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Marie Iannotti

Will Kalanchoe Outlast the Holidays?

By November 8, 2012

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Holiday plants are starting to pop up in stores. So many of these plants don't last any longer than the holidays. They're forced into bloom and simply fade away after flowering.

Despite its common name of 'Florist Kalanchoe' (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana), this little succulent is pretty darn tenacious. I've had it for about 6 years now and despite being munched on, it's still going strong and blooming each winter. I put it outside for the summer and bring it in before frost. The one mistake I initially made was not pruning it back after it bloomed the first time. The lower leaves fall off and the plant gets gangly and less attractive if you don't. But that's since been remedied.

Gardeners in USDA Zones 10 and above can grow these tender perennials outdoors all year. Zone niners can give it a try, with protection and a little luck. The rest of us will have to suffice with summering outdoors. But whether you consider it a flowering houseplant or a charming succulent, here are some tips for growing Kalanchoe, from About.com's Houseplant Guide, Jon VanZile. By the way, it's pronounced kal-un-KOH-ee.

Photo: Marie Iannotti.

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