Mothers Day is happening this Sunday, May 12, and for many mothers young or older, an Indoor plant is the appropriate gift.
Indoor plants have become a fashionable item, an accessory to home and office spaces. Indoor plants offer beauty, class and healthy living.
There are many to choose so I have taken some time to outline some of the options available. You can use this as a guide too for yourself while selecting something for mum!
Cyclamen are a great winter flowering favourite. Cyclamen can be grown both indoors and outdoors. They are naturally a cool-loving plant which initiates the flowering to start in autumn.
They can be kept inside for a while, although they do not like a hot stuffy room. They will flower and perform for a couple of months before it becomes preferable to plant them outside or place in a cool room with good air circulation and plenty of light.
A good care tip to note - when watering, take the plant to the water, not the other way round. If possible allow water to soak through the bottom of the pot by placing in a sink, bowl, or saucer and add water. When complete allow to drain before returning to its location.
Chrysanthemums are another potted flowering plant for indoors and also grow well outdoors. They prefer it coolish rather than warm and stuffy and are best watered the same way as for cyclamen.
Chrysanthemums give great value because once the indoor pot plant types have finished flowering you can trim them right down to almost ground level and plant outside where they will give you another flowering display next season, but will grow taller.
Most commercially grown indoor chrysanthemums are sprayed with a suppressant to keep them dwarf and compact for the first year but give an exciting surprise as they grow out of these effects offering a larger blooming plant the next year in the garden.
Phalaenopsis orchid is the world's number one selling indoor plant. Sold in flower they will continue with their flowering for another incredible 6-8 months. As soon the flowers drop, the stem can be trimmed to highest node below the finished flower.
Often this will stimulate another flower stem to develop from this point in the stem. Following another 4-6 months of flowering the stem should be completely removed. In the following subsequent 6 -10 months a new flower stem should develop and the process starts again.
To ensure flowering success these orchids should be fed weekly to fortnightly with liquid orchid fertiliser when in flower.
Indoor Ferns. Ferns offer a refreshing green to a room, a sense of freshness and calm. Three good options are the maidenhair (or adiantum) and the ladder or Boston fern (nephrolepsis). The third option is the rabbit foot fern, which as well as the soft green foliage has thick furry light-coloured stems that resemble rabbits feet. These stems will hang closely over the side of the pot offering attractive added interest. These three ferns are suitable for a cooler spot indoors and are happy to be kept just moist, not wet. Ferns are great in darker rooms and need to be kept away from draughts. They benefit from a monthly weak application of a liquid fertiliser at half strength such as Ican Fast Food.
Mother in laws tongue. The name is something to take into consideration if this plant is to be a gift however you may find it on the request list. This is currently one of the hottest plants on the indoor plant fashion block.
Its hard to kill reputation and attractive structural form offer an attractive statement in a room. The mother in laws tongue or sansevieria is great for a warmer situation in a bright, well-lit room. It is best kept on the dry side – almost thriving on neglect as overwatering will bring it to a quick demise.
– anthurium. These offer attractive colourful flowers on lushly attractive heart-shaped leaves. There is quite a range of colours available that it can make you wonder if the plant you are looking at is actually real or plastic.
There are purples, whites, pinks as well as numerous shades of red. The flamingo flower performs best in a bright sunny room but out of the direct sunlight. Regular feeding each month with Ican Fast Food will ensure your plant stays healthy and produces numerous flowers.
If your mother is more of an outdoor gardener, then consider one of these options
Pink or white daphne is a popular gift. They produce highly fragrant heads of flowers from winter to early spring. Best grown in light shade in a cool position that receives morning sun in acid soil and protected from wind.
Feed daphne lightly in the spring with acid fertiliser to encourage strong new growth. A more recently released variety that performs well in the home garden is Daphne Perfume Princess. It boasts a longer flowering season that the other leucanthe varieties, with blooming that can stretch from July to December on an established bush.
Rose Mum in a Million. This is aptly named for a situation such as Mother's Day. The credentials of this rose, however, goes well beyond its name.
It has the most delicious strong fragrance on a strong healthy bush producing flowers from November to May each year.
It was bred by internationally renown Polson Roses and is grown in New Zealand by local Whanganui Rose Growers Rassmussen Roses. It is suitable for a large pot on the patio or in the garden.
I hope this offers some inspiration for mum that is far more healthy than chocolate!
Have a great week!
Gareth Carter is general manager of Springvale Garden Centre.