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Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Care & Reblooming!

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is one of the very best indoor flowering plants. You have seen them blooming merrily in brilliant shades of red, pink, orange, yellow and white at the home store or supermarket. Rich, deep jade green leaves are the perfect frame for the brilliant floral display. You may know this fabulous flowering succulent plant as Christmas kalanchoe, florist kalanchoe, Madagascar widow’s thrill or flaming Katy. These easy-care plants bloom freely for 2-6 months at a time! Kalanchoe blossfeldiana care is a snap. To make your kalanchoe rebloom requires a few extra steps, but the results are well worth it!

How to Make Kalanchoe Bloom Again

{Please note, some links in this post may be affiliate links to sites that pay me a small commission if you click on the link and make a purchase. This commission is at absolutely no cost to you. I only recommend products and companies that I have worked with and truly love! ~Kat}

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Care

kalanchoe blossfeldiana care - reblooming kalanchoe houseplants

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana are easy-care flowering succulent plants, often given as gifts. They repay typical indoor lighting and infrequent watering with a zillion blooms for months at a time! These lovely flowering succulents are easy-to-find and inexpensive. You will find them just about anywhere that any houseplants are sold.

Strangely, the easy care nature and easy access seem to damn the lovely kalanchoe houseplant in many homes. Perhaps because it is so easy, it is seldom cherished as you would expect. Many people actually discard their plant when it is done blooming. Please don’t toss your kalanchoe after it has finished flowering! Follow the simple steps below to get your kalanchoe reblooming. Or, perhaps even better, give the plant and a copy of this post to a youngster in the neighborhood who will enjoy growing it. This saves the plant and may start a budding succulent lover – win-win!

Lighting for Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana
kalanchoe rebloom easily with simple steps

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana can happily grow outdoors year-round in mild climates, from USDA zone 9-11. If your winters get heavy frost, or even colder, plan to move your kalanchoe indoors for the winter, or to grow them as succulent houseplants year round. Outdoors, provide bright light, with some protection the hot afternoon sun. Indoors, a sunny window or a bright spot is perfect for this flowering succulent. Given sufficient lighting, the lovely flaming Katy will turn a fetching red at the margins of each leaf.

Watering for Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana
simple steps for how to make kalanchoe bloom

Like most succulents, flaming Katy stores water in its leaves and stems. This clever adaptation to drought requires proper watering. Provide a fast draining, gritty succulent soil mix. Be sure your container has good drainage. When the soil is dry, water generously, and let it drain. Then leave the plant until the soil is fully dry again. This may be two weeks without water. That is nothing to worry about. Proper watering for your succulents is crucial to their success. Essentially, it comes down to using fast-draining soi and watering only when the soil is dry. For a more detailed review of exactly how to water all your succulents, please click here.

Add a half-strength liquid fertilizer once a month from early spring through summer to ensure the biggest, best blooms for your kalanchoe year after year.

Deadheading Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana)
kalanchoe houseplant care - how to deadhead kalanchoe blossfeldiana

The term “deadheading” means to remove spent flowers from a plant before they can set seed. There are several reasons deadheading is a good practice for all of your flowering plants. First, it keeps their appearance looking neat. (Perhaps proper deadheading alone would save so many florist kalanchoe from the trash heap!) Second, it encourages the plant to open more flowers that are in bud form, as well as to set even more buds. Deadheading also saves the plant from expending excess energies to create seeds that you have no intention of allowing to grow.

In the case of the kalanchoe blossfeldiana, deadheading is easily done by pinching out the short, stem-like structure immediately connecting the spent bloom to the cluster of buds and flowers. This short stem is called a “pedicel”. Simply pinch it between your thumb and forefinger, or snip it with scissors. This will cause the side buds to open and will encourage your flaming Katy to set even more bloom buds.

How to Make Kalanchoe Bloom Again

flaming Katy foliage or kalanchoe blossfeldiana care

Your flaming Katy has bloomed for months on end with little care. You have kept it looking its best by deadheading spent blooms. You would never (ever) consider tossing a healthy plant, but you do miss those masses of vibrant flowers. How to make your kalanchoe rebloom? While the necessary steps are simple, they are not intuitive.

Like poinsettias, kalanchoe rebloom in response to shortening day lengths. In order to get them to bloom again, indoors, it is necessary to recreate the conditions that stimulate them to bloom in nature.  To simulate winter conditions for kalanchoe, you will reduce both the plant’s light and water for about six weeks.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana will reliably rebloom given a full six weeks of 10 hours of sunlight with 14 hours of darkness. Place the plant in a closet for 14 hours a night, or slip a box over it, to ensure it is completely dark. Remove the box, or return the plant to its normal location for 10 hours each day. Continue this lighting pattern for the entire six week period, and reduce the water you provide to nearly nothing. You are simulating the kalanchoe’s natural dormancy period. Water only lightly just once after about three weeks.

At the end of the six week’s treatment, you will begin to see new buds developing. At this time, return your plant to its regular, sunny spot, and resume regular watering. This change from the “dormancy period”, with its increased light and water, will tell the plant it is “spring” and time to bloom! 🙂 If you want to time the blooms for a special occasion, like Christmas, or a birthday, just count back six or seven weeks before the date and begin this simulated dormancy. It is that simple!

bright pink double blooms of flaming Katy flowering succulents

Don’t let the ease of kalanchoe blossfeldiana care cause you to love this flowering gem any less than fussier plants. Kalanchoe rebloom with little effort, and the dazzling flowers continue for months at a time! These free-flowering succulents make wonderful, long-lived houseplants and terrific gifts.

Are you ready to get your kalanchoe reblooming? I would love to know! Please take a moment to leave a comment, and if I can answer any questions, just let me know!

You can do this!

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How to rebloom kalanchoe blossfeldiana
Black Aeonium shown both growing and dormant
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This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Cheryl W.

    We just purchased a few of these. This is great information.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Cheryl,
      Terrific! I can promise you will so enjoy these beauties! 🙂

      1. Soma Paul

        Great information

        1. Kat McCarthy

          Hi Soma,
          Glad you found it useful! Thanks!

      2. Pat

        Love you…They are so beautiful,…I hope to be able to have them flowerig the year round. Thank you for the tips..

        1. Kat McCarthy

          Hi Pat,
          Aren’t these lovely plants?
          Give them as much light indoors as you can, then be really strict with the light/dark regiment to get them to come back into bloom and they will thrive for you!

  2. alex

    I bought my red flowering kalanchoe at Walmart in the clearance rack for a $1.00 and let me tell you, what a steal. they bloom all spring and is definitely one of my favorite plants to go with the rest of my succulent collection.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Alex,
      Aren’t they fabulous? What a steal! 🙂
      And they are so super easy to care for!

  3. Rachel

    My plant is very healthy- getting new leaves and flowering all the time. However, she only has two flowering stems. They have become very long and snake looking and hurt her beauty a bit. Should I cut these off to encourage new growth? Im worried she wont flower again!

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Rachel,
      You can definitely prune your kalanchoe back a bit to encourage branching. This should result in more bloom stems developing. If you would like to send me some photos, I would be happy to recommend the points for cutting it back. You want to look for active leaf nodes, and make your cut just above a set of nodes that point in the direction you would like to see new growth develop. So choose nodes that face outward and upward, rather than nodes that face into the center of the plant.
      Does that make sense?

  4. Joane Kuwahara

    I saw a Kalamcho that had multi color bloom and could not find a name for it. I was wondering if you even knew of such a plant? Just curious if it was photo shop.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Joane,
      SUCH a great question! Please always feel free to double check whether an especially interesting succulent is genuine or a scam! For certain, there are many Kalanchoe blossfeldiana planted with two varieties interplanted, so their different flowers bloom together. Others have the closed buds a different shade from the open blooms. Feel free to send me an email with an image of the plant in question. I’ll be happy to check it out and give you my honest take.

  5. Lee

    I have another non-succulent female that likes a 12/12 hr cycle to start blooming. Do you think a 12/12 hour cycle will work for my kalanchoe? This is my first succulent, it has an amazing response to my grow lights!

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Lee,

      It will certainly be healthy and happy at 12/12, but I’m not sure it will bloom. The best way to find out would be to try! 🙂 The issue here is not that it needs enough nutrients from sufficient time in the light. It needs enough hours of completely DARK to believe the time of year is right for it to bloom. Does that make sense?

      Let me know how it goes!


  6. Dana

    My Flaming Katy is huge! On one of the longer branches the leaves seem to be flattening towards the branch. They are not shriveled or discolored. I am wondering if I am over watering? Maybe it needs more sunshine? It definitely is only happening on the longer branches.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Dana,
      Hmmmm… I’m not sure I am picturing this right. WOuld you send me a photo so I can see what you are seeing? I will be happy to help!
      kat [at] the succulent eclectic [dot] com

  7. Sherryl

    Thanks so much for this article. I always buy the tiny ones to put in my fairy garden and when it finishes blooming I take it out and repot it and replace it with another one. So I have several of these. Some of them are doing great but they have never rebloomed, now I know why, I have them under a grow light for too long. So glad to get this info. One question tho, one if them has roots on the stems where it branches out. Not sure why. The plant it really pretty and has grown a lot, just has those roots. Is there something I’m doing wrong? Thanks for your advice.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Sheryl,
      Once you understand the lighting and timing this plant needs, you’ll have no trouble getting it to rebloom for you.
      Those roots coming from the stem are called aerial roots. This can be a sign that the plant either needs a bit more water or it is looking for support. But I use them as a guide rather than a diagnosis. The aerial roots tell me to look into these two issues. If the plant looks healthy and happy, then don’t worry about those roots.

  8. Gail Williams

    I was given one for my birthday last year and the lovely orange blooms lasted for ages. I still have the plant, which is outside at the moment and wanted to find out how to make it bloom again, then I read your excellent (as always) post. Thanks so much. Kat.

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Thanks so much, Gail!
      Enjoy your beautiful blooms! <3

  9. Angee Chase

    Thanks for this much needed information. I found just the info I needed here. ♥ I bought a yellow blooming kalanchoe Spring of 2019 that bloomed for a good long while until spent. (I thought) Sadly, it has never bloomed again, and it’s now Sept 2020. It has grown profusely and was re-potted into a larger hanging basket. I successfully propagated a piece and it is now lovely, healthy and huge… however, they have never flowered again.

    Can I use this darkness technique now to force bloom it for the holidays? In and out every day? Oh if so, I will be a most happy plant mama, and will probably have a gagillion blooms because there is so much of it. Thanks for letting me know. ♥ angee chase

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Angee,
      Absolutely! Your Kalanchoe wasn’t holding out on you, it just could never figure out what time to bloom. When you use the alternating light and dark as described here, it tells the plant that now is the time to get blooming!
      Plan for a bright yellow Christmas! 🙂

  10. Valerie

    Hi, thank you for all your helpful information! My question. Is light, light to them? So our evening time indoor lamps are “keeping them awake”? Hence the need to be completely covered? And if so, as our days get very short, would being in a back room, where indoor lights won’t reach them work? Our days are pretty short here in the winter. OR, is the discussion above to get them to bloom sooner than they are naturally inclined?
    Thank you!

    1. Kat McCarthy

      Hi Valerie,
      Yes! Where they grow in nature, night time is utterly and totally DARK! Not a single lamp or night light! Until they get absolute, true dark is necessary. It’s not ablout getting them to bloom “early”. They need the light/dark to signal to them that the season for blooming has arrived. And they simply won’t be convinced as long as “nights” (the time of absolute dark) are so short! If you don’t turn out the lights until 9 or 10 pm, and they see the dawn – the “night” they perceive it just too short for them to prepare to bloom.
      Use the box, or put them in a closet or the back room with the lights out and the door closed. But remember, they also need light during the days, and a regular alternation between the two. I think the box is the simplest way.

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