Calandiva Plant Care: Cultivating Colorful Blooms

Nell Foster holds a pink Calandiva plant and a yellow Calandiva plant in her garden

Are you searching for a vibrant and long-blooming houseplant to brighten up your space? Look no further than the Calandiva plant, a delightful variety of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana. Calandivas, also known as Rosebud Kalanchoes, feature larger, double flowers and attractive foliage, making them a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. In this article, we will delve into the world of Calandiva care and explore how to cultivate these colorful blooms in your home.

Calandiva Care Tips

Size

Calandivas are commonly sold in 4″ and 6″ pots, although you may occasionally find them in smaller 2″ pots, perfect for dish gardens and terrariums. For a more impactful display, consider purchasing multiple plants in an 8″ pot.

Exposure

Bright, natural light is ideal for Calandivas to thrive. However, be cautious of direct sunlight, as these succulents can easily get burned. Flowers that are in half-open buds will not open as readily in low light, so ensure they receive ample sunlight for optimal blooming.

Watering

Proper watering is crucial for Calandiva care. Succulents, including Calandivas, are prone to rot if overwatered. Aim to water them every 7 to 14 days, depending on the temperature and season. Avoid letting the plants go completely dry, but be cautious of keeping them soaking wet. To prevent water buildup and potential rot, remove the plants from decorative pots without drain holes when watering and allow the water to drain completely before placing them back.

Temperature

Calandivas thrive in average home temperatures, but it’s important to shield them from cold drafts and intense heat. For outdoor growth during summer, provide shade and protection from direct sunlight and excessive rainfall. As colder temperatures approach, bring them indoors to ensure their well-being.

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Fertilizing

While Calandivas are typically enjoyed as short-term blooming plants, you can fertilize them during their bloom period using a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Opt for formulations like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Remember, it’s best to avoid fertilizing houseplants late in fall or winter, as they require a period of rest.

Safe for Pets

Please note that Calandivas are toxic to pets, so it’s essential to keep them out of reach. Consult the ASPCA website for more information on the toxicity and its effects.

Close-up of the flowers of a pink Calandiva plant and an orange Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
The individual flowers of a Calandiva are slightly larger than those of the blossfeldiana.

Pinching/Pruning

Once the blooms have withered, prune off the entire flower stem to maintain a neat appearance. To discourage leggy growth, pinch the tip of the plant, promoting fuller and bushier growth.

Soil

Calandivas prefer a well-aerated, light soil mix. If repotting, a suitable mixture could consist of 1/2 succulent and cactus mix blended with 1/2 potting soil. Alternatively, a succulent and cactus mix with a bit of compost incorporated is also suitable. For optimal moisture control, consider adding pumice or perlite to an all-potting soil mix.

Propagating

Calandivas can be propagated through various methods, including seed, division, and stem cuttings. While seed propagation takes the longest, division can be easily done if multiple plants are present in one pot. Stem cuttings, approximately 4-5″ long with a few bottom leaves removed, can be rooted in succulent and cactus mix within about 3 weeks.

Pests

Keep a watchful eye for aphids and mealybugs, common pests that can affect Calandivas. Promptly address any infestations, as houseplant pests can be difficult to control once established.

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Flowering

The highlight of Calandiva care is witnessing the vibrant blooms. With a blooming period of 6-8 weeks, the length may vary depending on factors such as flower openness at the time of purchase and home temperature. Reblooming can be challenging, as these plants require approximately 14 hours of darkness to initiate a new bloom cycle. For a secondary lighter bloom following the initial one, create a darker environment by placing your Calandiva in a closet or unused room during nighttime. Additionally, reduce watering during this period. Keep in mind that Calandivas may become thinner over time, making them less suitable as long-term houseplants.

Calandivas, available year-round in a wide range of colors, are an easy and enjoyable addition to any space. By following these care tips, you can cultivate these colorful blooms and infuse your home with lasting beauty.

Happy gardening!

Ames Farm Center