For long-lasting blooms in great bold colours, try Calandiva ‘Else’, also known as Kalanchoe ‘Else’.
A variety of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, this plant is known for its compact growth and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Indoors, these great succulents are easy to grow in the right conditions.
The best position in the home for ‘Else’ is one with bright light but not direct sunlight. If the plant starts to look thin, it’s probably not getting enough light. It can be moved to a less bright spot after it has finished flowering.
Skewer test tip
It’s a succulent, so be miserly when watering. Check if your plant needs water using a wooden skewer as a ‘dipstick’ – stick it into the soil, wait a minute or two and remove it. If it comes out clean and dry, you need to water. Water the plant in a sink, allow to drain and put back in a pot cover.
Warmer climates are preferred, and ‘Else’ is not frost-hardy. Keep it out of cold drafts, but at the same time make sure it has good air circulation to keep the plant free from possible fungal diseases.
Give your calandiva a boost every few weeks during its flowering season with a liquid plant food. You can reduce this when it goes dormant in winter.
- Deadhead flowers regularly.
- Look out for pests like aphids and mealybugs.
- Prune leggy growth to keep the plants bushy and compact.
The flowers of these pretty plants are like miniature double roses and come in bright colours including red, magenta, pink, yellow, orange and white. During its natural growing and flowering cycle, a calandiva will need a rest period with short days and long nights to set buds. To manipulate this natural cycle, give the plant only 8-9 hours of daylight a day for at least a month. You can manipulate the light by placing it in a cupboard for 4 hours a day. Water sparingly, and about two months later you should see flowers appear. Give it a good feeding and increase the watering to normal.
These plants are grown by LVG Plants and are available from retail outlets and nurseries.