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KALANCHOE

There is some argument over the correct pronunciation of the kalanchoe. Some will argue that it should be ka-LAN-cho while others say kal-an-CO-ee. Either is acceptable, though the first is preferred.

Kalanchoes are succulent, and as such, can tolerate warm, dry conditions commonly found indoors during the winter. Flower colors range from red to orange to yellow. Plants prefer a bright, sunny location. Cool evening conditions during bloom will make flowers last longer. When done blooming, cut the plants back by one-fourth to one-half and re-pot in a slightly larger pot. Soil should be extremely well-drained; the addition of sand, vermiculite or perlite in equal parts to a packaged houseplant soil mix is recommended.

Plants can be placed outdoors in partial shade. Allow the soil to dry before watering. Fertilize every two to three weeks. Pinch plants to keep compact.

Like chrysanthemums and poinsettias, kalanchoes are short-day plants and bloom when nights are long. Avoid placing plants under artificial lights during the evening.

Plants seldom do well after their second blooming. Rooted cuttings can be taken to encourage new plant production.

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