Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

A member of the Crassulaceae family and hailing from Madagascar, this is often sold as a disposable houseplant, but it is actually a perennial plant to 30 cm tall for pots, hanging baskets or garden beds. Many cultivars have been developed. It blooms for months, its waxy flowers held in lacy posies, in colours of white, pinks, orange, rust, yellow and various reds. When not in bloom, its rubbery, scalloped-edged leaves are held in neat upward-pointing formations like some sort of horticultural origami.

Potted Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, The Boathouse, Palm Beach, Sydney

A lightly shaded, well-drained position is ideal, though it seems also to cope with full sun and drought. It can be grown beneath spring-flowering shrubs or amongst spring bulbs. It should be cut back after flowering. Water only sparingly in winter. It seems to benefit from being renewed by propagating a cutting every couple of years. It is frost sensitive.

Flowers in August, September, October, November.

 Out now in my Sydney Garden.