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Saving a dying kalanchoe

Grace Webster
March 19, 2015

Hello there,

I have a small kalanchoe that needs some help. Over the winter, I've noticed the leaves become limp and papery, unlike a plump, healthy kalanchoe should be. Large parts of the plant have died back, and I'm left with only a few growths.

Two large kalanchoes that I inherited have since completely died (likely because the individual I took them from left them outside through sub-zero temperatures and multiple heavy rains?)... they were also infested with little bugs. Not sure if the bugs have had any effect on the small kalanchoe that is still barely alive.

The soil is in a well-draining pot, I have just moved it to a bright window-sill. It has been watered lightly maybe 4 times since December.

Comments (15)

  • Photo Synthesis

    I don't have much experience with these plants, but from what I can tell, they root very easily from cuttings. I had a couple of small ones last year that were neglected during the summer and they still sent out roots from the top sections (the plant had fallen over and stayed that way for some time).

    Grace Webster thanked Photo Synthesis
  • Laura G. Young

    My kalanchoes sometimes get rather spindly after the short days of winter, even with southern exposure; but then they recover with some "covered porch therapy" in summer. I think getting it some sunlight is *definitely* a good first step. However, it's good to remember that being super-tropical they detest being placed right next to icy windows! If it really starts looking bad, I'd take a small cutting as "insurance" just in case the parent plant bites the dust. As previously mentioned, they root quite easily.


    Grace Webster thanked Laura G. Young
  • rina_Ontario,Canada

    The leaves root very easily too. I found these leaves recently, I am sure they were there for a while (in different pots); there are roots on leave stem where it was touching the soil, on the other one roots are growing from every 'fold' of the leave.

    Here is the part of stem that I potted up after cutting top and most of bottom off:
    and plant it grew into about 18months later:

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL

    This particular Kalanchoe doesn't seem to thrive on being dry most of the time like some of the others I have. With the move to more light, I'd suggest watering it a little more often. If the leaves lose their turgidity and the soil is dry, that's probably wilt.

    Grace Webster thanked Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
  • rina_Ontario,Canada

    I agree, I do water it little more often than others; the leaves get floppy-droopy otherwise.

    Grace Webster thanked rina_Ontario,Canada
  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL

    How is your plant doing, Grace?

  • Saurabh Singh

    I see that the plant pot has lots of dried stuff (i think its mulch?) please clean the pot, next is keep the plant in a place where it doesnt receive much light, coz it looks stressed out.

    Also make sure that its not sitting in water.

    Or if the soil is too much wet.

    These plants can forgive you for not watering them for 1-2 weeks, but they wont be able to forgive your overwatering.

  • Prince Jas

    Hello there everyone,

    I have run it a problem with my Kalanchoe :( it’s winter in my region and I have taken care of it as I should for these times and haven’t had no problem until today. The plant was doing very well when I looked at it yesterday and the day before, but today I found it looking very bad :(

    The stems turn black and all are drooping down. And the green leaves fall off as you touch it or move it around.

    Is there any way I can retieve it back or do I need to cut off all the stems where the black meets the green part?

    Thank you

  • jpciii

    Prince Jas, That looks like root rot that is working it's way up from the soil. I do not think your plant will recover. However, if you cut off the healthy green parts, you may be able to root them and start new plants.

  • HU-856988127

    Hi everyone,

    I have been struggling for a few months now with a kalanchoe and it seems like anything I've tried is not helping. All the large leaves started slowly dying and eventually the entire central part of the plant dried up from the top. I am left with a few branches and I am worried that it will die completely.

    I've tried watering more often, watering more less, changing from indirect to direct sunlight, but nothing helped. Do you have any advice on what else I may try?

    There are two pictures attached, one of the plant in the summer and one of the plant in the current state. Any help would be really appreciated.

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5


    A number of us at the C&S Forum have recommended the same advice below previously to you - is there a reason why you don't want to follow it?

    1) the plant is WAY overpotted. The amount of soil around a plant's rootball, when the plant is this size, shouldn't be more than an inch around.

    2) the soil is not porous enough - cut that mix with 50% perlite.

    If there's something that I'm not explaining well enough, could you let me know? Otherwise I feel it's a waste of time for me to help you save your plants.

  • HU-856988127

    Hi Cactusmcharris,

    Thank you for your comment.

    This is my first post, as I've just stumbled upon this site on google, looking for a solution. Sorry if I haven't searched more, but this is the first discussion I saw. Hu-somenumber is a random name for new users it seems.

    Already ordered some perlite and will report in the next couple of days. Hope it helps.


  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5

    I hope you accept my apology for the ignorant post. There is a HU-..... who has asked the same thing multiple times (and has been answered multiple times), always returning to the same few issues troubling their plants.

  • HU-856988127

    No worries, I guessed that was probably the case.

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