1. Add color to a dreary winter
Photo/Illustration: Missy Johnson
Name: Paddle plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora)
Zones: 10 to 11
Size: 1 foot tall and wide
Conditions: Bright shade
Paddle plant is the most popular modern succulent due to its whimsical form and intense winter color. Its leaves are flat, like pancakes, layered into an odd rosette. This plant bolts when it blooms, with the center stem elongating into a gangly white stalk. Those sold in nurseries are youngsters raised to maximum size for immediate use, but they do not last more than a year before bolting, which spoils their looks. Once paddle plant flowers, cut off the stem and give the remnant of the plant good care. It will soon produce many new offsets that can be plucked off and rooted.