Is it normal for Kalanchoe to grow 60centimetres tall?(1.97 feet)

alexandransOctober 3, 2006

This is the story of the weirdest Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Ive ever seen.

It was Halloween 2002 when I bought the necessary gadgets for the day. Here in Sweden itÂs a custom to buy plants with orange flowers that day. Anything black and anything orange goes. Kalanchoe with orange flowers is THE Halloween plant here! So I went and bought this little fellow who was as cute as a button and as small as a toy. The entire plant was 3 centimetres tall (1.18 inches) and 7.62 centimetres wide (3 inches) with about 20 leaves and a few flowers. Now this kind of plants you usually keep for a month or so Âtill it drops its flowers and then itÂs a matter of time till you throw it in the garbage. In a couple of occasions IÂve heard people keeping them for a year or so, maximum, but they never even saw them bloom again and since its not the prettiest plant without flowers, well, itÂs very common that people throw them away. Well not me. I kept it. And it started growing and growing. It was weird it was growing really because I didnÂt pay so much attention to it. I decided to repot it in a bigger pot and thatÂs about all I did for it. In the end I put it in a room all alone in front of a window and sometimes I even forgot to water it for weeks. It a rather ugly plant but I can never throw away something because itÂs ugly. So 3 years later it was 60 centimetres tall (1.97 feet). It couldnÂt stand on its own anymore so I had it against the window supported by threads tied in various places so that it could stand up. Since I had no idea what these plants are supposed to look like  if they are hanging plants, standing plants or bush plants  I had to improvise and decide myself if it would stand or hang. Then one dark winter day in December 2005 I saw the weirdest thing. Little buds! I couldnÂt believe my eyes. I never thought IÂd see a plan like tat blooming ever again. I mean thatÂs the main reason people throw them away. By January it was blooming like crazy!!! Lots and lots of flowers and lots and lots of buds kept on coming. It was blooming until May 2006. For five whole months it was blooming and blooming and growing and growing. Then it stopped. Then this summer it started looking kind of sad. As plants do when you over water them. But I didnÂt over water it. In fact I let it dry a little bit like you do with succulents and then water. But still, it looks as if it is saying bye bye. IÂm posting a couple of pictures of its blooming time. IÂm not posting any pictures of how it is now because it just looks the same without the flowers and you canÂt really tell from a picture that it is feeling bad. You have to touch it to understand and see that the leaves are not shiny anymore.

So my question is.

Have you ever seen a thing like that before? Is Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana supposed to grow so big? Is it blooming every 3 years? Is it a winter bloomer? Do you think that this was its swan song? Should I cut it down? And if I do and it grows again so big, should I let it or should I keep it in a standard height by pruning regularly? Is it supposed to stand or hang?

Thank you, for reading :)

Have a nice day.

Alexandra

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baci(z10Ca)

It is convention to cut down kolanche. You can, however, trellis & train it. If it is not trained, some varieties have a tendency to curl. Mine is over 2 ft (curled) & trellised. A nice trellis will fill any gaps left by the plant & create an interesting effect. You can also trellis multiple varieties on the same trellis.
It takes time to grow a tall kolanche. If I wanted a short full one, I would buy a new one at the dollar store.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:11AM
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growforit

Cool plant [and story] Alex. Can't help with your questions but someone will probably come through for ya...

Thought your question was funny, timewise that is ======

I was just going to ask this [sorta similiar] question yesterday:

What's the tallest Kalanchoe tubiflora or Kalanchoe cf. daigremontiana that anyone has seen in their gardening experiences/travels?

Reason I ask, I saw a Kalanchoe cf. daigremontiana this past weekend,,,,thing had to be an easy 4 feet tall, maybe pushing the 5 foot mark :-0--- guys said he had one reach 6 feet!!!

And I thought his 4-5ft Kalanchoe cf. daigremontiana was a giant......

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 7:00PM
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dufflebag2002(Calif. 91607)

It will only flower on the end of new growth. We grow ours bushy here just to get more flowers. We also know we must grow ours in morning sun, or afternoon shade, the sun is just too strong.
These are a winter growers, and usually flower after Christmas here. Some do flower earlier depending on their location. The growers force them for
Christmas flowers. Norma

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:10PM
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alexandrans

Thank you everyone for your replies :) It is good to finally know a little more about this weird looking plant of mine.
I also read something interesting that explains why it bloomed after 3 years.
Ill just copy and paste here :

"You should however keep in mind that blooming of the plant is related to how much light the plant is allowed to have. This plant is a short-day flower producer, which means it needs less hours of sunlight. Several hours in darkness will enhance flower production. Plants begin to bud in fall but require 12 14 hours of darkness daily for 6 8 weeks prior to coming into full bloom. This can be done by placing the plant in a dark room or cover it with a cloth. Its best for plants to have cool temperatures of around 55˚ - 60˚ F during this period. If you are not successful with creating the proper short days requirement, your plant will still bloom, but you may get a more sporadic bloom period."

That explains it for me because as I said in the end I got tired of looking at it so I put it in a room all alone and sometimes forgot about it in the darkness for days. And this is when it started blooming. So it was really weird for me because I never heard of a plant that likes darkness o_0.

But now after reading this and reading all your comments and tips I understand a bit more what Im dealing with here. Its good to know Im not growing a mutated plant. Still . . . I like to continue calling him "Muty" :)

I have decided to trellis & train it as "baci" said and Ive already moved it back into the dark room and who knows maybe Im lucky and it flowers in Halloween :)

Thank you very much everyone :)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:04AM
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sjv78736(austin texas)

growforit -
my brother's K. daigremontiana is just over 6 ft tall - quite a site to see!
Alexandra -
i have grown K.Blossfeldiana up to about 4 ft - but it was growing outside.
jo

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 6:57PM
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growforit

Thanks there SJV...:-) ok, there it is, a 6 footer :-0 great! Now let's put the squeeze on your bro a get a picture of that Kali Daig [ha ha]

Some guy out here, lives near Disneyland, he's let his whole front yard go VERY crazy with the Kali Tubifloras - quite the sight! There's almost a prehistoric look to his yard with all those things growing wild...:-) [I need to squeeze a picture out of that scene one day and post it here]

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 9:48PM
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cactus_junebug

The key to flowering is to force a plant into dormancy, whether it be by short days, cool temperatures, or less watering. It is important to note that the darkness required is not total darkness, just short days. Poinsettia also need long nights to come into color, but many a gardener has killed theirs because they misunderstood the requirements and put it away in a closet for 4 to 6 weeks.

I also have a tall Kalanchoe, but it has never flowered. I don't know the species, and I don't think it is suppesed to flower. The common name is Mother of Thousands, and I am certain mine has propagated tens of thousands in the 23 years I have had it! Rather than flowering, it gets baby plantlets in the notches of the leaves. The babies eventually fall off & root, if they happen to fall onto soil. I can find at least a few of the babies in nearly every houseplant pot I have.

I have a room that gets quite cool in the winter, and I have success with many plants flowering that other gardenerrs have never had luck with. My Poinsettia blooms for me without any extra dark treatment, even though they are subject to both my grow lights for long daytime periods, and to the light from neughborhood street lights all night long. A local grower is so meticulous about providing darkness for these plants, that he unplugs the pop machines that are in the room, and he puts tape over the light switches so that an employee canot accidentally turn on the lights. Maybe I should tell him to just open a window and let a little cool air in. :)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 6:28PM
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