Mini Kalanchoe stems turning brown

raweseusOctober 27, 2013

Hello GW,

I've come to ask for help again. I have a Mini Kalanchoe, looks like a Blossfeldiana, except smaller. It recently finished blooming, the flowers wilted and I clipped them all off about a week ago.

After that though some of the stems turned brown. The one in the left part of the picture came off when I moved it a bit to take a better look. I've read that after blooming Kalanchoes look dead, so is what I am seeing part if its natural processes or is there some sort of problem?

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Here is a picture of it while it was still flowery.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:23PM
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I would pinch back the stems that turned brown. As for the plant in general, these are often considered temporary houseplants, though I kept one alive for about 20 years. I personally prefer the fuzzy Kalanchoes myself, not known for their blooms.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Usually it's a stem that bloomed that turns brown in my case; I just trim them off. Mine is just simple yellow flowers. Have also k. Pearl bells, it has very nice elongated flowers, and stems that flowered also turn brown after-I just trim/pinch them off as Christopher suggested.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 6:44PM
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rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

Yes, your plant is a double flowering form of K. blossfeldiana, called Calandiva. They can be found in several colors. I have an orange one. I also found the flowering stems would die back (turn brown) after I snipped spent blooms. They died back to a set of leaves or to the main stem. I just pull them off or snip them. This is normal for the plant. Interesting for me to see that new growth has much smaller leaves than the plant had originally (over-fertilized) for its sale look/appeal.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Ahh, thanks for the help, I found that the stems did shrink back as everyone said.

But sad to say, I am pretty sure I overwatered it, been having a nagging suspicion that the soil's been taking too long to dry out and finally had suspicions confirmed when I found stem rot.

From what I understand, I'm meant to just chop off the rotten bit, stick the new stem into slightly moist soil and let it re-root right? At the moment I just burried it deeper into the pot, hoping that it'll just root by itself if I don't water it anymore...

Thanks again for the help.

on an unrelated note, @Christopher , wow, I googled fuzzy kalanchoe... they're so fuzzy!!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Update: in the end I cut the stem, leaving it out of soil for a while to let it heal before I am going to re-root, this time in a grittier mix.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 2:25AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Sounds like a good plan. When you water, do it at a sink where the excess can drip away, if you weren't already (removing it from decorative outer pot to do so.) The rocks on top can prevent moisture from evaporating, maybe fewer but larger rocks? I love rocks with succulents too. What kind of light do you have? I have several of these plants and a few are in the direct sun outside all day (but that will be coming to an end tomorrow, coming inside for a few months, when they will be given windowsill status, front row seats to the sunniest spots I have.)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 10:07AM
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@purpleinopp: hmmm rock wise I was thinking coarse, porous gravel would probably work too

Light-wise mostly just artificial. I was told by a staff at the store to keep it out of direct sunlight and spotlights but I am suspecting that it'll be able to handle winter sun for a bit.
I have an eastern window and a northern window with a building opposite that reflects sunlight. Except for my calluna and peace lily, I don't put plants there before noon. Had a bad experience there with sunburn on my lucky bamboos once. Starting to think I should put the kalanchoe there earlier though.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 12:47PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I don't like to devote any root-space to rocks, but they're a nice, heavy filler, especially for plants outside in the wind. If you think there's enough soil/root space around the rocks, that sounds fine. Adding rocks to peat, for example, would not mitigate the moisture retention. To do that, no fine particles can be present to lodge in the spaces between the larger particles. The peat would just conform to the shape of the rocks, as would sand, silt, clay, smaller bits of OM. Rocks are not porous, so can't help aerate small particles that lodge around them. If that's your goal, I'd go with perlite, though I'd advise you to get away from any/all small particles, especially for succulents but the principle has helped all of my tropical plants too.

They definitely look cool on top too. It's just that too many/too much coverage can keep too much air out of the soil in a non-porous pot. When they are smaller rocks like you are using, the risk begins, IME with killing plants in the past through various stereotypical means. A clay or wood container would be 'safer' to mulch/top-dress with gravel.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Thanks for the insight, what you said makes sense.

Update on the Kalanchoe, sad to say that I couldn't get it to root, the stem rot progressed too fast, after cutting instead of healing up the ends just turned black. There was one leaf cutting which did heal up nicely, but that didn't root, maybe because I was too scared to water it enough.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 5:48PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry for your loss, but if you try this again, pls. pot up the salvaged bits DRY & wait a while before watering. Plants w/out roots can't take up water, watering them only causes them to rot.

Better luck next time!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 8:10PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Sorry it's not going well! If there's still a good leaf left, might as well try this.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 9:43AM
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