Kalanchoe Longiflora Coccinea, also known as Tugela Cliff-Kalanchoe or Long-Flower Kalanchoe, is a hardy, low-maintenance succulent native to South Africa. It is named after the Tugela River Gorge in South Africa, where it survives on rocky cliff faces.
Kalanchoe Longiflora Coccinea is a bushy succulent that typically grows to a height of 12 inches (30 cm), although it can grow up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall. Its stems grow in clusters from the base of the plant and it can spread to form groundcover. Each stem has a rosette of smooth, fleshy leaves that point upwards. The leaves are shaped like an elongated clam shell with wavy edges. They have a waxy feel and are usually green with red or copper coloration towards the top and edges.
Long, tubular white or yellow flowers appear on tall, thin stalks during the late spring and summer months.
How Do You Care For Kalanchoe Longiflora?
Kalanchoe longiflora is a hardy succulent that can survive with minimal care as long as it is housed in the climate and environment to which it is suited. It is a perennial plant that can flower every year and its colorful foliage, together with its pretty flowers, make it an attractive plant for your home or a rockery garden outdoors.
Here is our complete guide to caring for Kalinchoe Longiflora.
Kalanchoe Longiflora does best in bright, indirect light. The leaves will turn a deeper red if exposed to plenty of sunlight. However, it does not like full, direct harsh sun, which can burn the tips of its upturned leaves.
Bright, indirect light and partial shade from harsh afternoon sun is best for Kalanchoe Longiflora. It needs at least 6 hours of bright light each day.
Water Needs Of Kalanchoe Longiflora
Like most succulents, Kalanchoe Longiflora does not like to be overwatered and is a drought-tolerant plant.
The best way to water it is via the bottom-soaking method. Place the pot in a container with room temperature water and allow the soil to take up moisture through drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Remove the pot from the water and allow it to drain any excess water away for a few minutes before returning it to its usual home. Only water again once the soil is completely dry.
If your pot does not have drainage holes, water carefully from the top with room temperature water. Water thoroughly and then allow the soil to dry completely before watering again. Try to avoid getting water on the leaves.
The frequency of watering will depend on the temperature, humidity and amount of sun the plant receives so it is impossible to give an exact time frame of how often you should water your Tugela-Cliff Kalanchoe. The best indicator of when your plant needs watering is the dryness of the soil. You can also observe the leaves of your plant. For more information on this, see our article on how to tell if your plant is overwatered or underwatered.
Kalanchoe Longiflora is a summer dormant plant, which means it goes into a protective phase during the hot summer months. Its growth also slows during the winter when it is in a rest phase. Its main growing periods are during spring and fall.
Your plant will not require as much water during rest phases and you should cut back on watering during the summer and winter. Only water if you see the leaves shriveling. The winter rest phase in particular is essential if you want your plant to flower the following spring or summer.
Over-watering can cause root rot which can be a death sentence to this plant. Err on the side of underwatering if you are not sure how much water to give your plant.
Kalanchoe longiflora prefers warm temperatures and will not tolerate frost. Its ideal temperature range is 60 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit (15 – 25 degrees Celsius). It prefers slightly cooler temperatures during winter but should not be exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) for extended periods of time.
Kalanchoe longiflora will not survive frost. If you live in a cool climate, it is best to keep your Tugela-Cliff kalanchoe indoors, or, if you wish to grow it outdoors, keep it in a pot so you can bring it indoors at the first sign of frost.
Flowering Kalanchoe Longiflora, Long-Flowered Kalanchoe (source: Pinterest)
Kalanchoe longiflora have evolved to survive on rocky cliff faces with poor soil conditions.
It requires a well-draining soil and is susceptible to root rot if left in damp soil. A cactus or succulent-specific potting mix will provide adequate drainage for your plant. If you are not sure whether your potting mix has enough drainage, you can add some perlite or sand to the mix.
In addition to good drainage, kalanchoe longiflora prefers soil that is slightly acidic. A pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is ideal for this plant. You can test the pH of your potting mix with a simple soil test kit.
If grown inside, use a pot with drainage holes to ensure the plant is not left sitting in damp soil. Outside, the plant is well suited to rock gardens and rocky walls.
Kalanchoe Longiflora is used to poor soil conditions and if you choose to give it a boost with fertilizer, you must do so sparingly during its growth phases in spring and fall.
Use a fertilizer that is specifically blended for flowering succulents – it will provide the correct balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Ensure you follow the instructions on the packaging for diluting the product and, if in doubt, dilute even further.
Your Kalanchoe Longiflora should not need pruning often, although you may choose to prune it gently to improve its shape. The best time to prune is after its flowering season.
You can remove any dead blooms during flowering season. Not only will the plant look better but removing dead flowerheads can encourage more flowers to bloom.
To prune your plant, start by removing any dead or dying leaves and stems. Cut the stems back to where they branch off from the main plant. Next, cut away any leaves that are brown or yellowing. Finally, trim any long or leggy stems.
Use sharp, sterile pruning shears to make all your cuts. This will help prevent the spread of disease or bacterial contamination.
Is Kalanchoe Longiflora Toxic To Cats And Dogs?
Most members of the Kalanchoe family are toxic to cats, dogs and other pets and Kalanchoe longiflora is no exception. This plant contains a toxin that can cause abnormal heart rhythm in pets as well as gastrointestinal symptoms, such as stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you do have pets and small children in your home, it is best to keep your Kalanchoe Longiflora plant out of their reach.
Pests And Diseases
Kalanchoe Longiflora is susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites.
Mealybugs And Spider Mites
Mealybugs and spider mites are tiny creatures that feed on plant sap. They can cause yellowing of the leaves and stunted growth. To get rid of these critters, wipe them off with a damp cloth or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. You can also use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Kalanchoes are also susceptible to fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew and black spot. Powdery mildew is a white powdery fungus that grows on the leaves of plants. It can cause yellowing of the leaves and stunted growth.
To prevent both powdery mildew and black spot fungus, water your plants early in the day so that the leaves have time to dry before nightfall, or try to avoid getting water on the plants when you water them.
If you notice any of these problems with your kalanchoe, take action immediately to prevent further damage.
Kalanchoe Longiflora is susceptible to root rot if its roots are exposed to damp conditions for a prolonged time. The wet conditions allow fungal spores to multiply and these attack the roots causing them to rot. Unfortunately, the visible signs of root rot, such as yellowing and wilting leaves, are not seen until the disease is well progressed and it can be difficult for your plant to recover from root rot. Always wait until the soil is completely dry to water your plant, and use a well-draining soil in a porous pot with drainage holes.
If you decide to repot your plant because it has outgrown its current pot or you want to refresh the soil, ensure you use a pot with drainage holes and preferably one made of a porous material, such as terracotta or an unglazed ceramic pot. Porous materials allow water to evaporate more easily and keep the soil well-drained and dry – just how your Long-Flower Kalanchoe likes it!
Consider repotting every two years and repot at the start of the growing season in either spring or fall. Choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the current pot and take care when repotting, as the leaves are fragile and prone to breaking off if handled too roughly.
Kalanchoe Longiflora Propagation
Kalanchoes are propagated by stem cuttings or offsets. Offsets are new, baby plants that grow from the bases of the plant. We will focus on stem cuttings but the method is the same for both.
Here’s what you’ll need to propagate your kalanchoe longiflora:
- A sharp knife or pruning shears, sterilise before use
- A clean, shallow pot or tray
- Cacti and succulent-specific potting mix
- A warm, bright location
- Rooting hormone (optional)
To take your cutting, find a healthy stem or offset on your plant and cut it just below a leaf node. A leaf node is a point on the stem where leaves are attached. You can cut the stem into smaller sections if you’d like, but make sure each section has at least one leaf node.
Next, allow the cuttings to be callous over for a day or two. This simply means letting them sit out so the cuts can heal and form a protective barrier. This will help prevent rot later on.
Once your cuttings have been calloused, it’s time to pot them up. Fill your clean pot or tray with cactus and succulent potting mix, then make a small hole for each cutting. Gently insert the cuttings into the soil, ensuring the leaf nodes are buried.
Water your cuttings well, then place them in a warm, bright location. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can scorch the tender leaves.
Cuttings will typically root within two to four weeks. Once they have rooted, you can water them more frequently, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
With a little patience and care, you’ll soon have a new Kalanchoe longiflora plant.
How Long Does Kalanchoe Longiflora Last?
Kalanchoe Longiflora plants can live for up to 7 years in the right conditions. Once mature, a healthy plant should flower every year.
Kalanchoe Longiflora is a beautiful succulent that is easy to care for once you understand its needs and place it in a suitable environment. It can be toxic to pets if nibbled on, so keep it out of reach of paws and claws.