Flaming Katy, also called Christmas Kalanchoe or Florist Kalanchoe, is a succulent plant that springs small tube-like flowers in a flower head. Flowers display various colors upon blooming like orange, yellow, red, and purple. They also have a fleshy appearance and texture similar to other succulents.
Their journey as a houseplant began when they were grown as gift plants. Many people saw that the plant had become uninteresting when they were not blooming and discarded them as soon as they died. This initial sentiment changed when they recognized that the plant blooms several times and at any time of the year.
Genus Name: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
Plant Type: perennial, indoor
Height: 1.5 ft
Breath: 0.6 ft wide
Foliage color: orange, yellow, red, and purple
Especially known for toughness, low maintenance
Propagation method: stem cuttings/leaf cuttings
Caring for Your Flaming Katy
From bright light to well-draining soils and moderate temperatures, here are some of the essential requirements you need to note when taking care of a Flaming Katy.
Flaming Katy requires a placement on a nice windowsill to receive bright sunlight that is not too direct, especially during summertime. Lower lighting can still promote green foliage, and the plants can still bloom. Best to place it at an east- or west-facing window.
Use a well-draining potting soil with 60 percent peat moss and 40% percent perlite. Choose a container that is one or two inches bigger than the plant and keep it in a sunny area. Terracotta pots work well with succulents because they don’t conserve as much moisture as other pot materials. You can use a standard liquid fertilizer once a month from spring until summer’s end.
Anything between 51°F (10°C) and 72°F (22°C) is the optimal watering temperature for a Kalanchoe – and an occasional fluctuating beyond these limits is permissible. The hardline, however, is avoiding frost. Even the slightest waft of frost can damage the plant.
You can avoid frost damage by being attentive. While a forgetful gardener would get away with inadequately watering the Flaming Katy, the mindful tenderer will wet the soil lavishly anytime it’s dry. Water sparingly in cold weather months. Just a few amounts of water are needed during long stretches of days.
Pruning and Propagating If Needed
Since they bloom several times a year, prune them the moment existing flowers are weak or dead to promote the growth of new buds and refreshed flowering.
Flaming Katy is propagated by cutting:
Cut no less than a 3-inch cutting through the vegetative stem. Position the cutting in an empty pot for 2 to 3 days to allow a callus to develop over the nicked flesh of the stem. The callus prevents the cutting from decomposing within the propagating medium.
Mix equal proportions of sand, peat, and perlite to make a potent growing environment for the Katy cuttings. Place the growing medium in a sterile pot and water gently. Pots that are 3 to 4 inches wide hold a single cutting.
Create a hollow in the growing medium and place the callused cutting into the hollow. Gather the soil around the cutting firmly to keep the plant upright. Direct the pot to a sunny area with a mean temperature of about 70°F (21°C).
If you have inserted multiple cuttings into the medium, transplant the new Flaming Katy plants into individual growing pots when the roots have grown about an inch long. Place the new Flaming Katy in any desired spot in your house as soon as you observe new growth.
How to Prepare Flaming Katy for Winter
Winterizing your Kalanchoe involves keeping it above ten 50°F (10°C). Drafty windows are sure to cause problems as turbulent winds cause a drop in temperature. Extended exposure to cold can be debilitating for Flaming Katy.
Water once every two to three weeks during winter.
Common Pests and Disease
Flaming Katy is susceptible to powdery mildew, mealybugs, and aphids.
Mildew is a white powdery coating on the leaves and stem. It can be contagious if not identified and treated early.
Mealybugs leave white foggy patches near the leaf axis and underneath the leaves. Root mealybugs are responsible for plant wilting. Gently remove the plant out of its pot and check the root for damage inflicting pests. Treat any infection with utmost urgency to prevent them from spreading to other decorative plants. If the plant is badly infested, then it’s time to get a new one.
Flaming Katy’s gorgeous, evergreen succulent decorative plant that fits any homeowner’s decor blueprint. Remember to pot the plant in a container with good drainage via drainage outlets or thick rock underneath the soil. Don’t allow pets to ingest as Flaming Katy can be toxic.