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FLOWERS FOR MOM

By Joe Temple, Master Gardener
Busy people often find themselves running behind schedule, and Mother's Day will be here before some of us realize it. The perennial question of what to get mother to honor her on her day is once again with us. As garden lovers, our first thought is something in the flower category.
Roses or colorful bouquets of mixed flowers from the local florist are probably at the head of the list. If mom would rather have a foliage plant than cut flowers there are numerous choices.
Spathiphyllum, or peace lily, has a fragrant blossom, likes a shady or limited light location, and is one of the easiest foliage plants to grow.
Ficus is another good choice if a small potted variety is selected. There are more than 800 ficus varieties, so unless you want one to become a small tree (weeping fig), choose one to sit on the coffee table. Ficus elastica, the old fashioned variety is commonly called a rubber plant.
Dracaena is another houseplant that can endure indoor light conditions and shade, but warmth and abundant light are the keys to good growth. Feed lightly throughout the growing season.
There are probably two-dozen other indoor houseplants to choose from that would fill the bill.
A novel suggestion to keep the event repeating every month would be to give a gift certificate for each month of this coming year. Mom could then select a plant or a bouquet of cut flowers appropriate to each month. As the seasons change her floral decorations would change. You might be able to slip in a birthday flower with this system. Check with your local florist.
If mom is among the younger generation, she may want a plant or tree or shrub to set out in the yard. Twenty-five years from now she can point to it and say, "The kids gave that to me 25 years ago. Hasn't it done well in that length of time" Then as an afterthought, "Where have those years gone?"
On a very practical vein, would she appreciate a flat of bedding plants? Impatiens, marigolds, zinnias, and fibrous begonias are just a few suggestions along that line. Read more...
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