Flowers for Mother's Day

Forget chocolate—we've got a better idea.

Here's a perfect gift for Mother's Day that's personalized, has zero calories (unlike that Texas-size box of assorted chocolates you gave her last year), and lasts a long time: a pot or two of beautiful blooming flowers. Create one for your mom (or other mom-like figure in your life) and she'll be bowled over by your thoughtfulness.

Here's what to do.

1. Pick the Flowers

Selecting plants might seem overwhelming at first, but Miracle-Gro has taken out some of the guesswork with the Miracle-Gro® Brilliant Blooms* collection of premium quality flowers. These colorful beauties are the little black dresses of the plant potting world—they go with everything! Go ahead pick one type to fill a pot or mix it up for a unique design.

As you're choosing different flowers, be sure to take a peek at the plant tags, as you'll want to choose varieties that have similar needs when it comes to light and water. Also, take a look at how big each plant will get and let that info help guide your design. For example, you'll want to put tall flowers either in the center or the back of the pot, with shorter flowers surrounding or in front.

Need some combo ideas for inspiration? Try one of these:

  • Lantana is a sure-fire favorite for moms who tend to forget to water, as they can handle a bit of dryness. Plant a trio featuring one plant in each of 3 colors, such as yellow, orange-and-yellow bicolor, and pink-and-yellow bicolor. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds adore these long-lasting blooms, too. Remind Mom to place them somewhere where'll they'll get full sun (at least 6 hours a day).
  • If super-sunny spots are in short supply at your mother's house, design a container that can handle a bit of shade. Plant a begonia or two in the center and surround it with coleus plants in similar or contrasting colors—whatever you think she'll like. Just 4 hours of daily sun should be enough for this collection.
  • Consider a pot full of dahlias—they're blooming workhorses! When flowers start to turn brown, just snip them off to allow new ones to take their place. Dahlias are excellent as cut flowers, too: Clip off a single bloom to float in a glass bowl.
  • Still cool where your mom lives? Pansies thrive in springtime temperatures (though they do need to be protected from frost). Fill the center of the pot with these happy flowers, surround them with dainty lobelias to trail over the sides, and your mom won't be able to keep from smiling.
  • Create a gorgeously contrasting container by planting tall purple angelonias (also called summer snapdragons) surrounded by sunny yellow calibrachoas.

2. Choose a Pot

Now that you've picked out the flowers, it's time to choose a container. Think about your mom's style. Is she drawn to modern furnishings or does she prefer more traditional surroundings?

Does she love vibrant colors or do muted tones please her more? Keep the answers in mind when picking a pot.

Here are a few pot types to consider:

  • Terra cotta is a classic choice.
  • Glazed ceramic pots looks sleek and gorgeous.
  • Lightweight plastic containers are easy to move and can be found in a huge range of colors, sizes, and styles—many of which don't even look like plastic!

Whichever container you choose, make sure it has at least one drainage hole in the bottom and is large enough to allow for plenty of root space. Check out How to Pick the Best Kind of Pot for Your Plant for more info on that.

3. Grab a bag of premium potting mix

To create a root environment that has just the right texture and nutrients, fill the pot with high-quality potting mix like Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix. Lighter and fluffier than garden soil and filled with nutrition, it'll coax your plants into producing more blooms for more color (vs. unfed plants)—something that's sure to delight your mom!

4. Create your floral masterpiece

Slip on a pair of garden gloves, then add potting mix until the pot is about 1/3 full. Gently remove the first plant from its plastic container, lightly loosen the outside edges of the roots, and place it where you want it in the pot. (The top of the root ball should be about an inch or two below the lip of the pot.) Repeat. Once all of the plants are in place, fill in the rest of the soil and pat it down gently. Water well, let the pot drain, and your masterpiece is ready to be gifted!

5. Don't forget the plant food

About a month after planting, your mom's flowers are going to want an additional boost of nutrition. So, along with the flowers, give Mom a box of Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Bloom Booster® Flower Food and let her know that regular feedings (every week or two) will ensure the flowers continue to get the nutrition they need to keep producing big, beautiful blooms.

6. Start Planning for Next Mother's Day

Already thinking about an encore? Spring is a good time to plan for in-ground flowers you can grow and cut for a glorious, one-of-a-kind Mother's Day bouquet for next year. Pay attention to what's actually blooming in the ground in mid-May in your region. Tulips, daffodils, or other spring bulbs? Lilacs, flowering quince, or other blooming shrubs? Perennials such as bleeding hearts, lady's mantle, or peonies?

Taking your cue from your regional spring bloomers, choose and plant perennials and shrubs, but hold off on planting bulbs until fall. When you do plant, improve your existing soil by mixing in a layer of Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers. Not only does it help protect against over- and under-watering, but it also feeds for up to 3 months. Translation: Blooms galore!

By the time next Mother's Day rolls around, you'll be glad you planned ahead. Take your scissors or pruners outside to cut a pretty bouquet, then keep it fresh with Miracle-Gro® for Fresh Cut Flowers. Just imagine Mom's face when you tell her you grew them yourself!

Happy Mother's Day!

*available exclusively at Lowe's

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