Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Why all the fuss about Calandivas? One kind of kalanchoe flowering pot plants should be pretty much like any other. Yet, there are things about this group that make them different.
The compact Calandivas stand out from the crowd. Granted that part of that is due to the stellar marketing campaign accompanying the plants’ release. In addition, it isn’t being marketed as a kalanchoe per se, but merely as Calandiva. These pots contain special tags and covers.
As a matter of fact, people that normally can take or leave kalanchoes are actually excited about this group. The original plant was spotted at a greenhouse in Sweden. From that point on, a plant breeder from Fides began to breed the plants. Starting with one, they now have eventually come up with over ten different colors.
Regardless of what color you choose, the Calandivas feature large, full-headed rose-shaped blossoms with layer upon layer of fully double petals. These last for six or eight weeks.
Calandivas have attractive, dark green foliage that is medium in size. The plants are noted for their shapeliness. Throughout the blooming period, the Calandivas maintain their beautiful flower colors. Of the ten colors or so, one of the latest to be released is Soft Yellow.
The demand for Calandivas never seems to end. In Europe alone, over 200,000 reach the marketplace every week. In the U.S., this is only about 65,000 at this point because they were initially introduced in Europe.
The Calandivas are available year-round. Most of the time you’ll pay somewhat more than you would for an ordinary kalanchoe unless you find it as a discount store. But these premium plants are well worth it.
When the plants were introduced to the U.S., one source said the plant “looks just like a bouquet of multi-petaled miniature roses.”
Flower colors include three shades of pink—Pink, Soft Pink, and Dark Pink as well as a bicolor called White and Pink. In addition, there are two reds—Red and Charming Red. Other colors include Orange, Purple, Pink Purple, and White.
The Calandivas are just lovely as gift plants. Add a bow to the pot or a colorful plant stick, and you really do have an instant gift that needs no gift wrapping.
Like all kalanchoes, the Calandivas do best if the soil is allowed to dry out between waterings. Be sure the potting soil is well drained. These do best in full sun. An ideal temperature is in the 64-68 degree Fahrenheit range.
These are award winning plants. At the Super Floral Show in Charlotte, North Carolina, they were named the Best Flowering Plant. They also received a FloralStar award.
While Charming Red has a moderate growth rate, all of the others tend to be vigorous.
The Calandivas are cultivars of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana.