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My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

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My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

Postby isabelbrinck » Oct 23, 2008 8:26 pm

I have long considered Kalanchoes some of the hardiest plants out there. I have two (I call them Kalanchoe I and II) and K. I was on the verge of death at the hands of my forgetful father for a long time. But he eventually discovered that if you stick a leaf in the ground, it grows! That's how Kalanchoe I was brought back from the near-dead and thrived.

That is, until I brought my plants in for the Winter. Both my kalachoes had a large number of yellow and yellowing leaves. I considered this a natural part of the shock of being brought indoors all of a sudden (I know, I could have done it gradually). And yet, even after I snipped off all the dead and dying leaves, and a good chunk of time has passed since I brought the plants in, the problem has persisted. In fact, it's worse, because I noticed something else: something that looks like fungus.

None of my other plants have it, even though they are in close proximity to the Ks.

The yellowing leaves get soft and limp before they dry out. If I scratch the "fungus", it seems to come off.

Diagnosis? Treatment?
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Isabel
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Re: My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

Postby orchidguy » Oct 30, 2008 10:24 pm

Are the stems of the plant getting mushy also? Are they in the same soil as they were outside ? Do you have them in a bright window? Has the "fungi" now spread to other K's? It's very difficult to diagnose a plant ailment without knowing its growing conditions. Let's see if we can find a solution to your problem. Good Luck
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Re: My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

Postby isabelbrinck » Oct 31, 2008 10:44 am

Orchidguy to the rescue! Thanks for answering my post. Here's what I can say:
- the stems are not mushy
-they are in the same soil they have been for between 1-4 years. They remain potted through the seasons, whether I put them outdoors or keep them in.
-they're in a bright spot, but maybe not direct sunlight, as there are other plants between them and the sunniest spots. Should I move them to stronger sunlight?
-I only have 2 Kalachoes and both are ill. I didn't notice if one of them "got it" first.

Thanks again!
Isabel
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Re: My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

Postby orchidguy » Oct 31, 2008 11:54 am

Isabel

If the stems are not mushy then we can rule out root rot. I would put them closer to a light source and make sure they are not too crowded. Improved air circulation around them might aid in the problem. Another trick that I use for all succulents is adding a small amount of activated charcoal to the top of the soil and working it in a bit. Whatever you do ............don't fertilize now until the spring, you do not want to promote leggy watery growth at this time of year. I never use chemical fertilizers, especially on cacti and succulents. In the spring, I would suggest you repot the plants with an all purpose potting mix with a bit of grainy sand and a small amount of well rotted cow manure to the mixture. Your plants will flourish in this mixture. Hope this is of some help to you. Good Luck
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Re: My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

Postby earwig » Nov 01, 2008 5:10 am

I have been watching for a response here as although my Kalanchoe is still very healthy after being brought in, I wanted to be prepared.

Hope yours recovers soon.
Betty
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Re: My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

Postby isabelbrinck » Nov 14, 2008 12:21 pm

Just an update: the newer of my two Kalanchoes recovered quickly and is doing well. The older one is recovering but has been left pretty "leggy" after all my pruning of sick leaves. I'm trying to give them lots of light (subject to Nature) and better air circulation. All my plants had been crowded on the dining room table, which is the only surface near the sunnier windows of my apartment.
Now, I'm just looking for plant holders/stands that I can use to set each plant apart, near the window.
Isabel
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Re: My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

Postby evepet » Nov 14, 2008 6:59 pm

I have the same situation Isabel. I've tried to bring as many plants as possible inside to enjoy over the winter, but I have limited space in my apartment. And few spots that really offer prime light conditions. My dining room table is the best spot too, and three are arranged there by my eastern exposure window. One of those is a small kalanchoe I recently transplanted. I've arranged a couple of others so that they get as much sun as possible by other windows with northern exposure but I'm keeping a watchful eye on them in case the sunlight isn't sufficient. Next time I move I'm going to pay more attention to both the outside and inside 'growing' conditions. :)
'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it.' W.C. Fields
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Re: My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

Postby isabelbrinck » Nov 21, 2008 10:37 am

Oh dear, I'm afraid Kalanchoe I (the elder) is not recuperating as well as I had hoped. I checked the leaves this morning (those that are left, post pruning of "sick" ones) and they've been hit by this fungus-looking stuff too!
I have K in a sunny spot, with plenty of air circulation (not crowded among all the other plants anymore). The stems aren't mushy, but the plague has attacked even the upper-most leaves. I thought the most horrible thought when I saw this ("give up").
Last ditch ideas :?:
Isabel
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Re: My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

Postby orchidguy » Dec 10, 2008 11:28 pm

Heya Isabel

It's been a while, been gone. How are the K's doing? Did you try the activated carbon on top of the soil. It is sold for aquarium filtration. Has the "fungi" spread? Are your plants still infected? Can try washing with a mild solution of a few drops of dishwashing liquid to a gallon of water or a sink full. Immerse the whole plant as to hinder any soil borne pathogens. Let me know how they're doing.

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Re: My kalanchoe is sick. Can you help?

Postby isabelbrinck » Feb 09, 2009 10:26 pm

So, things have improved, but not wildly. I took some advice from Stuart Robertson via a radio show, and put some fresh soil on the top. This helped. Brutal pruning, too. So now, I'm looking at a healthi-ER (not completely healthy) Kalanchoe, very pared down, super leggy.

Fresh growth is fungus-free and -for the most part- stays that way. But leaves are easy to knock off the stems. They're weak. Oh yes, and I haven't fertilized in ages, because the advice was not feed the fungus.

My question now is: how do I cut it back properly so that it grows back bushier?
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