Kalanchoe: Why Is It Dying and What Can You Do About It

The low maintenance and long-lasting benefits of kalanchoe plants are hard to beat. Really, if you just leave them alone, they’ll flourish. Neglect is no problem with these succulents.

The key to keeping your Kalanchoe alive is determining how long you can go without giving them any attention at all and then taking immediate action to prevent their death. Several illnesses and issues with the growth environment can be disastrous for succulents.

There are several typical causes of death for Kalanchoe plants, which we’ll discuss below. If your plant is wilting, growing erratically, or its leaves are darker than usual, it may be suffering from one of these causes.

Why Is my Kalanchoe Plant Dying
Why Is my Kalanchoe Plant Dying

There are several reasons why your Kalanchoe may die

Watering Too Much

It is commonly believed that kalanchoe requires little maintenance. Kalanchoe is a little different from other houseplants in that its soil doesn’t need to be kept very moist.

This tough plant thrives on infrequent watering. This is because it is a succulent, which is a type of plant that is well suited to dry conditions. The leaves of these plants may store significant amounts of water.

A Kalanchoe will continue to drink water as long as you provide it to it. The leaves will expand and burst, making the plant vulnerable to pests and diseases.

Overwatering a Kalanchoe can cause serious problems, the worst of which is stem rot. A telltale sign of this is a browning, squishy stem.

Kalanchoe Plant Watering: The Right Way

All Kalanchoe varieties respond well to the same routine of watering.

Give It a Soaking, and then let the plant dry 

In addition to allowing excess water to drain out, a drainage hole in the container will serve as a handy indicator of when more liquid is needed.

Water the soil steadily until water begins to drain out of the drainage hole and onto a saucer or the sink, depending on where you are watering the plant.

Be sure to avoid getting water on the leaves. Bottom watering is best for them, as moist foliage encourages fungal infections. The plant should be placed on a drainage tray after watering, left there for up to 20 minutes, and then the tray should be emptied.

Overwatering is a common problem with Kalanchoe plants, so you can’t just leave these sitting in a dish of water, either.

Not Enough Water

The drought resistance of Kalanchoe plants is a selling point in garden centers. They’re perfect for those who lead hectic lives and, as a result, forget to water their plants as often as they should. Being drought-resistant is different from purposefully not watering your plant when it needs it.

The succulent leaves of a kalanchoe plant hold a substantial food reserve. Those are the ones you should be saving for emergencies. In a soak-and-dry watering cycle, you only add water when the soil is dry, allowing the plant to maintain its water supply reserves.

Over time, the leaves of a plant left in dry soil may dry out and fall off. The margins of the leaves are the first to shrivel and brown as the leaves dry up.

In order to save energy, the leaf’s edges curl inward, reducing the amount of transpiration. You should water your Kalanchoe as usual when you notice the plant showing signs of dehydration. It doesn’t warrant any more resources than what’s strictly required. Be careful not to overwater it at this point.

Not Enough Sunlight

Blooming plants need a lot of exposure to sunshine. Kalanchoes are succulents that produce flowers, thus they need bright light to thrive. Increase throughout the summer when growth is at its peak and decrease during the winter when rest is more important.

Growing them near an east or west-facing window will give you the best results throughout the summer months. Too much sunshine in the winter might hinder blossoming the following year.

After their flowering period ends, often around September, you should move them to north or south-facing window to overwinter. The stem development pattern of Kalanchoes should be monitored closely during their active growth phase. When etiolation occurs, it indicates that the lighting levels are inadequate.

The stems will be weak and elongated as they reach for the light, indicating this is a problem. Fewer nutrients are transported to the leaves when the stems are weaker, which results in less foliage. With less chlorophyll, photosynthesis slows, leaving the plant always hungry.

If your plant is struggling to thrive under dim lighting, try gradually increasing its exposure to bright, indirect sunshine. Too much direct sunlight can cause sunburn and scorch to the leaves, which isn’t fatal immediately away but will ultimately destroy the affected leaves.

The Kalanchoe plant is sensitive to direct sunlight, therefore keeping it out of its path. Provide some sort of shade or UV screen if you plan on growing your plant on an east or west-facing window sill or in a garden.

Soil and Pots

Having well-drained soil is essential for maintaining healthy Kalanchoe plants. The drainage of a plant’s environment is affected by both the container it is grown in and the soil combination.

Since clay is permeable, planting in it improves soil oxygen levels and facilitates faster water drainage. While the porous structure of clay pots enhances aeration and drainage, the soil mix will evaporate more quickly than it would in a plastic pot since clay is a heat retainer.

There are two soil mixtures that are ideal for growing Kalanchoes inside containers. Cactus mix and potting soil combined in a ratio of 50:50, or a soil mixture of 60% peat moss and 40% perlite.

You shouldn’t use the original container your plant arrived in if you want it to thrive. Those will barely be enough to sustain the plant’s life. If you want it to flourish, you should repot it into a container that is a few millimeters larger than the one it was originally planted in. Change the soil out for one of the aforementioned compost blends.

It will take two years to mature, but after being repotted in improved soil, it will thrive. You should repot it after two years. Plants can outgrow their containers when the soil dries up and as nutrients are used up. It should have its soil changed every two years, even if it is not rootbound in its pot.

Kalanchoes that have been in the same pot and soil mix for two years or more may be suffering from a lack of quality soil. To give the plant a new lease on life, try repotting it in a different container with new potting soil.


Powdery Mildew

If you take care of the fungal infection, it won’t kill you too often. Kalanchoe plants are susceptible to powdery mildew, which appears as a powdery white coating on the leaves.

As a result, photosynthesis is slowed by the obstruction of sunlight. It’s not a serious illness, so just cleaning the leaves and using a fungicide like Neem oil should get rid of the problem.

Keep the soil moist instead of the leaves to keep powdery mildew at bay. The fungus is disseminated in warm, humid environments, and it is transported by water. Don’t water the leaves if you want to stop the disease from spreading.

Rot caused by phytophagous fungi

The soil fungus is called Phytophthora. Kalanchoe plant roots are the target of this pest. Because of this, death is possible. The root of the issue is soil that is too saturated with water.

Phytophthora infects a plant from the ground up, beginning at its roots.

Yellowing leaves, withering stems, and premature flower drops are all symptoms of Phytophthora rot. If you’re witnessing the kalanchoe’s health deteriorate and you know the soil hasn’t dried out between waterings, repotting it in a new potting mix may help. It’s a good idea to check the roots for rot as you unpot the plant.

Roots at various stages of decay might seem black, brown, or even slightly discolored. Check for softness by pinching them between the thumb and fingers. Do away with any shaky roots. If you leave them on the plant, the Phytophthora infection will spread to the new soil.

Over Fertilization Can Cause Brown Spots

In general, kalanchoe plants do not require a lot of fertilizer. Brown patches may appear if you use too much. The reason for this is that plants lose moisture when exposed to too much salt. The leaves are not a place for fertilizer; they should be reserved for the ground. Kalanchoe plants should not be treated with foliar sprays.

Kalanchoe leaves with brown tips are an early indicator of excessive fertilizing. When plants suffer from fertilizer burn, the simplest solution is to cleanse the soil. This is considerably simpler to perform with indoor plants since you can just keep pouring water through the soil to flush the fertilizer out.

Kalanchoe plants can suffer from several pests that can starve them

Several different kinds of plant pests, including brown-scale insects, puncture the leaves of Kalanchoe in order to get to the plant’s fluids. Spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids are the three most frequent plant pests.

They like to cluster on the underside of the leaves, and though they’re tiny, it doesn’t take long for them to multiply into a serious infestation. There are several options for treating pests on houseplants, but one of the easiest is Neem Oil.

Leave a Comment