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Plant of the Week: McDonald-Designed Arrangements

'Tis the season for great gifts to give and to get! Give the gift of our ready-made holiday arrangements. Using holiday faves like amaryllis, poinsettias, Norfolk Island pine and more, our growers have customized the most beautiful gifts of the season. Arrangements feature everyday houseplants such as pothos, orchids and succulents highlighted with traditional holiday plants. By starting with a backbone of great foliage and then adding a few seasonal highlights, you can give a gift that rivals any cut flower arrangement.

Check out more of our favorite plants to give and to get! HOLIDAY PLANTS >>

Celebrate a Christmas Fave

It's December 12th... and that means it's National Poinsettia Day! The Poinsettia is one of the few flowers of North America that can claim its own day thanks to Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. It is Roberts who is credited for bringing this beautiful traditional Christmas gift to our land. And it all happened like this: Ambassador Poinsett was on a diplomatic mission to Taxco, Mexico. The year was 1828. Admiring the tropical environment, he became entranced with the plants beauty, its medicinal uses, and its artistic applications by the natives of the region. So enamored was the ambassador that it was one of the first things he brought back to the United States.

The plant proved to have a major impact on not only Christmas in the USA, but agriculture, for many years to come. Because of its important role in the celebration of Christmas and its beautification to America, Congress set December 12th each year as National Poinsettia Day. The good Ambassador would be amazed at what started as simple cuttings from Mexico have become. According to USDA, poinsettias are the number one potted plant grown in the nation!

Poinsettias are easy to keep beautiful and blooming throughout the holidays and beyond as long as you follow a few simple tips:

  • Avoid exposing the poinsettia to freezing conditions. Do not leave it in the car while you finish shopping. Take it home and place it inside the house as soon as possible after purchasing it.
  • Place your poinsettia in a spot with bright natural light, but do not expose it to direct sunlight.
  • Do not place your poinsettia in an area where it will be exposed to drafts, heat from appliances, radiators, or ventilation ducts.
  • The color of your poinsettia will last longer with temperatures around 65 degrees during the day and 60-65 degrees at night.
  • The soil should be kept moderately moist; check every few days and water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Before watering, remove the pot covers or foil wrapping; water to saturate the soil, and then allow the pot to drain. Do not let the plant sit in standing water.
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This little beauty with soft needles, distinctive flat branches and a naturally symmetrical shape is a popular choice for indoor holiday decorating. The small and medium size varieties are often used as accent trees during the holidays or even as a tabletop Christmas tree. Best of all, once the holidays are over you can keep this plant around your home for a touch of green throughout the year. A truly great addition to your houseplant collection!

Not really a pine, the Norfolk Island is a member of an ancient family of conifers. This miniature tree thrives in the Southern Hemisphere. It is named for Norfolk Island, which is located in the South Pacific between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. It is an Australian territory, and its flag prominently features the Norfolk Island pine.

Holiday Tip: Add a strand of tiny string lights and even some ornaments for a festive look all season long!


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