Flaming Käthchen

The Kalanchoe blossfeldiana – better known as Flaming Käthchen – has meanwhile become the most popular houseplant in Germany. It is the best-known representative of the Kalanchoe succulent genus and can be found in many households. With the right care, the Flaming Käthchen can flower for six to eight weeks every year. Since the Kalanchoe forms a large genus of succulents, this care is comparatively simple.

The ideal location for the Flaming Käthchen

The Flaming Käthchen is native to the tropical parts of Asia and Africa, and is most widespread in Madagascar. For this reason, the plant is particularly well adapted to light areas. Basically, a bright place for the Flaming Käthchen is the best location, especially in summer the plant should be placed in the fresh air. However, the plant should be protected from direct midday sun, otherwise unaesthetic burn marks will occur and the Kalanchoe may dry out. In winter the Flaming Katy needs a room temperature of around fifteen degrees. In order for buds to emerge for the summer at all, the Kalanchoe may be exposed to light for a maximum of nine hours a day from November onwards.

Tip: Reddish leaves are a clear warning sign of burns, the plant should be removed from the sun as soon as possible.

The ideal location at a glance

  • bright location, partially shaded
  • fresh air
  • no midday sun
  • in winter at 15 ° C, maximum exposure time: 9 hours

The right care for a long bloom

Flaming Käthchen Care

In general, the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is extremely easy to care for and easy to use. Depending on the species, it can sprout in yellow, orange, white or red flower colors. In order to keep the flowering time particularly long and not to destroy the seeds, you should still observe a few tips: The main flowering time is between February and July, with the greatest number of flowers being concentrated in the months of April, May and June. During this growth and flowering period, care should be taken to ensure that the soil is moistened, and no real watering as such is required. A few splashes directly on the ground with a water spreader are sufficient.

  • watering is done once a week
  • never water before the top layer of the earth is dry again

The thumb test is very helpful in assessing the moisture in the soil. In the thumb test, the thumb is placed on the soil to be watered. If soil sticks to the thumb, the soil is still too damp to be watered. In winter, due to the greater cold and the resulting lower evaporation, as little water as possible is poured. The principle should be observed that the higher the temperature, the more frequent the watering, as there is a risk of rot when it is cold.

Since the Flaming Käthchen has a strong tendency to grow upwards, the plant can and should be pruned from time to time, otherwise it will sprawl and form a gigantic bush. This is not recommended for aesthetics lovers.

The right temperatures play a large and important role for the perfect bloom.

  • In summer 20 to 22 ° C a day
  • In summer 18 to 20 ° C at night
  • In winter 16 to 20 ° C
  • In winter not below 15 ° C at night

In summer, the flowering time can be delayed by a temperature below 18 ° C or above 22 ° C, an average temperature of below 15 ° C prevents the flowering time completely.

Tip: If possible, only individual bloomed flowers and leaves should be removed instead of the entire flower stalk, as this will allow new flowers to bloom from the freed panicles.


A fertilizer can be used in the flowering period between April and August. This is not absolutely necessary and is only recommended if the number of flowers is low. A small amount of liquid fertilizer in the irrigation water can be added to the Flaming Käthchen every two to three weeks. However, if the plant is prone to growths from the outset, we advise against any type of fertilizer.

The process of sowing

The propagation of the Kalanchoe by sowing is relatively complicated and time-consuming. It requires a small glass house and a lot of patience. The ideal time for a successful sowing is between January and March at a room temperature of around 20 to 25 ° C – this increases the chances of germination. One gram of grain can grow thirty to fifty thousand plants. Depending on the variety, the germination time is between ten and thirty-five days.

After about five to eight weeks, the prick should be four by four cm. This guarantees optimal use of space. Only after the third pair of leaves has appeared should the seedlings absorb a stimulus to flowering. Therefore, the summer treatment is only necessary from this point on.

Next, the plants are repotted. Pots ten to eleven centimeters in diameter are ideal, but six to seven centimeters are more suitable for smaller Kalanchoe species. The further cultivation takes place according to the instructions described under “The right care for a long bloom”.

The sowing process at a glance:

  • between January and March at 20-25 ° C
  • Prick out to 4x4cm after 5-8 weeks
  • Continue cultivation after the third pair of leaves
  • Pot size 10-11cm or 6-7cm

The better alternative: propagation of cuttings

Sowing the Flaming Katy is very time-consuming and complicated. Often no success can be guaranteed. It is therefore advisable to propagate the plant by cuttings. Here, fertile, healthy shoot tips about ten centimeters long are cut from the plant and the new plant is cultivated from these. When cutting, it should be as straight and clear as possible so that the roots can develop without problems. The cut is dried briefly and then planted in a pot. An earth-sand mixture imitates the local conditions in Madagascar and ensures optimal development. A lower level of humidity should again be observed, the thumb test should be carried out before each watering. The temperatures for knocking out roots and rapid growth are relatively free,

Tip: If you want flowers, 22 ° C is the maximum temperature.

The best results can be achieved by propagating cuttings in spring. At the beginning of cultivation, the plant should be kept indoors. Direct sun must be avoided as a matter of urgency.

Diseases and pests

Flaming Käthchen Diseases and pests

The Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is not only so popular because of its beautiful flowers. The simple care and, above all, the low susceptibility to diseases make the plant robust against external influences and also forgive one or the other misstep in care.

The most important are the consequences of moisture and excessive moisture. The Flaming Käthchen is extremely sensitive to damp surfaces. The consequences are rotting of the roots and trunk and long-term weakness of the plant.

Tip: If the leaves start to fall for no reason and in large numbers, it is important to check for rot.

To combat rot, one can only try to dry the rotten areas again by repotting. In the case of pronounced overhumidification, however, there is usually no remedy.
Another indication of overmoistening, which usually occurs at a later stage, is the kinking of the stems. As soon as the tall plant begins to appear limp and weak, it should be repotted immediately. Water as little as possible (every 14 days).Unfortunately, the plants are also not spared from the notorious powdery mildew. The reason for this is again too high humidity, but not in the earth, but in the air. This can only be counteracted with chemical aids. A powdery mildew spray is usually sufficient. However, this should not only be sprayed on the affected areas, but also on the surrounding areas, as the powdery mildew is initially barely visible and otherwise spreads.

Cold locations often lead to changes in the leaves, and cork formation is not uncommon. Simply place the plant in warmer places and the symptoms will go away on their own.
The effects of insufficient light supply are pale leaves and flowers or a lack of flowers and restricted growth. However, extremely careful measures should be taken here, the light supply should only be increased piece by piece, otherwise there is a risk of burns. In itself, a low supply of light is initially not harmful to the plant, it only loses its aesthetic value.

Since the Flaming Käthchen is a robust type of succulent, it is actually never attacked by pests.

Diseases of the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana at a glance:

  • Overmoistening: rot on the stem and leaves, buckling of the stem
  • Measures: repotting
  • high humidity: powdery mildew
  • Measures: spray the affected and surrounding areas with powdery mildew spray
  • Cold: changes and cork formation on leaves
  • Measures: warmer location
  • Darkness: pallor and lack of flowers
  • Measures: gradually increasing the supply of light
  • Pests: none

Notes on overwintering and over-summering

The Flaming Käthchen is a comparatively undemanding yet beautiful plant. However, it has the disadvantage that, despite the information given, it does not hibernate particularly well. Similar to the poinsettia, it is a short-day plant and is rarely kept for more than a year. Getting the Kalanchoe to bloom again is not easy. Even if the tips listed are almost certain to be successful, the flowers themselves are comparatively small. After two years, the plant loses its shape and the flowers become smaller and more colorless. This is why the original plant is usually replaced by offspring from cuttings after two years at the latest.

If you still don’t want to give up your plant, you should above all observe the dark periods of at least 16 hours a day in winter. The Flaming Käthchen can easily be put in a cupboard or something similar.

Due to its ease of care and refreshing bloom, the Flaming Käthchen is rightly the most popular houseplant in Germany. It can stand outside as well as decorate the interior. The robustness against diseases and pests, as well as a low need for water and fertilizers make the Kalanchoe a very easy to care for plant. For the trained botanist or hobby gardener with a green thumb, the plant can even bloom for several years. Unfortunately, this only applies in connection with a high expenditure of time and constant control of the air, light and temperature conditions.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *