There is no "foolproof plant," admits Kate Sadowski, horticulturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden, but in terms of winter color, Kalanchoe is about as close as you can get. When days are short and indoor conditions are dry, kalanchoes burst with star-shaped flowers ranging from yellow to purple if kept in direct light. Red Christmas kalanchoes (K. blossfeldiana) are as common as candy canes, but K. pumila, with silver foliage and pink clusters, and K. uniflora, with trailing balloonlike blossoms, are just as festive. Pinch back the stems when straggly and water when soil is dry and these succulents will embellish south-facing windowsills all winter.
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