Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Kalanchoes are versatile succulents that can be grown indoors or out. In colder climates, they can be used much like bedding plants outdoors. Letís look at some of the most recent varieties that have been introduced to the market.
Parina kalanchoe is noted for its lovely, deep violet blossoms. These are single. About average in size, this plant is more vigorous than some.
Among the yellow-flowering varieties, Milos kalanchoe is a knockout. Usually average sized, this is simply covered with clusters of single, bicolored blooms. Yellow around the edges, the interior is an eye catching orange.
Fuego kalanchoe isnít shy about showing its colors. This medium-sized plant is somewhat vigorous. Its firecracker-red blooms may be small, but what they lack in size they make up in sheer numbers. These are single.
In size, Nemo kalanchoe is similar to Fuego. Both have about the same rate of vigor. But the flower colors couldnít be different. Yet, both are red. Nemo is a gorgeous dark red that seems to inch towards black, while those of Fuego are more of a medium scarlet.
Along with all the brightly colored kalanchoes, there is now a delightful white-flowering one called Snowdon kalanchoe. When the large, gorgeous, single blossoms open, they are initially a cream. Then they become pure white. These are displayed beautifully against the completely flat, dark green foliage. The blooms last for about two months. This vigorous plant is nicely branched.
The Calandiva kalanchoes have been among the most successful of pot plant introductions in recent years. Now there are several new colors in this wonderful series. The new ones include a pink, a pinkish-purple, and a red. All of these have thick, glossy light green foliage.
Calandiva Pink Purple kalanchoe is a charming bicolor. A medium-sized plant, this has a somewhat vigorous growth habit. The lovely blossoms are a combination of pink and purple.
Calandiva Dark Pink kalanchoe is similar to Calandiva Pink Purple with respect to size and vigor. The medium-sized, dark pink flowers are fully double, and contrast nicely with the lovely, dark green foliage.
Calandiva Charming Red kalanchoe is sure to be a star. A slow growing plant, this is a mediumĖsized variety. The totally double blooms are sure to get attention. These are orange-red. Though they are small in size, their sheer abundance more than makes up for that.
So far as general care is concerned, all of these kalanchoes pretty much benefit from the same amount of attention. Allow the potting soil to dry out between waterings. They prefer full sun though they will tolerate some partial shade. Go easy on the fertilizer for kalanchoes arenít heavy feeders.