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From succulents to blooms, create container combinations with a blend of the season's hottest plants. The secret to a great container is start with the right soil mix. We recommend using our Premium All-Purpose Potting Soil - specifically formulated for Hampton Roads. After choosing your container and soil mix, you'll need to choose a showy thriller plant to be center-stage. It should be taller than the rest and stand out. Next, tuck in filler plants around to add sparkle and depth. Finish off your planter with a spiller, a plant that will cascade along the pot’s edge. For optimum results, we always recommend our Greenleaf All-Purpose Plant Food. Like our soil, this slow-release fertilizer is also formulated specifically for this area. Try these container recipes for sun or shade:

Here's what you need:


  • Spikemoss
  • Solenia Begonias
  • Rita's Gold Fern


  • Dusty Miller
  • Crimson Star Spike
  • Geraniums
  • Bacopa

Drought-Tolerant (Sun)

  • Ascot Rainbow Euphorbia
  • Stonecrop
  • Sedum
  • Ice Plant
  • Hens & Chicks

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This drought tolerant container will offer non stop interest all season long and for seasons to come. By using perennials in containers, you can create a style that offers more look for less bucks and returns year after year. This container recipe is easy and grows in full sun. Try this recipe.

Here's what you need:

  • Low Container
  • Natural and Organic Potting Soil
  • Sedum Dragon's Blood
  • Hens and Chicks
  • Ice Plant
  • Ascot Rainbow Euphorbia
  • Stonecrop
  • McDonald Green Leaf Fertilizer


  1. To get started, choose a low container so that the texture of the succulents will be seen. We like using this cross hatch square container, but a terra cotta bulb pan or umbrella pot would work great too.
  2. Fill the pot with potting soil about ¾ of the way full. We recommend using McDonald Natural & Organic Potting Mix. We suggest mixing a handful of McDonald Greenleaf fertilizer into the soil.
  3. We used Ascot Rainbow Euphorbia as the thriller in this container. Place towards the back of the pot to add height. Euphorbia is a tough performing perennial with unique variegated foliage.
  4. For the filler, we used Stonecrop and Hens & Chicks. By placing these asymmetrically on the sides, you can create a unique composition. Stonecrop has water storing leaves and is a vivid green. Hens and Chicks will offer a structured rosette to the container.
  5. For the spillers, we used Ice Plant and Sedums. The Ice Plant will boast small yellow blooms all through the summer and trail out of the container with its tiny succulent leaves. The Sedum we used was Dragons Blood, which offers deep red flowers in contrast with the green leaves during warm weather.

McDonald TIP: This container is a succulent garden - remember not too over water this container combo.

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A living wreath is fresh and easy way to decorate for spring. Try a blooming wreath on a fence panel, front porch or even use laying flat on your holiday table. Live wreaths are not difficult to care for, just a little water and sunshine. We suggest using this 11-inch square wreath form constructed of sphagnum moss and adorned with petunias or million bells. These plants are great trailers and will grow to cover the wreath and offer vibrant color.

Here's what you need:

  • Two annual packs of petunias or million bells
  • 11-inch wreath form and sphagnum moss
  • Small garden stake or pencil to make the holes in the wreath
  • McDonald Green Leaf Fertilizer


  • Soak wreath in water for about 5 minutes on each side to get the moss wet and easy to work with.
  • Using a pencil or a short piece of a plant stake, start in the top right corner and poke a hole about the length from the tip of your finger to your knuckle.
  • Loosen the roots slightly from around the plants and gently place the plant in the hole in your wreath form.
  • Push the moss up around the roots.
  • Continue this around the wreath form with three plants on each side of the wreath.
  • We suggest leaving the the wreath laying down for 24 hours.

McDonald TIP: Be sure to keep the wreath from drying out in between waterings with a spray bottle.

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