Kalanchoes are popular winter-bloomers that present gorgeous colorful blooms.
They are also toxic so be sure to keep children and pets well away.
The health of these plants depends heavily on the amount of light they get and people often run into problems when they don’t receive enough of it.
Why Is My Kalanchoe Leggy?
Your kalanchoe is leggy because it is not receiving enough sunlight to sustain healthy growth. It is reaching towards the sunlight and becoming leggy because it is in a location where it is not receiving enough of it.
Kalanchoes are tropical succulents and need loads of indirect, fairly bright light but can also tolerate a little weak direct morning sunlight during their growing period.
But hot summer or afternoon sun should be avoided as it can scorch their leaves.
And insufficient light will lead to abnormal and deformed growth, such as your kalanchoe becoming leggy.
When starved of light, much of the nutrients and energy the plant produces will end up being used on growing and stretching to reach sunlight, rather than flowering and reproducing.
The buds on kalanchoes are photo-periodically stimulated.
When the days get shorter and darker quicker, they will end up being in the dark for long periods.
Therefore, producing more flowers.
Kalanchoes may grow quicker than usual when they are looking for the additional sunlight they are in need of.
It is a common issue with indoor plants.
If you are keeping your plant indoors where it’s too shaded, then it will start to become leggy.
It is always good to find a place where your kalanchoe will get enough sunlight, so it doesn’t feel the need to fight to survive.
South-facing windows are usually best.
Outdoor Kalanchoes can also become leggy if they are planted in a shady part of your garden.
It occurs when sunlight literally cannot reach the plant.
In this case, consider moving it to a location where it has access to sunlight.
Signs Your Kalanchoe Is About To Become Leggy
These plants should be inspected regularly to ensure they stay healthy and their growth is normal.
Problems must be addressed as soon as you notice them.
This will make sure they survive and stay healthy.
Kalanchoes will give you some clues if they are about to grow upwards. A few of these signs include:
- Leaves will appear discolored and yellow.
- Kalanchoes’ leaves will start to curl downward – they do this to expose a larger area of themselves to sunlight.
- The growth of the plants will be directed toward the light source
- They will start leaning toward the light source.
- Later on, they will appear stretched out with the leaves spread out a bit more.
If any of the above clues present themselves, it means your Kalanchoe is not getting enough light!
You need to move it into sunlight immediately.
If it comes to this stage, your plants will stop producing new plant parts such as leaves, and they will start growing rapidly because they will utilize all of their energy to search out the light.
If you don’t realize early enough that your kalanchoe is not getting enough light, it may begin to take damage.
If this happens, it might begin to wither and eventually die.
How To Save A Leggy Kalanchoe
Once you notice early enough that your plant is stretching out, you should move it to a bright, sunny location.
Ensure Your Kalanchoe Is Receiving Enough Light
People often have the best success with these succulents when they place them at bright south or west-facing windows with net curtains to filter the strong afternoon sun.
Kalanchoes are tropical succulents and like lots of fairly bright natural sunlight.
However, it is best to keep them out of strong direct sunlight because they are susceptible to sunburn.
During their growing season, a little full morning sunlight will help them to grow, but make sure that you don’t leave them out in the strong afternoon sun.
An east-facing window is good for catching the morning sun.
You can also stop kalanchoes from getting leggy and help keep them growing healthily for extended periods, simply by cutting off the dead flower branches.
Start from the crown and trim dead leaves, flowers and branches, with a sharp, sterilized shears.
This keeps them tidy and trim and helps them to continue to flower.
Do make sure you leave behind at least a few inches of the stem, along with a few leaves.
Your plant will perform better if you leave some leaves behind.
Water It Correctly
For your kalanchoe to grow properly and not become leggy, it is also important to water it properly.
Test the soil with your finger every few days and if you notice that the top 2 inches have fully dried out (not just moist), then it’s time to give it some water.
The most common cause of a leggy kalanchoe is lack of sunlight.
Pruning your plant and moving it to a sunnier spot, like a south-facing window, will help to stop it from stretching for light.
An hour or two of weaker morning sunlight is helpful during the growing season, just be careful not to give it any strong afternoon sun.