Kalanchoe vs Calandiva: 4 Interesting Differences and Similarities

The Kalanchoe and Calandiva species can be very confusing even though they have different origin stories. That’s because despite their differences, they have some remarkable similarities and we’ll get into that and more in this post.

Here’s a look at what unites and separates the Kalanchoe vs Calandiva.

kalanchoe vs calandiva

Kalanchoe vs Calandiva: Differences

First, let’s start with the differences. These two species differ significantly in two respects and here’s what they are.

1. Origins

The Kalanchoe plant (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) is said to be the parent species. It was discovered in 1926 in Madagascar and was brought to Europe in the 1930s. This plant originally had only red flowers, but it has been bred in different ways and it now produces flowers in many other colors.

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The Calandiva series, on the other hand, is a mutation that was discovered in 1998. It was bred by Fides Goldstock Breeding in the Netherlands.

2. Blooms

The flowers of Kalanchoe plants come in bright shades of yellow, pink red, magenta and white colors. This is a house plant and its flowers have four petals.

kalanchoe flowers
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana flowers

The flowers of the Calandiva series plants are small and look like little roses. They come in clusters and have 32 petals. The cultivars that are a part of this series produce flowers in white, red, pink and combinations of white and pink as well as purple and orange.

calandiva flowers
Calandiva flowers

Kalanchoe vs Calandiva: Similarities

But there are quite a few similarities between these two species as well. Here they are.

1. Leaves

Both these plants are confused for each other because they have succulent green leaves that have scallops on their edges. The flowers might look different, but they have fleshy stalks that are on top of the leaves.

Both these plants grow upright from 6 inches to 1.5 feet in height, and the width is about the same. Both species of plants have multiple branches on each plant.

flaming katy

2. Climactic Conditions

Both these species can be planted outdoors as long as the climate is frost-free. Those who live in cool climates must ensure that the plants are grown in containers so that they can be brought indoors in the winter months.

If you are growing them indoors, regardless, you should make sure that the temperature ranges from 60 to 75 degrees F (16 to 24 degrees C).

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How To Care For Kalanchoe and Calandiva

The way you care for both these plant species is quite different. If you are planning to get one or both of these species for your garden, here are some things you should know.

Kalanchoe Care Guide

kalanchoe care

This plant is not a low-maintenance species in your garden. You need to create a watering schedule and make sure that it is followed. But beware of overwatering because it can lead to root rotting. Make sure the soil is dry before you water the plant again.

Stick your finger into the pot and make sure the top two inches of the soil are dry before you water the plant. Make sure the water drains through the holes at the bottom of the pot.

In the winter months, you won’t have to water the plant as much. It will need water only once in a few weeks because this is not when the plant grows actively. Once you are back in the spring months, you should return to the previous watering schedule.

This plant could also use a little help from fertilizers during the growing season. But, once again, that should stop in the winter when the plant is in its resting phase. The fertilizer must be for houseplants that bloom and it should be diluted with water.

You should also make sure that it is high in phosphorous content so that the plant blooms well. Make sure you apply the fertilizer only after reducing it to half its strength and only during the growing season.

Calandiva Care Guide

calandiva care

This is a succulent that grows well when it gets a lot of indirect light. So, make sure you keep it out of direct sunlight, as that can be harsh on the plant. In the winter, you will see the flowers bloom, and that’s when it can handle some more light.

These plants don’t need a lot of water. If you’re not sure what to do, it is better to underwater this plant than overwater it. Check the soil once every week or two and water the plant only when it is completely dry. You can increase the amount of water a little more when the plant is flowering.

This plant grows slowly until it is 12 to 18 inches tall. After that, you can fertilize it during the summer and spring months.


There are plenty of other things you should know about the growth strategy of both these species. But that’s for another day, another post. Hope you got the basics in order. Happy gardening!