A colleague gave me a small, pink kalanchoe last week. These pretty succulents are very low maintenance, require little water and fertilizer, and will be happy in bright to moderate light. In zones 10 to 12, kalanchoe is an outdoor perennial. Here in New England, it’s an indoor plant that can summer outdoors.

Getting it to bloom is really tricky. Those kalanchoe you see at the supermarket or garden center were exposed to exactly 6 weeks of 14-hour ‘nights’, or 14 hours of darkness per 24-hour cycle to force bloom. Like the seasonal poinsettia, kalanchoe interacts with light and darkness in very specific ways. My kalanchoe gift is in bloom now, but won’t be for long, and after that, it may never bloom again. Still, it’s a pretty plant, and all plants are welcome in the house, especially in winter.

I planted a pink and white Hippeastrum in a glass bowl last night. I think it will bloom in time for Christmas.

Bought a lot of organic navel oranges at Garden of Light yesterday. My fingers are sticky and sweet. Love it.


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