tips for planting your mother’s day gift plant

Stop! Don’t get rid of that sorry-looking plant.

Maybe you got a Mother’s Day plant of hydrangea, slender tulips, fragrant hyacinth or daffodils. These plants are sold in plastic containers and wrapped in decorative paper with ribbons.

They are a popular gift to celebrate the woman who does your homework with you, packs your lunch and keeps track of busy schedules.

Only the hydrangea will be looking like anything resembling a healthy plant now at the start of June. That’s because the hydrangea plants cultivated for the Mother’s Day holiday are forced to produce an earlier bloom and their natural bloom cycle is longer than the other plants.

A few simple steps can continue the life cycle of all the Mother’s Day blooms.

Take the hydrangea outside for an afternoon of sun and bring it back inside at night. Do this for a week or so to prevent any shock to the plant and to keep it from being bothered by fluctuating temperatures.

Once the hydrangea gradually gets used to being outside, plant it in a planter or in a bed and allow it to fall into the rhythm of the growing season.

As for the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth plants their cycle is complete. But don’t throw out the expired plant. You want to save the bulbs for future flower enjoyment.

Simply remove from the pot and cut off the spent part of the plant almost down to the soil line.

After a plant blooms,  all the energy for the next growing season is stored in the bulb. So there is life in this plant yet!

Turn the plant over and remove from the pot. You’ll notice the root system on the bottom of the plant. These are finished growing for the plant cycle. Shake off the soil. Reach in and separate what will be several bulbs.

In order for these plants to look healthy and full for Mother’s Day, several single bulbs will be grouped in one pot. When the plant is finished growing for the spring season the bulbs can be pulled apart and wiped clean. They can be wrapped in newspaper or paper towels for storage in a cool dry place and planted in the fall.

The bulbs need to be as dry as possible since moisture can lead to rotting. You don’t want to plant the bulbs in June because they have not had a season to harden off and the young bulbs could suffer under a punishing summer sun. Keep the bulbs stored until cooler winds are blowing in the fall. Check on the bulbs periodically while they are in storage to make sure the paper towels or newspaper haven’t become wet.

Follow these easy steps for your Mother’s Day plant from 2014 and turn it into the flowers that will greet you for the holiday next year and many years to come.

Stay tuned for planting tips and recipe ideas all month long!


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