Florida Say “Happy Mother’s Day” With A Plant – Maybe Even One Bred By UF/IFAS

As Mother’s Day quickly approaches, you can make mom feel special in any number of ways: Some of your options include fixing her breakfast, taking her out for dinner, and/or buying her flowers or a plant.

Mother’s Day is May 8, and flora make for some of the most popular gifts sons and daughters can give their moms, say University of Florida experts.

In addition, UF/IFAS scientists actually breed some of them, including highly sought ornamental plants. Indeed, Florida is the sole source of caladium bulbs for the entire world, satisfying the needs of growers and consumers – and a UF/IFAS plant breeder specializes in this variety.

In addition, UF/IFAS scientists actually breed some of them, including highly sought ornamental plants. Indeed, Florida is the sole source of caladium bulbs for the entire world, satisfying the needs of growers and consumers – and a UF/IFAS plant breeder specializes in this variety.
Zhanao Deng tending to caladiums at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. Credit: UF/IFAS photography

Plants, especially ornamentals, give mom a gift that she can enjoy year after year and can even contribute to a new hobby for the whole family,” said Joanna Courtemanche, a family and consumer sciences agent with UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County.

In fact, says Courtemanche, by giving mom a plant, something that was once a gift can turn into a family ritual by allowing mothers to teach children about plants and how to care for them.

“Mothers can use gardening as a family bonding activity to form stronger attachments within human and child development,” she said. “Gardening and/or just having house plants can even contribute to a variety of emotional benefits such as improving moods, lowering blood pressure, and even improving cognitive function. What mom doesn’t need some stress-relief activities?”

If you’re thinking of giving mom a plant, many varieties can give that windowsill the look you want, and many plants emit that effervescent aroma that gives your home a spring aura. You might consider a coleus, caladium or petunia. And if you choose any of those, you could wind up purchasing a variety developed by any of 27 University of Florida plant breeders.

UF/IFAS researchers in the environmental horticulture department are constantly seeking to improve the aesthetics, scent and maintenance of plants. Among the rock-star UF/IFAS scientists who grow and/or breed ornamental plants are:

“Coleus plants make good Mother’s Day gifts because they are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and shapes at any garden center, they’re inexpensive and easy to grow,” Clark said. “This is the perfect time of year to plant it in the garden or in a pot on the patio.”
David Clark, looks after coleus in his greenhouse on the main UF campus. Credit: UF/IFAS photography.

“Coleus plants make good Mother’s Day gifts because they are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and shapes at any garden center, they’re inexpensive and easy to grow,” Clark said. “This is the perfect time of year to plant it in the garden or in a pot on the patio.”

UF/IFAS coleus varieties have been selected to thrive under Florida’s tough (hot, humid) conditions to make sure gardeners around the world succeed whenever they plant one, he said.

“Florida has been the only source for caladium bulbs in the world, satisfying the needs of greenhouse growers, nurseries, landscapers, and consumers in the Sunshine State, around the nation, and globally,” Deng said. “Consumers are always looking for pretty plants that are easy to grow and care for and can do well and last long. Caladiums meet these requirements, and they thrive in Florida.”

Visit Tampafp.com for PoliticsTampa Area Local NewsSports, and National Headlines. Support journalism by clicking here to our GiveSendGo or sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Android Users, Click Here To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. Follow Us On Facebook Here Or Twitter Here.

Advertisement

Login To Facebook From Your Browser To Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *