediately after purchase; it is better to postpone it until next spring. Start feeding the plant 3 months after purchase, as it is well fertilized before selling.

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