Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

When given a gift of flowers, we all feel a sense of happiness. Automatically, we smile and just feel better about everything. In fact, scientific behavioral research conducted at Rutgers proves it. When you receive flowers, you get that warm fuzzy feeling that someone is thinking about you and wishing you well. Blooming plants are flowers, too, and have the same effect.

There are a variety of “bloomers” that have a major “wow” impact. They come in every imaginable color, size and texture; easy care, fragrant and some can be planted outside after enjoying their time inside. Traditional bloomers — poinsettias, mums, shamrocks, azaleas and Easter lilies — make perfect holiday gifts.

What I’d like to do is introduce you to some other plants that are fun to give to hosts, friends or family for any reason or no reason at all, except to say, “I saw this and thought you’d enjoy it!” What a nice thing for someone to do. I know it would make me feel special.

Anthuriums
Anthuriums

I like to think of this group as the wonderful workhorses of the blooming plant family:

  • Hydrangeas have huge heads in blue, purples, whites and pinks. They love the water, so keep ’em moist.
  • Kalanchoes are bright and come in reds, oranges, yellows and pinks.
  • Cyclamens sport upright spiraling flowers in purples, reds, white and bi-colors and come in standard and mini sizes.
  • African Violets are dainty with long-lived durability.
Geraniums

Geraniums

The next group of bloomers is a little more out of the box:

  • Orchids are amazing with their tropical look and easier to grow than you think. Other tropicals, such as hibiscus, bromeliads, fuchsias, anthuriums on a lava rock, jasmines with their amazing fragrance, and gardenias are big hits.
  • During certain times of the year, you’ll find bougainvilleas and mandevillas available as bloomers. If you’re in a tropical climate, they then can be planted outside.
  • A big red, pink or purple geranium is a low-cost option and will last all summer. Ask your florist to wrap it up extra special for the recipient who will enjoy it in a sunny window or on their deck or patio.
  • Most garden centers have perennials potted in fun containers, ready for a bow, such as columbine, pansies and primrose with the leafiness of ornamental kale. These can be enjoyed on a patio now and then replanted in a flower garden and enjoyed year after year. What a nice memory and value.
Azaleas

Azaleas

Almost any plant can be given as a gift, from patio pots filled with annual flowers to hanging baskets of petunias, lobelia and potato vines or a small lemon tree or other citrus fruits.

When you are thinking about what to give the host, ask your florist or garden center what interesting options they have or can get for you. Your bloomers will surely impress the host who will wonder, “Wow! This is cool, where the heck did they find this?”

What is your favorite bloomer?