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Smart tips to help Mother's Day flowers last longer

(BPT) - Mother's Day consumers are expected to spend a record-breaking $2.6 billion on Mother's Day flowers to show their appreciation for Mom, according to a recent National Retail Federation report. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc., the leading destination for Mother's Day floral and gourmet food gifts that help celebrate every "MOMent," has enlisted floral experts Julie Mulligan and Jerry Rosalia to provide tips to keep Mom's blooms vibrant and also extend the Mother's Day sentiment.

Brighten up that bouquet

A beautiful bouquet will brighten Mom's day, but with these handy tips, she'll be able to enjoy the arrangement's beauty for several weeks - or even longer! For starters, trim all of the stems with a sharp knife. This will enable the flowers to drink water more efficiently. From there, if the bouquet came with a food packet, follow the directions and add it to a vase three-quarters full of fresh water.

Every two to three days, re-cut the bottoms of the stems and refresh the water. In the process, remove any flowers that are past their prime. It's important to keep in mind that the natural shelf life of flowers varies from one type to the next, so simply use the eye test and pluck what has wilted or faded in color.

Straighten out those tulips

Tipping tulips don't have to be the end! To straighten bent tulips, start by rolling them into damp newspaper with the bottom of the stems exposed. Trim the exposed portion of the stems and place the tulips (while still rolled up in the newspaper) into a container with clean, room-temperature water. Let the tulips stand in the water for a couple hours, then unroll them from the newspaper and place them into your vase.

Want to ensure they continue to stand up straight? All you'll need is one cent! Simply drop a penny into the vase before you fill it with water. You might be surprised to learn that the copper coin provides micronutrients that help keep your tulips upright. Keep the vase full of water and remove wilted blooms as necessary.

Repot those plants with ease

While most people associate Mother's Day with traditional floral bouquets, plants are a popular gift for the holiday as well. In fact, 1-800-Flowers.com will ship more than 150,000 plants for Mother's Day alone! When it comes time to relocate your Mother's Day plant to the garden or larger container, there's no need to be intimidated!

Start by selecting a new, larger container with a drainage hole. Fill the new pot about a quarter full of the new potting soil. Before relocating your plant gift, wait a few days after watering to remove the plant. This means the soil will be drier and easier to transfer, enabling you to easily remove the plant by simply tapping the top of the pot. Keep as much of the original soil as possible. Also, be sure to trim long or excessive roots.

Finally, place your plant into the new pot, filling the sides with additional soil and compacting as you go. Add additional soil where needed, especially if the soil compacts after the first few waterings.

Keep that rose bush thriving

Rose plants make for a stunning gift that gives back year after year when replanted properly. Before getting out the shovel, be sure to determine the best plant location. Select an area that receives at least five hours of full sun throughout the course of the day. Furthermore, avoid locations that are too close to walkways or other landscape elements as to not crowd the plant.

Once planted, fertilizer can help the rose bush thrive. Starting in April, apply approximately 1 cup of balanced rose fertilizer to the soil around the plant. In May and June, add a tablespoon of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to the fertilizer, thus encouraging new growth from the bottom of the bush.

Healthy branches will be white or light green in the center. If you see any discoloration or spots on the branches, cut them out. Removing withered flowers encourages future blooms, so you can celebrate Mother's Day all season long!

For more quick and easy plant care tips and Mother's Day gifts, visit www.1800flowers.com.


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