If you are needing to be a bit “frugal” with the budget this year, an alternative to roses and other freshly cut flowers are beautiful flowering plants. The advantage of a plant is that it will last for years as opposed to just weeks. Herein are some “fresh” alternatives to traditional floral bouquets and arrangements.
If you are constrained as far as budget this year, but still want to give that “special someone” a floral gift that will last years as opposed to a few weeks, then consider the following selections:
The first choice is the “blooming red” Cyclamen plant. The Cyclamen is a tuberous plant and finds it most agreeable in a sunny place, with a temperature of around sixty degrees Fahrenheit. The plant should be watered just enough to keep it moist and prevent it from becoming “bone dry.”
While the plant is still in bloom, it is suggested to feed your Cyclamen, once weekly, with a diluted, fertilizer especially formulated for flowers.
As flowers fade, pull them off and lightly apply fungicide to the tuber in order to prevent “crown rot.”
The plants will do nicely in a shady, dry place, outdoors in the summer.
In the fall, bring the Cyclamen plant back inside, watering and fertilizing your plant(s) as new leaves emerge.
The “second beauty” suggested for a Valentine’s day surprise is the plant: Amaryllis.
This is a very dramatic-looking plant with flowers that are lily-like in appearance.
The blossoms are white, pink and red, blooming up to six to eight inches in total diameter.
Care of the bold, red Amaryllis is as follows: Place your plant in a sunny, warm window. Keep the soil moist; however, not wet.
After the flowers have faded, cut the stalk down to approximately one-half inch above the bulb.
When the leaves begin to emerge, fertilize once a week with a diluted liquid plant food formulated specifically for flowers.
Place the plant outdoors during the summer months. In the fall, trim off the plant’s leaves and store the “potted-bulb” for approximately two months in a “cool place” with a temperature of around 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Water the plant just enough to keep it from “shriveling up.” Bring the Amaryllis inside during the month of January, setting it in a warm and sunny window with the anticipation it will bloom once more for Valentine’s Day!
Published in: Gardening