Why Is My Kalanchoe Leggy? Reasons Why

There is a fair amount of maintenance required for a Kalanchoe if you plan on keeping it. Kalanchoes are stunning, but they require a lot of attention and care. A Kalanchoe with several long, thin stems is a familiar sight. A leggy plant has stems that are much larger than they should be.

Your visit here suggests you’re interested in learning the answer to the question, “Why is my Kalanchoe Leggy?” A lack of sunshine is the most typical cause of a leggy Kalanchoe. Kalanchoe can’t turn nutrients into energy if it doesn’t get enough light, so it stretches its stems to soak up as much of the sun’s rays as possible.

Kalanchoes that are too tall for their pots frequently have poor lighting as the underlying cause. It’s possible that a leggy plant is the result of a combination of causes. To avoid them, you need to be aware of them as well.

Why Is My Kalanchoe Leggy
Why Is My Kalanchoe Leggy

Kalanchoe Leggy – Why?

There are several reasons why your Kalanchoe plant might be leggy.

Sunlight deficiency

Kalanchoe plants may be lanky because they aren’t getting enough light. The plant needs sunlight for a variety of reasons. The process of photosynthesis relies on three factors in order to occur in a plant.

This is how the plant generates its own food supply. Light, carbon dioxide from the air, and soil nutrients are the three components necessary for photosynthesis to occur.

Each plant is unique, and its behavior might change depending on which of these three factors is lacking. Here, the Kalanchoe could react by reaching upwards for additional illumination.

This stem extension in Kalanchoe would cease once the plant was exposed to sufficient sunshine, and normal growth would resume.

You should know that Kalanchoes being too tall is the most prevalent reason for this, but it’s not the only reason.

Pruning in an Improper Manner

To prune a plant is to remove diseased or otherwise unproductive branches so that healthy new growth can develop. Kalanchoe is not a particularly tall plant, but it has a great deal of foliage, blossoms, and stalks. Plenty of food is needed to keep so many additions alive.

Kalanchoes can become lanky for one of two causes, depending on the individual plant sections and whether or not they are pruned:

A lack of nutrition

No sane person would mistake a plant for a sentient being. However, the plant fails to see the significance of letting go of the dying portions in order to save the most vital ones.

So the Kalanchoe will keep feeding its dead leaves, branches, and blossoms until it can’t anymore. That’s a significant amount of food that couldn’t be used to sustain the whole.

Do you recall the photosynthesis equation? Nutrients, one of the three, have been impaired. Even yet, the Kalanchoe has no idea why it is unable to produce its own food.

It doesn’t know if it’s due to a shortage of food or of light. So, even if the Kalanchoe is in a sunny spot, it may still reach out with extra stems.

The sun is blocked

As we were saying before, the Kalanchoe is a very adaptable plant. In particular, the blooms tend to multiply rapidly. Only the green sections of a plant are able to perform photosynthesis. Flowers can cover most or all of a Kalanchoe’s green leaves.

This isn’t normally a problem, but if the plant is in a spot with already limited sunlight, it might make all the difference.

Kalanchoe may become leggy if the blooms obscure too much of the plant’s green leaves, which are already being starved for light.

Water in excess

The roots will not get enough oxygen if there is too much water. The roots will decay or drown if this continues for too long. Roots that have been soaked in water or have rotted will not be able to take up the soil’s vital nutrients. Because of a deficiency of nutrients, the plant will be unable to produce its own nourishment.

The Kalanchoe plant will respond by stretching its stems and developing aerial roots in order to reach a new food source.

It’s important to do a proper soil test before watering your plants so that you don’t fall into the trap of overwatering. It’s still too soon to water your Kalanchoe if your finger, when inserted into the soil, comes out damp.

Kalanchoes, as was previously said, require watering every two to three weeks. Remember that this time frame could go up or down somewhat depending on the weather.

A lack of water

Succulent plants are where you’ll find kalanchoes. This family of plants has evolved a unique ability to store water in their leaves for long periods of time. Until the top two inches of soil are dry, you shouldn’t water a Kalanchoe.

It is time to water the Kalanchoe after half of your index finger goes dry when inserted into the soil. About once every two weeks is a good estimate for watering your Kalanchoe. An issue arises, however, when the time between waterings is so lengthy that some individuals forget to water their Kalanchoes.

The Kalanchoe has trouble taking up soil nutrients when it doesn’t get adequate water. Because of this, the Kalanchoe’s photosynthetic process is disrupted.

When Kalanchoe needs more water, it will either send out new stems to soak up the sun or send out new aerial roots to help it drink. Once more, the plant won’t know what caused the issue, so it may attempt anything.

A lack of soil or a tight container

Growers seldom, if ever, choose to confine their Kalanchoes to inappropriately tiny containers. Typically, the kalanchoe will outgrow its pot sooner than you anticipate.

If a plant grows too large for its container, it may start to lean out of the soil. This occurs because the soil’s capacity has diminished from what was sufficient for the smaller plant.

Root binding occurs when plant roots grow too deeply into a too-narrow area of soil. If your Kalanchoe is growing lanky, one solution is to upgrade its pot.

Leggy Kalanchoe Plant: What to Do?

Now that we know what may be causing a Kalanchoe to be leggy, we can figure out a solution.

Sunlight is the best place for the Kalanchoe

Since insufficient sunlight is the most typical cause of a leggy Kalanchoe, this should be your first step. For optimal growth, place your kalanchoes in full sun. They thrive under intense light.

Make sure there is indirect sunlight, though. The Kalanchoe’s fragile leaves and blossoms may wilt and fall off if you put the plant in direct sunlight.

A source of artificial light

You should use an artificial light source if you can’t expose your plant to natural sunlight. While man-made illumination can never replace the glow of the sun, it is certainly an improvement over the alternative. Despite this, the Kalanchoe will continue to engage in photosynthesis and produce a respectable amount of food.

If your Kalanchoe is still looking lanky, even if you’re providing it with artificial light, try moving the lamp closer to the plant or increasing its intensity.

Prune the Leggy Parts

For the sake of the Kalanchoe’s health, any overly-extended stems or leaves should be lopped off. There are two benefits to removing dead or diseased plant components.

The first benefit is that the plant may send its resources where they are most needed. This will prevent the precious minerals from being siphoned off to less vital areas of the Kalanchoe.

Second, you lessen the plant’s impact on the environment by cutting off branches that aren’t needed. By eliminating the dead wood, you boost photosynthesis in the living sections of the plant.

Don’t overuse water

At this point, the conclusion should be obvious. Over time, your Kalanchoe will suffer from insufficient nutrients because of overwatering or underwatering. To avoid this, you should check the soil’s pH before watering the plant.


Your kalanchoe’s legginess has been explained, so you can stop wondering about it. In a nutshell, less daylight is probably to blame. You may easily avoid this problem by moving your Kalanchoe into a spot with more direct sunlight or by using a powerful artificial light.

Inadequate trimming and watering are two other causes. However, they typically result in aerial roots rather than lanky plants. Those are all rather easy root reasons to address. Your tall Kalanchoe shouldn’t be too difficult to care for.

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