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Plant of the Week:

CHRISTMAS CACTUS

Looking for a plant full of charming holiday color? The holiday season is full of traditions and holiday plants have played an important role in seasonal celebrations for centuries. While Christmas trees, poinsettias and mistletoe immediately come to mind, they are not alone. There are other plant options that boast Yuletide. The Christmas cactus is yet another popular holiday plant. This thornless member of the cactus family has flat green foliage, which flower 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 with or without a green thumb.

Christmas cactus prefers bright, indirect light, so be sure to keep it in a well-lit location away from drafts, heat vents and other sources of hot air. Drafts and temperature extremes can cause the flower buds to drop from the plant before they have a chance to open. And, unlike most other cactus, this one requires light to moderate watering. Christmas cactus is a great way to add a burst of color indoors during the holiday season and throughout the winter months ahead.

Plant of the Week:

PELEE MUMS

As you fall into the autumn season, consider giving your home the warm seasonal color of Pelee mums. Updating your rooms with color is a quick and easy way to embrace this time of year, and will put you in the mood to enjoy all the bounties the fall months have to offer! Houseplants not only infuse the indoors with the fiery hues of autumn, but they can create a sense of coziness. The Pelee mum is one of our favorite fall plants that will bring the dazzling beauty of the outdoors inside your home.

'Pelee' is a garden mum which bears single flowers in russet-red. The name is derived from the warmth of the colors that come from their reflection of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess; and hot glowing volcanic lava. The Pelee flower is very large with a dark middle. The brilliance of this mum will compliment any autumnal display.

Dim the Lights

LOW-LIGHT HOUSEPLANTS

Don’t have a green thumb or the time to fuss over plants? Sometimes it seems like there’s just not enough time in your day to care for houseplants, but fortunately there are some low light options that can pretty much take care of themselves. Houseplants provide many benefits – from improving air quality in your home and office to simply making you feel happy. But you don’t need to fuss with finicky plants to beautify your home. Low light plants are some of the easiest and most versatile of all houseplants. Nearly all low light plants will grow in most light conditions except direct sun, and can endure for years with only artificial light.

Here's a few suggestions from seasoned gardener and McDonald owner, Eddie Anderson, on growing low light houseplants...

Low light conditions are a constant challenge when trying to select the best plant for your home or office. Anderson says one way to determine lighting conditions in your indoor space is weather or not you can read a book comfortably without a light on in the location where you are going to place the plant. If you struggle to say yes, then here are a few suggestions on houseplants that will thrive in these low light conditions.

Chinese evergreens - One of the best plants for beginners or those with low light conditions - this robust, slow growing plant is easy to grow and tolerates just about every indoor condition. Not only is it one of the toughest plants, it's also beautiful. Most varieties have deep green leaves with bold sliver markings. Calla-lily-like blooms may also appear in spots where it gets enough light. The plant is equally low maintenance when it comes to watering. By keeping the soil evenly moist or watering once every few weeks, Chinese evergreens will do well. The new hybrid varieties along with the Elite series and the Bay series provide a broad range of colors for decorating your indoor space. And when it comes to decorating, this plant is extremely versatile. When young, it’s small enough to fit on a desk or tabletop. Older, larger plants are suited to growing on the floor, in corners, next to furniture, or as an accent piece alongside a wall. The silvery hues in Chinese evergreens work with just about any decorating color palette and style.

Bromeliads – another tough, low light houseplant that thrives on neglect, bromeliads 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. In general, these plants are easy to grow and require very little care. They come in a wide range of sizes from tiny miniatures to giants. With their impressive structure and ornamental foliage, the visual impact of bromeliads is immediate. Try planting them alone in a concrete or uniquely shaped container or combine them with a companion plant where the bromeliad will surely be center stage.

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