Trailing Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe uniflora) Indoor Care, Propagation and Common Problems


Trailing Kalanchoe, Kalanchoe uniflora

Botanical name: Kalanchoe uniflora
Family: Crassulaceae
Common names: Trailing Kalanchoe, Coral Bells, Coral Berry, Winter Bells

Description

Trailing Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe uniflora) is a succulent, climbing plant which bears fleshy, bright-green leaves and bright red to red-violet, bell-shaped flowers.

Coral Bells provides a spectacular display in a hanging basket or on a pedestal where the pendulous stems and colorful flowers can hang down beautifully.

Flowers

The flowers in Coral Berry are bright red to red-violet, bell-shaped and appear in winter.

Size

Winter Bells is a trailing plant whose stems can reach upto 3 ft long.

Origin

Kalanchoe uniflora (Trailing Kalanchoe) is native to Madagascar.

Toxicity

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has listed Kalanchoe Plants as toxic to animals. They contain Calcium glycosides which are toxic to animals. Keep the plants away from the reach of children and pets to avoid any mishaps.

Where to Buy

Trailing Kalanchoe are a great addition to any collection. Buy Kalanchoe Plants online from Etsy.

Trailing Kalanchoe, Kalanchoe uniflora

Kalanchoe uniflora Care Indoors

Trailing Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe uniflora) blossoms in bright light with some 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, moderate warmth and moderately moist, rich, loose, free-draining soil coupled with fortnightly feeding during the growing season.

Kalanchoe uniflora requires annual repotting at the beginning of the growing season. Pruning is needed to keep it neat as well as promote flowering. Keep on reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Trailing Kalanchoe grows best in bright light with at least 4-6 hours of direct sunshine per day to encourage flowering.

If light is not enough, it will become leggy with wide spaces between the leaf and will not bloom. Turn the pot regularly to ensure the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.

Kalanchoe uniflora can be grown under a grow light where the natural light is not sufficient.

Watering

Water Trailing Kalanchoe thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Cut down on watering during the cold period to maintain the soil almost dry but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and drain excess water from the saucer to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot.

To avoid shocking this tropical plant which can result in reduced growth, water the Coral Bells with tepid water (water that is at room temperature).

Temperature and Humidity

Average warmth within the range of 18-280C is ideal for Trailing Kalanchoe. Keep it away from cold draughts to avoid sudden drops in temperature as they can cause leaf drop.

Trailing Kalanchoe has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is adequate for this plant. Clean the leaves by wiping with a damp soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestations.

Potting Soil

The best soil for Trailing Kalanchoe should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough. Cactus and Succulents Potting Mix is ideal for Coral Bells.

Fertilizer

Feed Trailing Kalanchoe with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks when the plant during the growing period to promote flowering.

Do not feed the plant during the cold season as the plant is in the dormant stage and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn and death of the plant.

Repotting

Repot Trailing Kalanchoe every year after the rest period (cold season). Use a clay pot one size larger than the current one.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual loss of the plant.

Do not repot a Coral Bells that is in flower as the repotting shock can shorten the flowering period.

Pruning

Pruning Trailing Kalanchoe involves removal of dead flowers to maintain the plant clean and neat. Prune the tops after flowering is over and place the pot in a shaded place.

Keep the soil almost dry for a month and then position the plant in a spot with bright light and water normally. Doing this will initiate more flowering for Coral Bells.

How to Force Trailing Kalanchoe to Rebloom

Trailing Kalanchoe is a short day plant. This means that it requires a rest period of short days for 6 weeks to hasten flower bud formation.

To achieve this, place the Coral Bells in a dark cupboard or cover it with an opaque cardbox for 14 hours per day for 6 weeks. Alternate this with bright light for 10 hours per day during this period.

Keep the plant warm, away from draughts and do not feed or water it during this rest period.

When the flower buds appear, at the end of the 6 weeks rest period, move the plant to a brightly lit place, water and feed it, and resume routine care.

Using this method, you can trick the Trailing Kalanchoe to bloom at any time of the year.

Propagation

Trailing Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe uniflora) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings or leaf cuttings.

How to propagate Trailing Kalanchoe from stem-tips cuttings

Take a stem-tip cutting of about 4-6 in. from a healthy Trailing Kalanchoe. Ensure each cutting has 2-3 leaf nodes as this is where new growth will come from.

Strip off the lower leaves and allow the cutting to dry (callus) for 1-3 days before planting to prevent rotting.

Insert the stem-tip cutting into moist, free-draining soil and ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Cover the set up with transparent polythene to raise humidity inorder to hasten rooting and establishment.

Place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place and maintain the soil moderately moist through out.

Allow the new Coral Bells to be well established before transplanting after which routine care can begin.

How to propagate Trailing Kalanchoe from leaf cuttings

Take a leaf cutting from a healthy Trailing Kalanchoe. Ensure that the petiole is intact as this is where new growth will emerge from.

Allow the cutting to dry (callus) for 1-3 days before planting to prevent rotting.

Insert the cutting's leaf petiole into moist, free-draining soil while ensuring that the leaf midrib also comes into contact with the soil.

Confirm that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Cover the set up with transparent polythene to raise humidity inorder to hasten rooting and establishment.

Position the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out but not soggy.

Once the plantlets have grown at least one set of leaves, carefully seperate them and pot in individual pots.

Place the new Coral Bells in a warm, well-lit spot after which routine care can begin.

Trailing Kalanchoe, Kalanchoe uniflora

Trailing Kalanchoe Problems

Trailing Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe uniflora) problems include drooping leaves, leaf drop, leggy growth, leaf spots, lack of blooms, pests and diseases among others. Read on for more on these problems and how to solve them.

Drooping leaves

Trailing Kalanchoe drooping leaves is due to underwatering. Immediately water the plant thoroughly and it should recover.

Thereafter, water Coral Bells thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. In the cold season, water the plant very infrequently but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Leaf drop

Trailing Kalanchoe leaf drop is due to watering it with very cold water which has caused shock to the plant. Water the plant with tepid water (water that is at room temperature) to avoid plant shock for this tropical plant.

Underwatering is another reason why Coral Bells is losing leaves. Water the plant thoroughly and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Reduce watering during the cold months and maintain the soil almost dry but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Leggy stems

Trailing Kalanchoe leggy stems are caused by two possible reasons. One reason for leggy stems is overwatering during the cold season. Significantly reduce watering in the cold season as growth is reduced at this time and maintain the soil almost dry.

The second reason for Coral Bells leggy stems is too little light during the growing season. Trailing Kalanchoe grows best in bright light with at least 4 hours of sunshine per day during the growing season.

Position the plant in a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving bright light with at least 4-6 hours of sunshine per day or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.

Lack of blooms

The are three possible reasons for lack of blooms in Trailing Kalanchoe. One possible reason for lack of blooms is too little light (inadequate light).

Move the Coral Bells to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with at least 4-6 hours of sunshine per day or instal a grow light where the natural lighting is inadequate.

The second possible reason for lack of blooms in Trailing Kalanchoe is feeding it with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer which promotes foliage growth at the expense of flowering.

Feed Coral Bells with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season to promote flowering.

The third possible reason for lack of blooms in Coral Berry is underwatering. Water the plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Decrease watering during the cold season as growth is reduced at this time to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not let the soil dry out completely.

Wilted and discolored leaves

Trailing Kalanchoe wilted and discolored leaves are due to soggy soil brought about by overwatering or too much water in the soil during the cold period.

Significantly reduce watering during the cold season and maintain the soil almost dry. In addition, make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil drains easily to prevent it from getting soggy.

Brown soft leaf spots

Trailing Kalanchoe brown soft leaf spots is an indication of leaf spot disease which is enhanced by wet conditions and poor air circulation.

Avoid wetting the foliage or water from the bottom and ensure that there is free air circulation at all times. Read on how to treat leaf spot disease in houseplants.

Moldy leaves and flowers

Moldy leaves and flowers in Trailing Kalanchoe are an indication of powdery mildew which is enhanced by overwet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.

Cut off the diseased parts and keep the plant warm while ensuring that there is good air circulation. Do not mist or wet the plant as moisture on the foliage creates ideal conditions for this disease.

Isolate the affected plant to avoid spread to the other houseplants and treat it with appropriate products like Neem oil.

Brown dry leaf spots

Trailing Kalanchoe brown dry leaf spots are due to underwatering during the growing season. Water the plant liberally during the growing period while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist. Never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Pests

Trailing Kalanchoe is prone to mealybugs, spidermites, scale insects and aphids. Isolate the affected plant to avoid spread to the other houseplants and treat it with appropriate products like Neem oil or Insecticidal soap to get rid of the pests.

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