Kalanchoe plants are popular succulents known for their vibrant and long-lasting blooms. However, it can be concerning when the seemingly healthy kalanchoe starts to show signs of drooping. There can be several factors that contribute to this issue, and it is essential to address these causes in order to restore the plant’s health.
In this article, you will find comprehensive information on the possible reasons behind a drooping kalanchoe and how to effectively address them. By understanding the plant’s specific needs and requirements, you can ensure its proper care and help it maintain its lush appearance and thriving blooms.
Characteristics and Growth Patterns
Kalanchoes are popular, low-maintenance houseplants, known for their vibrant flowers and fleshy leaves. These succulents are appreciated for their ability to store water in their leaves, which helps them tolerate periods of drought. Kalanchoes typically have a compact growth pattern, with flowers blooming in clusters, creating an attractive display of a color on windowsills or tabletops.
As the flowers age, they may lose some of their vibrancy and begin to droop, which is a natural part of their life cycle. It is crucial to be aware of the age and general health of your kalanchoe to identify if your plant is merely going through its natural aging process or if it’s experiencing other issues that need addressing (source).
Ideal Environmental Conditions
Kalanchoes thrive in well-drained, aerated soil and prefer bright sunlight. However, they need to be gradually introduced to direct sun to avoid sunburn (source). Moreover, proper watering practices are essential for maintaining the health of these succulents. Underwatering can lead to limp, shriveled leaves and a drooping appearance, while overwatering can cause root rot and fungal diseases (source).
To ensure your kalanchoe remains healthy and vibrant, follow these environmental recommendations:
- Provide bright, indirect light for most of the day.
- Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
- Use a well-draining soil mix.
- Maintain temperatures between 60-85°F (16-29°C).
By understanding the characteristics and growth patterns of your kalanchoe, as well as providing the ideal environmental conditions, you can prevent your plant from developing a drooping appearance and enjoy its colorful blooms for a longer time.
Common Causes of Drooping
Overwatering and Root Rot
One reason for kalanchoe drooping may be overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Overwatered plants will exhibit yellowing leaves, and the roots will become weak and rotted. To prevent this issue, ensure that the soil is well-draining, and allow the plant to dry out between waterings. Make sure not to let the plant sit in standing water, as this will exacerbate the problem of root rot further. A fungal or bacterial disease might also cause root rot, leading to drooping leaves.
Kalanchoes showing signs of drooping might also be underwatered. An underwatered plant will display wrinkled, shriveled, soft, or weak leaves. If the leaves start to turn brown and droop, it’s a clear indication your kalanchoe is underwatered. To save an underwatered kalanchoe, adjust your watering routine, ensuring that it gets the appropriate moisture it needs to thrive.
Kalanchoe succulents need proper lighting to maintain their health. Inadequate light might cause the plant’s leaves to droop. These plants prefer full sun, but they should be introduced to it gradually, to avoid sunburn. To address this issue, move your plant to a brighter location, ensuring that it receives ample sunlight to support healthy growth.
Fluctuations in temperature can also contribute to kalanchoe drooping. These plants prefer stable and consistent temperatures to grow and flourish. Sudden changes in temperature or exposure to drafts can stress the plant, leading to drooping leaves. To maintain the health of your kalanchoe, keep it away from drafty areas and ensure it’s in a spot with a consistent temperature all year round.
Pest and Disease Problems
Identifying Common Pests
Kalanchoe plants may experience infestations from various pests, which can lead to drooping leaves and general ill health. Common pests that affect kalanchoe plants include mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. Mealybugs appear as small, cotton-like white masses on plants, while aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects that feed on plant juices. Spider mites are minuscule, red or green mites, often leaving behind web-like structures on the plant.
To control these pests, natural remedies such as neem oil and insecticidal soap can be applied to the affected areas. It is essential to monitor the plant regularly and take prompt action to prevent infestations from worsening.
Detecting Diseases in Kalanchoe
Various diseases can also be the reason for a drooping kalanchoe. Fungal infections, such as crown rot, stem rot, and mildew, can cause yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and root rot (The Practical Planter). These diseases typically result from improper care or environmental conditions, such as overwatering or inadequate ventilation.
To identify a fungal infection, look for symptoms such as discolored or distorted leaves, black or yellow spots, and a fuzzy or powdery appearance on the plant’s surface. To treat these diseases, remove the affected parts of the plant, and apply a fungicide if necessary. Additionally, ensure proper plant care, including appropriate watering and airflow, to prevent future infections.
Effective Solutions for Drooping
Proper Watering Techniques
One of the main causes of drooping kalanchoe plants is improper watering. It is essential to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy, avoiding overwatering or underwatering. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings, and use a well-draining soil mix to prevent waterlogging. Ensure that the pot has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
Optimizing Light Conditions
Kalanchoes require adequate sunlight for healthy growth. Ensure that your plant receives at least 6 to 8 hours of bright, indirect light daily. Provide your kalanchoe with a gradual transition to full sun if it’s not used to it, to avoid sunburn. If the plant is in a dimly lit area, consider relocating it or using artificial grow lights to supplement the available light.
Maintaining Ideal Temperature
Temperature fluctuations can contribute to drooping kalanchoes. These plants thrive in a temperature range of 60-75°F (15-24°C), and lower or higher temperatures may cause stress. Monitor your indoor environment, and adjust the temperature accordingly. Additionally, avoid placing your kalanchoe near drafts or heat sources, which can lead to temperature fluctuations and drooping.
Pest and Disease Control Methods
Pests and diseases can affect the overall health of your kalanchoe plant, contributing to drooping. Regularly inspect the foliage for signs of pest infestation, such as mealybugs or scale insects, and treat them promptly using a mild insecticidal soap or neem oil. Additionally, watch out for signs of bacterial infections or fungal diseases, and address these issues using appropriate treatments, such as copper-based fungicides. Implement proper hygiene practices in your garden, including removing dead plant debris and minimizing leaf wetness, to reduce the risk of disease.
Regular Plant Care and Monitoring
To prevent drooping in your Kalanchoe plant, it’s essential to establish a regular routine of plant care and monitoring. Pay close attention to your plant’s appearance, and promptly address any signs of distress or changes in appearance, like yellowing or wilting leaves.
Periodically inspect the plant for pests, diseases, or fungal infections, such as powdery mildew, which can cause white spots on the leaves. By staying attentive to your Kalanchoe’s health, you can take early action and often prevent drooping from occurring in the first place.
Implementing a Proper Watering Schedule
One of the primary causes of drooping in Kalanchoe plants is improper watering. To ensure your plant receives the right amount of water, follow these guidelines:
- Water the plant thoroughly, and then let the soil dry out before watering again. Kalanchoes are succulents and can store water in their leaves, making them more tolerant of dry periods.
- Ensure that the pot has adequate drainage to prevent the roots from sitting in water, which can lead to root rot and eventually drooping.
- During colder months, reduce the watering frequency, as most succulents, including Kalanchoes, go dormant during this time and require less water.
Choosing the Right Location for Your Kalanchoe
The location of your Kalanchoe plant plays a crucial role in its overall health and can help prevent drooping. Follow these tips when choosing an ideal spot for your plant:
- Provide bright, indirect sunlight, as intense direct sunlight can cause leaf scorch and drooping.
- During cold winter months, bring your Kalanchoe indoors and maintain a room temperature environment to prevent drooping caused by low temperatures.
- Pot your Kalanchoe in well-aerated, well-drained soil that allows for proper air circulation and drainage to keep the roots healthy and promote stable growth.
By following these preventative measures and maintaining consistent care, you can help your Kalanchoe plant thrive and avoid drooping issues.
We suggest watching this video if you want to learn more about the causes of your plant’s drooping.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.