Best of the bunch
Kalanchoe This pretty houseplant used to be bought as a Christmasflowering gift plant, but now it is available in flower all year round.
K. blossfeldiana, a succulent native to Madagascar, is popular during the festive season because of its clusters of colourful blooms which can last around six to eight weeks, in colours of white, yellow, orange, lilac, pink or red blooms, borne in large heads on 30cm-high plants with succulent deep green leaves.
Named varieties include ‘Bali’ and ‘Vesuvius’, which are both red, and the orange-flowered ‘Tarantella’. Kalanchoes like bright light, but not direct sunlight, so avoid placing them on very sunny windowsills.
They need an average warmth of around 50C in winter.
The most common mistake is to overwater them, so let the surface soil dry out between watering and they should last you through the festive season and beyond.