Plant Reviews

Leggy Kalanchoe Plant? Here’s What To Do!

28 December 2020
What to Do with the Leggy Kalanchoe Plant - Gardeners Yards

Got a leggy Kalanchoe plant? Then this blog post is for you!

Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) – the vibrant, colorful flowering plant is famous among all indoor and outdoor gardeners. It is desired by almost every household gardener. Kalanchoes are easy to take care of, but the only problem owners will face is Kalanchoes’ much-branched growth habit.

If your Kalanchoe has become leggy or stretched out, don’t worry. We have a perfect solution for you.

Why Does the Kalanchoe Get Leggy or Stretched Out?

Etiolation is the term used for plants that are showing unwanted, imbalanced growth caused by an insufficient amount of direct sunlight. A possible reason why your Kalanchoes start etiolation or get leggy is when they don’t get the required amount of sunlight for proper growth. So, what happens is that when your Kalanchoes don’t get the required amount of sunlight, they start stretching themselves.

Kalanchoes try to reach the closest possible source of light. While doing so, they get kalanchoe leggy and lose their thick, healthy natural look. Unfortunately, once Kalanchoes or any other succulent start etiolation, there is no quick solution to return to the original tight, thick look.

When not met with enough sunlight, Kalanchoes can quickly go from tight, upright plants to leggy unaesthetic ones.

What To Do With The Leggy Kalanchoe Plant?

If your Kalanchoe has started etiolation (leggy or unwanted growth), it simply means it didn’t get enough sunlight. You placed it in a spot that couldn’t provide your Kalanchoe with the required sunlight for balanced growth. Therefore, the next time you choose a spot for your Kalanchoe, select one with lovely indirect bright sunlight.

A spot or window area where your Kalanchoe can quickly get a minimum of five to six-hour bright sunlight. So now, what to do with the leggy Kalanchoe plant?

To fix your etiolated (leggy or stretched out) Kalanchoe, you can cleanly prune the etiolated stems and shift the pot to a brighter area.

1. Pruning Etiolated Stems

Pruning leggy or unwanted growth back and pinching off the spent flowers in the early is recommended by experts to maintain the healthy look of the Kalanchoe. For pruning back, follow these basic steps:

2. Let Your Kalanchoe Enter Dominant State

Wait till the blooming season of Kalanchoe ends, and your Kalanchoe plant goes into a state of dormancy. This will ensure that your plant will not produce new buds or stems. This is the most suitable time to prune them back.

3. Disinfect Your Shears

Cleans your shears with readily available rubbing alcohol to avoid introducing potential diseases to your Kalanchoe plant. If you don’t have any available rubbing alcohol, use this simple DIY to disinfect your shears. Mix two cups of water (roughly 473.18 mL) and one tablespoon of bleach (around 14.79 mL).

Dip your shears in this mixture for around five to ten minutes. This will disinfect your shears and kill all possible bacteria.

4. Pinch-off Freshly Grown Stems

Next, start pinching off the freshly grown tall stems and spent flowers. This can be quickly done with your hands or using your shears. Pinching off the newly grown stems will ensure your Kalanchoe doesn’t produce new reproductive flowers.

5. Prune Back The Leggy Or Unwanted Growth

Using your disinfected shears, cut back unwanted leggy growths or overgrown stems. Remove all the etiolated growth and give the plant a firm, thick look.

6. Change The Pot

For thicker growth and proper functioning, move your Kalanchoe plant into a larger or new pot. Fill the pot with well-aerated potting soil, as Kalanchoe grows well in it. Changing the pot and potting soil will help your Kalanchoe start again in a new healthy environment.

7. Place The Pot In A Bright And Warm Area

Place your Kalanchoe in an area where it can easily absorb bright sunlight for at least five to six-hour. You can place Kalanchoe both indoors and outdoors. Just remember to place where it can indirectly get bright sunlight. The areas shouldn’t be heated as it can also cause damage to the Kalanchoes.

Being succulent, Kalanchoe also needs moderate humidity; too much heat can lower the humidity.

Best Practices To Stop Your Kalanchoe From Getting Leggy

The best practice to stop your Kalanchoe from getting leggy or starting unwanted growth is by providing them enough care. Remember the following care tips for thicker and sturdier growth in Kalanchoe plants.

1. Provide Them With Adequate Indirect Bright Sunlight

As Kalanchoes are succulents, they need sunlight for at least five to six hours for proper growth and functioning. Place the Kalanchoe plant in a place where it can get a sufficient amount of indirect sunlight. Remember not to place your Kalanchoe in the direct bright sunlight as it can scorch the leaves of the Kalanchoe plants.

2. Don’t Water the Plant Regularly

Though many species of plants love water, Kalanchoes don’t need regular watering. When Kalanchoe needs water, dig your finger in the pot and check whether the soil is completely dry. If you find two inches of the soil completely dry, this is the ideal time to water the Kalanchoe.

Generally speaking, indoor Kalanchoe usually needs water after every 10 to 12 days. But to be extra sure, from time to time, check the potting soil.

Pruning Back In The Early Season

Pruning back in the early season is the best way to prevent your Kalanchoe from becoming leggy. This ensures compact growth and prevents elongated natural growth habits in Kalanchoe.

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You Have a Leggy Kalanchoe Plant Because It Is Pot-Bound

Kalanchoes are succulents that can become leggy or are pot-bound if not given enough light. Following these steps, you can encourage new growth in your leggy Kalanchoe plant. You’ll have a thriving plant in no time with a little patience and care.

Turn the plant over and look at the bottom of the container before purchasing it. If you see roots poking through the drainage holes, the specimen is likely root-bound (also known as pot-bound). Severely root-bound plants may be difficult to remove from the pot because the roots become firmly entwined through drainage holes. Inspecting the root ball by removing the entire Kalanchoe plant from its container is also appropriate.

Before planting, you can help the Kalanchoe plant recover by untangling the roots with your fingers. When planting a Kalanchoe, some gardeners cut the root balls as a matter of course. Shrubs and trees are especially vulnerable to being root-bound because they are frequently grown in pots for several years until they are mature enough to be sold.


Though Kalanchoe doesn’t need regular care, the plant requires occasional attention. You can keep your Kalanchoe from getting leggy by providing them with an adequate amount of bright sunlight. Giving a little care and attention to your Kalanchoe will reward you with clusters of small, colorful flowers in the winter.

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