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Pothos
Snake Plant (sanseveri/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue)
Rubber Plant (ficus elastica)
Aglaonema (Chinese evergreen)
Bird’s Nest Fern (asplenium nidus)
ZZ Plant

Fight the Winter Blues with a Green Thumb

Wintertime in Hampton Roads can be cold and gloomy but that doesn’t mean your home has to be. And with the change of seasons, our moods often follow suit, but there's an easy way to help ward off those winter blues – houseplants. Research suggests that having plants around is a good thing for your health and productivity. Studies show indoor plant care has several benefits, including lowering your blood pressure, decreasing your anxiety levels and improving your overall well-being. And whether you are a houseplant aficionado or just growing a few succulents on a windowsill, there’s a houseplant for you. Here, are five of our favorite, low maintenance houseplants that will help you battle the winter blues:

Pothos - one of the easiest houseplants to grow. Features pointed, heart-shaped green leaves, sometimes variegated with white, yellow, or pale green. Prefers bright, indirect light, and a wet/ dry watering cycle.

Snake Plant (sanseveri/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) - a tough plant with heavy, sword-like leaves that can grow up to 4-feet in height. Prefers moderate to bright light. Water once every 7 - 10 days thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry in between waterings.

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) - grown for their glossy, leathery, large leaves and low maintenance requirements. Leaves are oblong to oval and come in assorted colors from dark green to deep maroon with accents of either yellow, cream, pink or white. Rubber plants do well in a variety of conditions. Prefers medium to low light. Water every 4-6 weeks.

Aglaonema (Chinese evergreens) - this easy-to-care-for plant is adored for its big, beautiful, colorful leaves and low-maintenance requirements. Cultivars are available with streaks and speckles of white, yellow, or even pink and red. Aglaonema tolerate a wide range of light conditions from very low light to bright, but not direct sunlight.

Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) - known for its wavy, ripple-edge fronds that grow out of a central rosette, this plant will add a vibrant pop of green to any space. Grows best in filtered or indirect light and moist but not wet soil.

Honorable Mention ZZ Plant – this shiny and slick easy-care plant has a unique form and dense cluster of glossy, zig-zag leaves. It is drought tolerant, can handle dry air, and can survive in low-light conditions. Like a succulent, the thick stems and roots store water, so follow a dry/wet cycle when watering

WATERING TIPS: Overwatering is the most common reason plants fail – particularly in the winter. Overwatering can cause browning of leaves, fungus, gnats, and dropping of leaves. Wait to water your houseplants until they become dry. Check your soil. The best tool is your finger. If the soil is dry from the tip of your finger to your first knuckle, it’s time to water.

To learn more about other low maintenance houseplant options click here.
To learn how to repot houseplants click here.

Poinsettia
Tillandsia Snowmen Figurines
Rosemary Topiaries
Hellebores
Michele Design's Soaps
Nature Creations Unique Folk-Art Birdhouses
Heirloom Ornaments
McDonald Jams, Jellies and Sauces
Garden Statuary
Misters
Pruners
Gloves
Fit Flow Hose
McDonald Garden Center Gift Cards

Gifts for the Gardener

Do you know someone who loves to garden? Chances are, you do. Whether it's growing flowers, fruits and veggies or a beautifully landscaped yard, we’ve got lots of gift ideas for the green thumb in your life. So, this year, don’t stress out over gift-giving. Stop in our Independence or Great Neck locations and checkout our selection of unique and everyday gardening goods perfect for everyone on your list. Here are few of our favorites:

Poinsettia
Nowadays, this holiday classic is popping up in all sorts of nontraditional colors – in shades of pink, peach, yellow, and even chartreuse. Or try one of McDonald’s painted poinsettias that are hand-painted and glittered in a rainbow of colors. Many even have large, double, or uniquely shaped blooms. To learn more about poinsettia care, click here.

Tillandsia Holiday-Themed Figurines
These adorable, little ceramic figurines feature hardy tillandsia (air plant), atop a whimsical snowman wrapped in a colorful scarf. The perfect petite companion whether at home or in the office. Other figurines options include, polar bear, Groot, abominable snowman, and holiday wreath. To learn more about tillandsia care, click here.

Rosemary Cones & Topiaries
Add festive cheer and fragrance to Christmas and beyond with rosemary topiaries and cones. These hardy, evergreen perennials are easy to grow, beautiful to look at, and super useful too. Rosemary is prized in the culinary world for its flavorful leaves. It is also beloved for its petite, blue flowers that appear each spring. To learn more about rosemary, click here.

Hellebores
This hardy perennial offers beautiful blooms all through the dreary days of winter and into early spring. Also called the Christmas Rose or Lenten Rose, bloom time often coincides with the Christmas holidays. This evergreen features blooms with five petal, cup-shaped flowers. The foliage is dark green, offering a beautiful back drop throughout all seasons. Available in a variety of colors from white to pastel yellow to pink and purple, this intriguing perennial is without a doubt the star of the winter landscape. To learn more about hellebores, click here.

Michel Design Works Soaps
Shea butter, aloe vera, and pure fragrances create these luxury foaming soaps featuring delightful scents Michel Design Works is famous for. Beautifully packaged with Michel Design Works signature medallion in an easy to use and elegant square container. Choose from scents of the season like spruce, tartan, and Christmas snow or everyday scents including lemon basil, lavender rosemary, garden melody and more.

Heirloom Ornaments ~ 757 Collection
Celebrate Hampton Roads with this exclusive collection of ornaments. These two-sided, glass ornaments are intricately hand-painted celebrating iconic places throughout Hampton Roads. To see our collection of Heirloom ornaments, click here.

Garden Statuary
From the grand and ornate gardens with large figures, to small animals in a naturalistic setting, statues bring life and movement to the garden. Choose from a wide assortment of statuary that will fit into any space and style. This keepsake will remind your special someone they are special all year long, not just during the holidays.

Local, Jams, Jellies and Sauces Give deliciously! Crafted locally from Virginia-grown produce, our line of jams, jellies and dressings make tasty gifts. Grab a knife and spread on the flavor with McDonald Garden Center's three NEW additions including Apple Butter (no sugar added), Cracked Peppercorn Dressing, and Fig Preserves.

Nature Creations Unique Folk-Art Birdhouses
These beautifully, hand-crafted folk-art birdhouses are made from repurposed wood and metal from weathered barns and houses. Enjoy them as a wonderful accent indoors or adopt a bird family outdoors and provide them with a cozy shelter. Available in a variety of styles.

Misters
Misters are perfect for spritzing indoor plants and a simple and effective way to boost humidity levels indoors. Misting is also a good solution to reduce the risk of overwatering your plants. Today’s mister come in a variety of styles and can also be used to display. Display on a table, bookcase, etc.

TIP: Use misters to disinfect pruners. Add mouthwash or alcohol to your mister and spray pruners after use.

Pruners
This garden essential is perfect for performing light pruning tasks like removing small dead wood, limbing up small trees, deadheading, etc. A good pair of pruners can make your gardening work much easier and keep your plants happier.

Kneelo Pad (Burgon & Ball)
Made of soft foam for comfort and helps to protect the knees. Generously sized with contoured edges, Kneelo allows you to work in cushioned comfort for extended periods of time. At the core is a deep layer of shock-absorbing EVA foam & a luxurious cushioning layer of memory foam. Pads are waterproof and made with durable neoprene with a quick-dry, easy-to-clean nylon coating.

Fit Flow Hose
This Italian designed hose comes with a waterproof bag and spray nozzle. The lightweight and durable design expands up to 60-feet long. Use on a boat, at the beach, hanging baskets, containers, raised beds, or for washing your car. Good for use on a balcony, deck, or porch.

Gloves
A perfect gift for the gardener in your life. Gloves never go out of style and make great stocking stuffers. Pair them with a plant or a McDonald Garden Center gift card.

McDonald Gift Cards
Share the world of gardening! Pair a gift card with an ornament, hand tools or garden gloves. Wrap it all together with ribbon and a few sprigs of greens for a garden gift they’ll love. Gift cards can be purchased in select amounts from $10 to $300 at any McDonald Garden Center location or online to be delivered in a special gift envelope by first-class mail. Redeemable at any McDonald Garden Center location or can be used for landscape services. Click here to order a gift card online.

For additional gift ideas, tune in to our Facebook Live Seminar with Garden Guru, Mike Westphal, Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 11AM, featuring "Gifts for the Gardener." Click here to visit our Facebook page.

Poinsettia
Grinchmas Trees
Cyclamen
Norfolk Island Pine
Tillandsia (air plant) Snowmen
Citrus
Frosted Fern
Phalaenopsis 'Moth' Orchids
Christmas Cactus
Amaryllis

10 Holiday Houseplants to Give and to Get

Whether you're going all out for the holidays or you just want to keep it simple, blooming houseplants are a great way to put the finishing touches on your yuletide decorating. Christmas plants are one of the easiest ways to show your holiday spirit, and you'll find more varieties this year than ever before. And, as you get ‘wrapped’ up in the frenzy of the holiday season, remember plants make the perfect gift too. Placing any flowering plant in a gift bag, wicker basket, or decorative foil is a quick and easy way to decorate or use as a last-minute gift. Here are some traditional and not-so-traditional holiday season plants to consider for decorating or for gift-giving:

Poinsettia

Introduced in the United States by our first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, the poinsettia is the quintessential Christmas plant. Today, poinsettias may be found in many different sizes and colors including red, pink, gold, white and variegated hues. When purchasing your poinsettia, look for a plant with dark green, healthy foliage, strong stems and bright colored bracts. Place your poinsettia in a well-lit location, out of direct sunlight and drafts. Water often enough to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. To learn more about poinsettias click here.

Grinchmas Tree

Add a little quirkiness to your holidays this season with this grinch-inspired table-top tree. The foliage of the Monterey cypress is a vibrant chartreuse, perfect for spreading holiday cheer wherever it is displayed. When the holiday season is over, simply remove the wiring and allow the tree to take its natural shape. Indoors, place in a full sun location. Water once a week as it prefers moist, well-draining soil. Mist to provide humidity.

Cyclamen

This cool weather bloomer boosts unusually shaped, colorful blossoms and variegated gray-green elliptical leaves. Depending on the variety, the blossoms may be pink, lavender, deep purple, white, or red. Cyclamen needs cool temperatures to continue blooming, so be sure to keep this plant away from heat sources and, preferably, in the coolest part of the house.Water often enough to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. To learn more about cyclamen
click here
.

Norfolk Island Pine

A holiday favorite with a pyramidal shape and soft, dark green needles that add a pop of green all year long. For a festive vibe, consider decorating it with ornaments and twinkling lights. This slow-growing tree loves a sunny spot. During the warmer months, you can move it outdoors and place in partial sunlight. Water thoroughly once a week or when the soil becomes dry to touch.

Tillandsia (Air Plant) Snowman

This adorable, little ceramic figurine features a hardy tillandsia (air plant) atop a whimsical snowman wrapped in a colorful scarf. The placement of the air plant gives this snowman the look of spiky green hair. This cute little guy makes a great living gift- and the perfect petite companion whether at home or in the office. Indoors, place in bright light or filtered sun. To water, simply mist 2-4 times a week with a water bottle or mister. To learn more about tillandsia
click here
.

Citrus

There's something so special about citrus. How can you not adore these beautiful, evergreen plants with lush, bright green foliage and heavenly fragrant blooms? We love tucking these plants around our homes, so we can enjoy their sweet fragrance and delicious fruits. Keep indoors during winter, and once it warms up, these beauties love to vacation outdoors.

Frosted Ferns

Another good choice if you’re looking for a plant for the holidays but want something a bit different. Known for its silvery foliage that resembles frost on a cold winter morning, this plant infuses a soft, evergreen feel indoors, making it the perfect plant for the holidays and beyond. Not really a fern, but a clubmoss, Selaginella ‘frosty’ has flat, scale-like leaves, much like an arborvitae. Keep this plant in bright, indirect sunlight and the soil evenly moist, never allowing it to dry out. Provide humidity for the frosty fern by placing the potted plant on a saucer of pebbles or gravel and water. Drainage is a must and misting is not recommended.

Phalaenopsis 'Moth' Orchids

Phalaenopsis, 'Moth' orchids, are some of the least expensive and longest-blooming orchids available. In fact, one bloom spike can look great for four months or more. We love orchids paired with other holiday favorites like poinsettias and cyclamen. Orchids are surprisingly easy to grow. In the right setup at home, they can be extremely low maintenance. Be sure to give them a spot in low, medium, or bright light and water weekly or every other week. To learn more about growing orchids
click here
.

Christmas Cactus

This thornless member of the cactus family has flat green foliage, which blooms periodically. Blooms are tubular in shape and come in varying shades of reds, pinks, whites and yellows. This houseplant is easy to care for, making them the perfect gift for those without a green thumb. Prefers bright, indirect light and, unlike most other cactus, requires light to moderate watering. To learn more about Christmas cactus click here.

Amaryllis

Of all flowering bulbs, amaryllis are the easiest to bring to bloom. The large, striking flowers and bold colors make this a must-have, holiday classic! Amaryllis bulbs are available in so many beautiful varieties including various shades of red, white, pink, salmon and even orange. There are also striped and multicolored varieties, usually combining shades of pink or red with white. Place in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Water sparingly until you see about 2" of new growth. From then on, water regularly. As the plant grows, turn the pot periodically to encourage the flower stalks to grow straight. To learn more about growing amaryllis click here.

"Pining" for Fresh-Cut Greenery

There’s something intoxicating about decorating with fresh and fragrant greens. And when it comes to holiday decorating, nothing says Christmas quite like boughs of fresh-cut foliage. Living greenery adds organic texture and straight-from-the-forest fragrance, while adding a little yuletide spirit both indoors and out. There are plenty of ways to use fresh greenery for the holidays. Place greenery on walls, tables, mantels, the hearth, on the floor, and on chandeliers. Heap them in vases, garland your doorways, banisters, and mirrors. Use fresh greenery outside on shutters, gates, on and over doorways, columns, mailboxes, and light posts. Here are some suggested fresh-cut varieties to use in your holiday decorating this season:

Juniper - fragrant, short, green or silver-blue needles that usually include small blue berries. Perfect for accenting wreaths and garlands or holiday centerpieces.

Holly - this most traditional holiday green features glossy green foliage with bright red fruit that will beautifully embellish holiday arrangements and centerpieces.

Boxwood this small-leafed shrub is a longtime favorite for fine-textured wreaths and garlands.

Fraser Fir - fragrant with short, flat needles and excellent color and needle retention. Perfect in wreaths, swags and centerpieces.

Noble Fir- a hardy, fragrant, and long-lasting evergreen. Needles have a beautiful bluish tint. Ideal for wreaths, swags, garlands, and centerpieces.

Magnolia - boasts large, glossy leaves, with dark green that contrast well with the velvety, brown undersides. Magnolia leaves make stunning wreaths and bases for large decorations. Try spray painting them with gold or silver for a more formal look.

Incense Cedar - aromatic, fan-like foliage with a short, feathery appearance. Ideal in porch pots, swags, or garlands.

Leyland Cypress - feathery dark green to gray foliage that is sap-free. Provides wonderful contrast against red bows and traditional holiday décor. Use as an accent on mantles, centerpieces, tablescapes, and wreathes and garlands.

TIP: Mist your evergreens with water to keep them moist and smelling fresh.

To learn more about fresh-cut greenery click here.