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Gifts for Mom: How to Pick the Perfect Plant

Shane Pliska, president of Planterra Conservatory in West Bloomfield, says to keep your mom’s favorite colors in mind when shopping.

If you’re one of the countless people who buy flowers for Mom on Mother’s Day, good for you … and great for Mom! There’s nothing like a big bouquet to brighten the day.

Area gardening experts suggest taking Mom’s love of flowers a few steps further by picking up a plant for her that she can enjoy, perhaps as a centerpiece on Mother’s Day but then on her patio or deck as an added adornment this summer.

And while plants in pots are great, so are blooms that brim from the new vertical, wall trays. Consider giving Mom gardening tools or even a big pile of mulch. Seriously, some mothers have reported that one of their best gifts ever was a pile of mulch and some extra hands for spreading it!

Here, some plant- and garden-enthusiast gift ideas that are sure to make Mom’s smile as bright as a hibiscus bloom.

Can’t-Go-Wrong Flowers and Plants

• Wall Flowers. The folks at are excited about their new vertical gardens that you can hang on a patio wall, front porch rail, you name it. “Choose Mom’s favorite flowers to make it extra special,” says Nick Schubert, a publicist for The Home Depot.   

• Greens Keeper. A 48-by-96-inch cedar raised garden bed at The Home Depot (greens come separately) is just the ticket for moms who like to get their greens and enjoy fresh, fresh, fresh!

• Flat-Out Fabulous. On May 11, Sam LaGrasso at plant center in Washington Township will be taking delivery on more than 1,000 flats filled with colorful annuals. “These are great gifts, but of course, it’s even better if you plant them for her,” he said with a smile. Incidentally, if you’re one of the first 100 guests on May 11, you will receive free, potted flowers.

• Pass the Fruit. LaGrasso has already taken orders for more than 30 fruiting trees. “We have orange, lemon, olive and fig trees,” he said. “They make great gifts because they keep on giving.”  Note: 5 percent of a guest's purchase will go toward Mom’s favorite charity if guests take time to fill out a form. 

• Color Her World. Shane Pliska, president of in West Bloomfield, says to keep your mom’s favorite colors in mind when shopping. At his extensive plant facility, a veritable rainbow of blooms await, from pink and blue hydrangea plants to yellow, orange and red hibiscus to white jasmine. Also charming: Pink mandevilla vines on a trellis.

•  Fragrant Finds. It’s hard to top the scent of jasmine, said Zach Pliska, retail manager at Planterra. “We have tabletop-sized jasmine plants but also large ones in 14-inch pots that look great on patios.” Zach also suggested Planterra’s white gardenias as a dependable fragrant plant. They range in size from 10-inch to 14-inch pots.

Other Items for the Flower Lover and Gardener

• Whimsy Ways. April McCrumb, owner of in Berkley and Rochester says moms will adore her fair trade felt bird houses, made in Nepal, as well as gardening gloves, books, plant sparklers, artistic pot wires (at the , McCrumb’s other shop in Berkley) that replace unsightly plastic hangers, ceramic plant stakes and more.  

• Let Her Be Choosy. Consider a gift card from a gardening center, such as The Home Depot. Schubert suggests a “gift card plant stake” that you can add to perhaps a hanging basket.

• Pile It On. Nationally known gardening expert Melinda Myers, author of The Michigan Lawn Guide and host of Melinda’s Garden Moments, which airs on more than 100 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada, says many moms dream about NOT having to spread compost or mulch. “Give your mom a load of compost — and help spread it,” Myers suggested. “I have had several women tell me this was one of their favorite gifts.”

• Lightweight Go-To Tool. Make her time spent in the yard/garden easier with a lightweight lithium ion garden tools from The Home Depot. The Sun Joe Hedger is cordless and great for hedging, grass trims and more. 

• You Buy It, You Hang It. “If you buy mom a hanging basket, make sure she has a place to hang it. Or plan on helping her install the hooks,” said Myers.

• Daytripper. Plan an outing with Mom to a local public garden, suggested Myers.

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