Newswise — Mother’s Day celebrations in the United States bring family together — and bring a lot of business to the floral industry, with flowers one of the most popular gifts.

“Mother’s Day is one of the top floral holidays. It is in the running with Valentine’s Day,” said Barbara Leshyn, floral design instructor for Virginia Tech’s School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. “Although floral sales on Valentine’s day can top Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day has competition — for example, chocolates and teddy bears — but what do you get mom for Mother’s Day? Flowers!”

Q: What are the most popular Mother’s Day flowers?

“Interesting enough, bedding plants are hugely popular for Mother’s Day gifts. It is planting season, and everybody has the gardening bug, especially moms. Most often, these gifts are annuals meant to give color to flower beds and for building decorative pots. Favorites include geraniums, impatiens, hydrangea, coleus, snap dragons, celosia, and marigolds, to name a few. Most purchases are made based on what’s ‘mom’s favorite.’”

Q: How about flowers selected for Mother’s Day bouquets?

“With cut flowers, we have reached a point where flowers are very personalized. Roses, carnations, lilies, and peonies are historic favorites, but tulips, orchids, and Gerbera daisies are definitely in the running, too.” 

Q: What tips do you have for making bouquets last?

“Use a vase that is the proper size for your flowers. Height and the size of the mouth of the container are important. You want your flowers to sit a good two inches above the rim of your vase. The wider the mouth of the vase, the more flowers you will need to fill it, and of course the smaller the mouth, the less flowers it will take to make the arrangement look full. Following the directions on the flower food packet, mix and fill your vase with water. Remove all the leaves that would be below the rim of your vase. Using garden pruners, not scissors, cut the stems at a sharp angle before you place your flowers in the vase.”  

About Barbara Leshyn
Leshyn teaches floral design for the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, a division of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. More here.

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