How to Care for a Calandiva Plant

Calandiva Plant Care

Calandiva is a beautiful plant that is often given as a present. This is actually a specific cultivar of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana. Because it is such a popular plant to give as a gift, it can be found in many stores, already potted and ready to be displayed in your home. A great thing about this plant is that it comes in many different colors, so those looking for a decorative plant to accentuate their home interior have a variety of choices.Another good thing about Calandiva that makes it an excellent gift plant is that its blooms last for a long time: between 6 and 8 weeks. It makes it a very effective present for many different situations.

It is important to know that Calandiva is a relatively new cultivar. It was originally developed in the Netherlands and it was pioneered in the early 2000s. After around twenty years, we know enough about this specific cultivar to care for a Calandiva plant in the best possible way.

How to Care for a Calandiva Plant in a Container

Since Calandiva is a great potted plant, it means that it can thrive in a well-maintained container garden. It doesn't ask much: it can survive even with some neglect, such as missed waterings. It only requires well-draining potting mix to thrive. When watering your Calandiva in a container garden, make sure to only water the soil and do you best to avoid making the flowers wet. If the water reaches the flowers, it will greatly shorter their lifespan, and it may ruin the look of your container garden.  

It is not difficult to care for a Calandiva plant, as long as you provide it with some key requirements. Keep in mind that this plant loved bright but indirect light. They are also not particularly picky about the humidity.

When it comes to watering, Calandiva plants behave a lot like succulents, so it is important to always allow the soil to dry a little between the waterings. If the plant includes a decorative pot on top of a regular one, always make sure to take the plant out of the decorative pot if the decorative one doesn't include drainage holes. Water the plant in the regular contained with drainage holes and then let it drain thoroughly. Keep in mind that a plant like Calandiva doesn't tolerate to sit in water for any period of time. You have to avoid any "wet feet" situation, that is, when the plant's roots are allowed to sit in water. It can quickly lead to the root rot and other problems. To avoid this, make sure to use only well-draining potting mix.

Keep in mind that once the flowers are spent, it will take some time for your plant to bloom again, but it will happen. Because of the wait time, many people assume that there is something wrong with the plant, so they throw it away. However, this does not mean that there's anything wrong with your plant.

To encourage blooming, trim away some of the foliage that might hide stems that will produce buds. Place your Calandiva plant in a closed for about 14 to 16 hours per day, starting November. During the day, take it out and place it in a spot that receives bright but indirect light. Do not overwater during this period. Do this regime until you notice small buds forming. Once this happens, place your Calandiva plant in its usual spot where it can receive bright but indirect light, and do not put it back into the closet.

How to Care for a Calandiva Plant Outdoors

The good news is that it is possible to grow Calandiva outdoors, provided that you live in a warm enough area. It can grow properly in the USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11. However, if you choose to go this route, make sure to always watch the temperature. You will need to bring your Calandiva inside as soon as the temperatures fall below 50 degrees F during the night.

Also, choosing a good spot is an imperative. You need to position your Claandiva somewhere where it will not be affected by the full sun. When exposed to the full sun, your Calandiva can ger burnt leaves. A covered patio or a porch is a good option to protect your Calandiva plant.

To make your plant happy and to encourage it to grow healthy and strong, you may add some balanced succulent fertilizer once per month. It will add some needed boost to your Calandiva. Make sure to apply this fertilizer from the spring until the fall.

Calandiva Plant Propagation

If you wish to get more of these gorgeous Calandiva plants for yourself or to give them as presents, you may try propagation. This is best done through cuttings, which is the easiest and most successful method of propagation for these plants.

To propagate, simply trim a cutting from the plant. Make sure to use only sterilized scissors or a knife. Choose a spot where the plant is not flowering, and where it has at least 4 or 5 leaves on it. This will ensure success with propagation, so that the cutting will be strong enough to survive and build strong roots of its own.

Next, remove 2 or 3 sets of leaves off the cutting. Allow for the cutting to stand for a few days outside of the ground. This will make it develop callous, which is important for the success of the propagation. The callous will protect your new plant from rotting and disease.

After this, take your Calandiva cutting and dip it in some rooting hormone. Once this is done, plant it into the ground. It is best to use a cactus or succulent mix. Fill the container you wish the use, and poke a hole to insert the bottom part of the cutting into the ground. Water it normally and place it in a spot that receives bright but indirect light.

While the cutting establishes itself, make sure to keep the soil consistently moist. You will know that it had established roots because it will start growing leaves. This is when you cans tart caring for you new Calandiva plant in the same way you care for an adult plant.

Photo credit: Kevin

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