Beyond cut flowers; Valentine's Day plant ideas to give your fave gardener.
Always beautiful and welcomed, cut flowers, like long-stemmed roses are always a great go-to gift for Valentine's Day. And if you love a gardener, consider these fun plant alternatives, too.
Usually a vining plant with big, fleshy leaves that are heart-shaped that you might find in garden centers with single, heart-shaped leaf cutting in soil. These make a lovely and fun Valentine's gift but you can go a step further. Try to find the whole plant, not just the cutting, and it will last for years.
Not only do these orchids look dramatic and beautiful, they are also make a great, easy-care house plant gift.
If you took a moth orchid, put it in a room with indirect light and did nothing, as in - didn't water it, didn't even talk to it - it would still flower in spite of your non-interaction AND it will last longer than cut flowers!
Depending on its root system, this orchid will last for weeks, sometimes months. And if the moth-orchid receiver is really into gardening, they can take care of it and have it come back again next year to flower next winter.
If you received cut flowers for Valentine's Day, take a few steps to ensure they'll look beautiful for days after you bring them home.
First, if they are wrapped in cellophane, take off that plastic sleeve and strip off and leaves that are near the bottoms of the stems. Next, re-cut the stem bottoms under warm, running water. (This ensures you don't get air bubbles into the stem that could interrupt water uptake).
Choose a clean, appropriately sized vase for your flower bunch; make sure it's big enough to accommodate your flowers and plenty of fresh water. Then add warm water and the floral fertilizer packet to the vase.
The packets that come with your cut flowers work well and supply some sugar for your flowers as well as an antibacterial element to keep them fresh. For a home-made, natural version, try apple cider vinegar in the water.
Finally, add your cut flowers to the vase and display them in a cool room. Change out the water every couple of days and they'll last not just days, but weeks.
Q: I just put my boots on, trudged through the snow to my elevated bed, and I picked some rosemary to use for tonight's dinner. I'm floored that we continue to enjoy it fresh from the garden in Vermont January. On the other hand, the one I bought into the house to overwinter lasted like a month or so. Have you ever heard of this happening? - June, in Essex
A: Rosemary is hardy to 10 degrees! So, this tracks that your plant would still be hanging in there in January when it was unusually warm in Vermont.
As for the indoor rosemary plant, trying to overwinter it takes a couple of steps.
Put the rosemary plant in the sunniest room you have or place it under a grow light. Ensure that the plant is getting good airflow around it. And each time you water it, water thoroughly then let the soil dry out.
This should help your indoor rosemary plant carry over the winter. Come spring, put it into a new container and bring it outdoors for the spring and summer.
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