How to Cut Back Kalanchoe

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Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears or scissors

  • Bleach

Tip

Dip the pruning shears or scissors in bleach between each plant if cutting back more than one kalanchoe.

Warning

Don't trim away all the leaves or shear the plant. It needs the leaves to continue growing and produce flower buds for the next blooming season.

Kalanchoe plants should be cut back when they are done blooming.

With its late winter blooming habit, kalanchoe brings bright blooms into homes when the weather outside is still cold and gloomy. Most kalanchoe plants start blooming in January. To do this, however, they must set buds in the fall, making the timing of pruning or trimming critical if the plant is expected to bloom the next year. Trimming will not only help encourage the next season's blooms, but will keep the plant itself healthy and attractive.

Step 1

Wait until late spring, or after the kalanchoe is done blooming. When the blooms are wilted or have all fallen off, the kalanchoe is ready to be cut back or pruned.

Step 2

Mix together 1 tablespoon bleach and 2 cups of water.

Step 3

Dip the pruning shears into the bleach mixture. This will kill any viruses or diseases that may be spread between plants through the shears.

Step 4

Cut off the empty or wilted flower stems as close to the base of the plant as possible. Make straight, sharp cuts. Ragged cuts invite disease.

Step 5

Cut back any "leggy" or undesirable growth. A kalanchoe plant should be rounded and compact. Any especially long or tall stems should be removed. As with the flower stems, cut as close to the base of the plant as possible and make a straight, clean cut.

Step 6

Remove any brown, yellow or damaged leaves by cutting them at the stem.

Step 7

Discard of the cuttings, including flower petals and leaves. If left in the pot, cuttings can attract unwanted pests and harbor bacteria.

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Carlye Jones

Carlye Jones is a journalist, writer, photographer, novelist and artisan jeweler with more than 20 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, photography, crafting, business and travel. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites.