Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and pretty soon we’ll all be scrambling to find the perfect gift for our beloved Mums.
Cut flowers make a great classic gift for Mother’s Day, but potted plants last even longer and are just as beautiful.
Houseplants make great gifts because there is such a wide variety, some that are low-maintenance and easy-going for the new gardener, and some that require a little more attention for Mums that are well-versed in all things green-fingered.
These should all be available in garden centres and from supermarkets in the lead up to Mother’s Day.
So, have a look at my five favourite plants for Mother’s Day gifts:
Pot azaleas make fabulous Mother’s Day presents because they flower around the same time of year.
They have even become something of a tradition for many people. They are different from the evergreen azaleas that we plant outside, as they are grown specifically as houseplants.
Azaleas are immensely thirsty plants. Here’s a secret to giving yours a long life: sit them on a saucer covered with kitchen towel soaked in water. Another great tip is to water them occasionally with a bit of free plant food – cold tea! Try not to let your azalea dry out, and they prefer a well-lit place out of direct sunlight.
They come in a range of colours, from blushing pink to deep purple and even white, so don’t forget to get one in your Mum’s favourite shade.
These are hugely popular houseplants and they come in a massive variety of colours, sizes and styles.
They used to be quite slim on selection in the UK, but nowadays you can buy everything from moth orchids to cymbidiums at your local garden centre (or even a lot of supermarkets).
They are wonderful gifts for Mother’s Day, as they look very unusual and will bring a touch of the exotic to her house.
They have a bit of a reputation for being difficult to care for, but once you understand what makes them tick, it’s not too tricky.
They need bright but indirect light, plenty of humidity, and they should be kept in a clear pot so that the roots have access to light. They don’t need too much water, you’ll know when they’re thirsty as their roots change colour from bright green to a dull, silvery grey.
Also affectionately known as Pot Mums, Chrysanthemums are the perfect gift for Mother’s Day.
They have been known to deteriorate almost as quickly as cut flowers, so ensure your mum is equipped to care for her chrysanthemums so that the masses of colourful blooms last as long as they should.
Make sure to remove any dead flowers as they wilt, and water when the top inch of soil becomes dry. Again, a bright but indirectly lit windowsill works well for Chrysanthemums, avoiding any really high or low temperatures.
Kalanchoe, sometimes also known as a Flaming Katy, is a succulent with fleshy, emerald green leaves and masses of colourful flowers.
It’s really easy to grow and can last for years and keep producing fantastic flower displays, making it incredible value for money.
Kalanchoe love to live on a kitchen windowsill, somewhere that gets plenty of light but that is out of the direct afternoon glare, as the leaves can become scorched.
After the Kalanchoe has finished its bloom, cut off the flowering head and reduce watering and it should bloom naturally again in spring.
A mistake people often make with kalanchoe is overwatering, so ensure that are only watering when the soil has dried out, and never allow it to stand in water. Remember to water less during the winter.
These are perfect for busy mums who need a pretty and unfussy plant to brighten up their day.
The rose is our national flower and is the perfect plant to show your Mum what a gem she really is.
You can buy special indoor pot roses that make excellent presents for Mother’s Day. They are best put on a well-lit windowsill and watered little and often. Too much water can cause them to rot.
They don’t like high temperatures, so if your mum likes to keep her living room extra cosy, then make sure she keeps her potted rose in a cooler part of the house, such as a porch or conservatory. After the first flowering, indoor roses can be grown outside in a pot or planted into a bed, which should help the plant to last longer.
So now you have five fantastic houseplants that are sure to impress your Mum this Mothering Sunday. Potted plants often work out to be cheaper than a bouquet of cut flowers, so you should be able to get your Mum a little something extra too.