Kalanchöe is a genus of about 125 species of tropical, succulent flowering plants mainly native to Madagascar, Java, and Africa. The plant is in the family Crassulaceae, but is not a Crassula!
The name came from the Chinese name “Kalan Chauhuy”, which means “that which falls and grows”.
Known to the Chinese as “10,000 purple 1,000 red” (萬紫千紅, wànzǐqiānhóng), Kalanchoe is commonly purchased during the Lunar Calendar New Year for decorative purposes.
The genus was first described by the botanist Michel Adanson in 1763. Adanson cited Camellus as his source for the name. the name. It is derived from the Chinese name “Kalanchauhuy”.
The genus BryophyllumKitchingia was created by Baker in 1881. Kitchingia is now regarded as a synonym for Kalanchoe, whereas some botanists treat Bryophyllum as a separate genus.
Kalanchoes are predominantly native to the Old World. Only one species of this genus originates from the Americas, Kalanchoe pinnata is native to Hawaii.
56 Kalanchoes species are found in southern and eastern Africa. 60 species in Madagascar. It can also be found in south-eastern Asia and China.
The plant has become an invasive species in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, parts of the Canary Islands and Australia.
Kalanchoe Propagation…Production of new individuals along a leaf margin of the plant,
Kalanchoe plants are popular because of their ease of propagation, low water requirements, and a wide variety of flower colors cluster well above the phylloclades.
Kalanchoe daigremontiana is an example of asexual reproduction. Because no males have been found. Which is why this plant is commonly called the mother of thousands.
Such cultivars as ‘Tessa’ and ‘Wendy’ have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’ Award of Garden Merit.
Kalanchoe seeds are tiny, around 2.5 million per ounce. You can crossbreed two varieties and come up with a hybrid that can either have traits of the parent plants, traits of its own, or both.
To crossbreed, wait until you have two or more plants in full bloom.
Use a small paintbrush or Q-tip to brush pollen from the stamen of one flower to the stigma of another, transferring from plant to plant. Since the flowers come in crowded bundles, it may be easiest to cut off a clump of them and pull them apart to get to the pollen.
Kalanchoe seeds can go directly into warm, slightly moist soil made of half cactus mix and half fine potting soil. The warmth and the humidity of the dirt will activate the seed’s growth hormones and guide the sprout towards nutrients, thus giving you a baby kalanchoe sprout.
Seeds should be placed in indirect light and kept at temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use our Perfect Solution For Healthy Plants spray,
Mist the seeds only when the soil appears dry. Do not over water! Germination should take around 10 days. Pinch the seedling back lightly at six to eight weeks.
If you want to have the exact same plant for your garden, you can propagate kalanchoe with leaf cuttings.
Take your cuttings in early spring, using a pair of sharp garden shears to cut a few strong green shoots off of the kalanchoe, six to eight inches long. Strip the leaves off of the bottom three inches of the cutting.
Cuttings will eventually root. Trust the process and do NOT water these!
You should allow the cuttings to dry on the counter for around three days to let the cut side heal up. If you plant the cutting immediately, it will be susceptible to rot.
The soil requirement for cutting propagation is a cactus mix blended with some humus topsoil. Before planting, water the mix thoroughly and allow it to drain for half an hour so that the soil is moist for planting.
Once the leaf grows a new plant, set the cutting on dry soil until you see many roots.
The photo shows it is too early.
Dig a small hole and stand the cutting upright, filling the hole in and pressing firmly so that it stands up on its own.
Avoid watering the kalanchoe cutting for at least one week. This encourages the leaf to survive in rather dry conditions by rooting through the soil.
The dirt you use should be permeable, well-drained and never overwatered.
You should attempt to propagate multiple cuttings to achieve at least one viable seedling. Small plants will begin to grow from the base of the cutting after one month.
Keep the leaf-cutting rather dry. spraying them only a couple of times per month with Our Perfect Solution For Healthy Plants, but never letting it puddle.
Starter Kalanchoe Care
After a couple months, you can gently dig the little kalanchoe plants from their potting mix and transplant them into individual one or two-inch pots. Fill the pots with a mix of coarse sand, peat moss, and compost.
This plant has grown without being in soil but it is time to plant it.
Always put an inch of pebbles or broken pottery in the bottom of the pot to improve drainage. They can now be treated like mature plants.
Kalanchoe plants need temperatures of between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit to thrive, and repeated exposure to colder temperatures will kill it.
Keep your indoor kalanchoe away from doors or drafts during the winter .
Your plants generally won’t be ready for a permanent home in your garden until they’re about two or three years old. They need to be between the adolescent and mature stage so that transplanting doesn’t shock the plant to death.
Kalanchoe loves the sun, but avoid direct sunlight in the summer when it can scald them.
These environmental parameters should be used until transplantation.
If you do not live in hardiness zones 10 through 12, you have to keep your kalanchoe as a houseplant permanently. Click to read Are Succulents Okay Outside In The Cold.
Kalanchoe Plant DiseasesSome Kalanche are prone to diseases because of their native roots.
|Bacterial fasciation||Rhodococcus fascians|
|Bacterial soft rot||Erwinia chrysanthemi|
E. carotovora subsp. carotovora
|Crown gall||Agrobacterium tumefaciens|
Colletotrichum gloeosporioides [anamorph]
|Botryosphaeria stem rot||Botryosphaeria ribis|
|Botrytis blight||Botrytis cinerea|
|Cercospora leaf spot||Cercospora sp.|
|Cladosporium leaf spot||Cladosporium sp.|
|Cylindrocladium root rot||Cylindrocladium sp.|
|Fusarium stem rot||Fusarium sp.|
|Lasiodiplodia leaf and stem rot||Lasiodiplodia theobromae|
|Phytophthora crown and root rot||Phytophthora spp.|
|Powdery mildew||Sphaerotheca fuliginea|
|Pythium root rot||Pythium spp.|
|Rhizoctonia root and crown rot||Rhizoctonia solani|
|Southern blight||Sclerotium rolfsii|
|Stemphylium leaf spot||Stemphylium bolickii|
|Viral and viroid diseases|
|Impatiens necrotic spot||Impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV)|
|Kalanchoë mosaic||Kalanchoë mosaic virus (KMV)|
|Spotted wilt||Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV)|
|Top spotting||Kalanchoë top-spotting virus (KTSV)|
TRIBAL AND HERBAL MEDICINE USESWe do not recommend any of the following remedies.
Kalanchoe is somewhat of a panacea to the indigenous peoples of the Amazon; they employ it for many different purposes.
The Creoles use the lightly roasted leaves for cancer and inflammations, and a leaf infusion is a popular remedy for fevers.
The Palikur mix the leaf juice with coconut oil or andiroba oil and then rub it on the forehead for migraines and headaches.
To the Siona indigenous peoples, kalanchoe is known as ‘boil medicine’ and they heat the leaves and apply them topically to boils and skin ulcers.
Along the Rio Pastaza in Ecuador, natives use a leaf infusion for broken bones and internal bruises.
In Peru, indigenous tribes mix the leaf with aguardiente (sugar cane rum) and apply the mixture to the temples for headaches; they soak the leaves and stems overnight in cold water and then drink it for heartburn, urethritis, and fevers.
The root is also prepared as an infusion and used for epilepsy. Other tribes in the Amazon squeeze the juice from fresh leaves and mix it with mother’s milk for earaches.
Throughout America, kalanchoe has had a long history of use.
It is commonly called the ‘miracle leaf’ and ‘life leaf’ for its remarkable healing properties.
In Brazil, the plant is considered a sedative, wound-healer, diuretic, anti-inflammatory and cough suppressant. It is used for all sorts of respiratory conditions-from asthma and coughs to bronchitis.
It is also employed for kidney stones, gastric ulcers, skin disorders and edema of the legs.
Externally a leaf infusion or the leaf juice is used for headaches, toothaches, earaches, eye infections, wounds, ulcers, boils, burns, and insect bites.
In Peru, the plant is employed for the same uses. In Mexico and Nicaragua, kalanchoe is used for similar purposes and also to promote menstruation and assist in childbirth.
|HERBAL PROPERTIES AND ACTIONS OF KALANCHOE|
|Main Actions||Other Actions||Standard Dosage|
|kills bacteria||prvents ulcer||Leaves|
|kills viruses||increases urination||Infusion: 1 cup twice daily|
|kills fungi||lowers cholesterol||Juice: applied topically|
|reduces fever||constricts blood vessels||2-3 times daily|
|heals wounds||mildly sedative|
Safety Tip: All parts of the kalanchoe are poisonous if ingested. Keep away from pets and children!.
Kalanchoeis rich in alkaloids, triterpenes, glycosides, flavonoids, steroids, and lipids
The leaves contain a group of chemicals called bufadienolides which are very active and have sparked the interest of scientists.
They are very similar in structure and activity as two other cardiac glycosides, digoxin and digitoxin (drugs used for the clinical treatment of congestive heart failure and related conditions).
Kalanchoe’s have demonstrated in clinical research to possess antibacterial, antitumor, cancer preventative, and insecticidal actions.
The main plant chemicals found in kalanchoe include: arachidic acid, astragalin, behenic acid, beta amyrin, benzenoids, beta-sitosterol, bryophollenone, bryophollone, bryophyllin, bryophyllin A-C, bryophyllol, bryophynol, bryotoxin C, bufadienolides, caffeic acid, campesterol, cardenolides, cinnamic acid, clerosterol, clionasterol, codisterol, coumaric acid, epigallocatechin, ferulic acid, flavonoids, friedelin, glutinol, hentriacontane, isofucosterol, kaempferol, oxalic acid, oxaloacetate, palmitic acid, patuletin, peposterol, phosphoenolpyruvate, protocatechuic acid, pseudotaraxasterol, pyruvate, quercetin, steroids, stigmasterol, succinic acid, syringic acid, taraxerol, and triacontane
BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND CLINICAL RESEARCHMany of kalanchoe’s traditional uses can be explained by the clinical research conducted thus far on the plant.
The traditional use for infectious conditions (both internally and externally) is supported by research indicating kalanchoe leaves have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity.
The leaf and leaf juice have demonstrated significant in vitro antibacterial activity towardsStaphylococcus, E. coli, Shigella, BacillusandPseudomonas, including several strains of multi-drug resistant bacteria.
A water extract of kalanchoe leaves (administered topically and internally) has been shown to prevent and treat leishmaniasis (a common parasitic disease in tropical countries which is transmitted by the bite of sand flies) in both humans and animals.
In addition to its antibacterial properties, kalanchoe’s traditional uses for upper respiratory conditions and coughs might be explained by research demonstrating that the leaf juice has potent anti-histamine and anti-allergic activity.
Anin vivo study (with rats and guinea pigs) the leaf juice was able to protect against chemically induced anaphylactic reactions and death by selectively blocking histamine receptors in the lungs.
In anotherin vivo study scientists validated kalanchoe’s use for gastric ulcers; a leaf extract protected mice from such ulcer-inducers as stress, aspirin, ethanol, and histamine.
Otherin vivo research confirms that kalanchoe can reduce fevers, and provides anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and muscle relaxant effects.
Its anti-inflammatory effects have been partially attributed to the immunomodulatory and immune suppressant effect documented by scientists in several studies.
In severalin vivo and in vitro studies, researchers reported that extracts of the leaf and/or juice suppressed various immune reactions, including those which trigger an inflammatory response as well as a histamine response.
Kalanchoe has also shown sedative and central nervous system depressant actions in animal studies.
These effects were attributed partially to the leaf extract demonstrating the ability to increase the levels of a neurotransmitter in the brain called GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid).
CURRENT PRACTICAL USES
The clinical research performed to date with animals indicate that the leaves are not toxic at small doses.
With many of kalanchoe’s traditional uses verified by animal research, it is not unusual that it continues to be a popular natural remedy throughout the tropics where it grows.
From upper respiratory infections and coughs to stomach ulcers and infections of the skin, eyes, and ears; it is widely known and used as “miracle leaf.”
The clinical research performed to date with animals indicate that the leaves are not toxic at dosages up to 5 grams per kilogram of body weight (in rats). However, there are a few reports of toxicity and even death when grazing animals (cows and goats) consumed excessive quantities of the leaves and flowers (estimated at 20 g per kg of body weight).
Kalanchoe is not well known or widely available here in the U.S.
While various hybrid species may be in plant stores and nurseries, these types of plants have been genetically modified for their qualities,
Because they are commercially modified to have the appearance as ornamental plants and they shouldn’t be used internally as a natural remedy.
|Recognized Kalanchoe Species|
Reference for this webpage was done using many publications including,
The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs by Leslie Taylor, copyrighted 2005 by Square One Publishers, Inc.