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Succulents, McDonald Garden Center, Indoor Houseplants

Bring Home Succulent Style

The cold keeps coming up with ways to keep us out of the garden. We keep coming up with new ways to keep us digging in the dirt! It's a great time of year to invite a wide and varied bunch of plants into your home with succulents. These unique plants are low-maintenance, get by on minimal water, and come in interesting shapes, varied patterns, unusual colors and many even boast beautiful flowers! These plants are all the rage in the home and garden, appearing everywhere from table-top terrariums, dish gardens and even in glass orbs suspended in air. Try your hand at creating a succulent garden and see how exceedingly easy these gems are to grow.

Here are the general rules for growing top-quality succulents:

Light - Succulents prefer bright light, the brighter the better! Place your succulent in a window where it can get direct sunlight. Succulents don’t do well in the shade, but will thrive when the sun is shining brightly on them.

Temperature - Keep your ambient room temperature anywhere from 55° to 75° Fahrenheit. Too hot or too cold can be detrimental to the health of the plant, however, normal home conditions are suitable for succulents.

Water - Water whenever the soil gets dry and pulls away from the edges of the pot. Water just enough to soak the soil evenly. Overwatering a succulent is as bad as not watering it at all, as these are drought-resistant plants designed to withstand extremely dry conditions.

Try picking out some of the more unusual-looking specimens for your succulent collection, as they can be quite the conversation piece. Here's a few of our favorites:

Kalanchoe comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and are prized for their colorful leaves and their crayon-color flowers. We really like Kalanchoe Orgyalis. This new Kalanchoe is an upright plant with fuzzy, thick, silvery-grey leaves that take on a golden bronze tint in sunlight and blooms sunny yellow flowers.

Echeveria is a unique succulent that forms tight rosettes and comes in a variety of shapes and colors. Many of the varieties have a waxy sheen on their leaves and are great in containers. Echeveria are among the showiest of all the succulents.

Jade boosts smooth, round fleshy leaves that grow in opposing pairs along its branches. The leaves are a rich jade green and its classic beauty and low maintence requirements make it a must-have succulent.

Aloe, a classic favorite, offers dramatic flower spikes with gel-filled, tapered and serrated leaves. It is most notably known for its medicinal properties.

Check out more of our favorite plants! OUR PLANTS OF THE WEEK >>

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INDOOR BLOOMS: The Best Houseplants to Enjoy This Winter

Find yourself pining for those sunny spring days full of your favorite blooming flowers? Us too. The best medicine for any gardener and flower lover is to surround yourself with colorful blooms indoors. There are loads of plants that will give you that spring feeling inside your home. We’ve chosen a few of our favorite blooming houseplants featuring great flower power that pack a punch.

Cyclamen - this cool weather bloomer boasts 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.

Orchids - Orchids are among the most spectacular of all flowering plants! Available in a myriad of colors, shapes and sizes there is an orchid for everyone. They range in size from a two-inch plant that can sit in the palm of your hand to five-foot giants. Some can be fragrant with luscious scents of citrus, raspberry, lilacs, coconut and even chocolate. No matter your preference, the beauty of the flower is undeniable.

Kalanchoe - Big beauty, low maintenance. This colorful little succulent plant is easy to grow and almost as easy to bloom. Kalanchoe grows 8 to 12 inches tall with clusters of small, upright flowers in a rainbow of colors, including red, orange, yellow, gold, purple and white. It has thick, rich green, succulent leaves that retain water to sustain the plant with little water..

Bromeliads - This tough, low-light houseplants can endure a wide range of indoor conditions with minimal care. These spectacular plants, related to the pineapple family, are available in an impressive palette of bright tropical colors, with unique foliage that adds a pop of color to any home. Bromeliads make excellent houseplants and a single plant can be a stunning focal point in any indoor or outdoor room. With long-lasting, brilliantly colored foliage, bromeliads adapt to the unfavorable growing conditions that exist in most homes

African Violets - Known as the world’s all-time favorite windowsill houseplant, African Violets are growing in popularity. They are one of the easiest and most adaptable flowering houseplants to grow, and the requirements for success are simple -- find a good spot, don’t over water, and they’ll shower you with blooms during any season! With literally thousands of varieties to choose from there’s something for every taste.

Plant of the Week: Rosemary Topiaries & Cones

Add festive cheer and fragrance to your Christmas this year with rosemary topiaries and cones. Rosemary, perennial herb with fragrant, needle-like leaves in silvery gray green, is a holiday must-have.

These hardy evergreens are easy to grow, beautiful to look at and just so happens to be super useful too. Among rosemary's many uses, it's prized in the culinary world for its flavorful leaves. It is also beloved for its lovely fragrance and pretty, petite blue flowers that appear each spring. But did you know that rosemary is right up there with mistletoe and frankincense when it comes to holiday decorating? Rosemary makes an ideal holiday accent throughout your home. For entertaining, arrange trees around the buffet or as table centerpieces. With their festive wraps, these tabletop trees add splashes of color and shimmering accents throughout the season. In entryways, their fresh, crisp fragrance welcomes guests and beckons them inside. And add a little nature to holiday packages by tucking in a few springs into ribbon. Rosemary cones and topiaries are also a perfect choice for outdoor use in containers by the front door. So be creative and add this festive evergreen to your holiday décor this season. Oh, and did we mention – rosemary cones and topiaries make a great gift!

Rosemary Care Tips: During the winter months, rosemary likes a nice sunny spot. Place in a bright window, and turn the plant so that it gets sun on both sides. The soil in the pot needs to be well drained. Water it from the top every other day. Water may remain in the saucer to provide humidity for the plant. Adjust the watering schedule if necessary to be sure the soil never dries out.

Check out more of our favorite plants! OUR PLANTS OF THE WEEK >>

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