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Gardening: Mother’s Day flowers and plants can make mom happy and healthy

Mother's Day weekend is typically the time to plant, but you'll still want to use some caution as you get your garden ready.

DENVER — With Mother’s Day this weekend, lots of gardeners are thinking about flowers. Flowers are always a good gift, but did you know besides their beauty, flowers and plants can also improve mom’s health and quality of life?

Health benefits of plants

Flowers and plants have many health benefits. Several studies show that having plants and flowers to look at and/or garden with achieves the following:

  • Lowers stress, decrease anxiety, and improves emotional health
  • Boosts general well-being, enhance illness recovery rates, and enhance positive outlook
  • Increases attention span, increase memory retention, strengthen feelings of compassion
  • Increases overall quality of life

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Edible plants and herbs can add many nutritional and medicinal benefits. Flowers and plants can increase property values, filter pollutants, add oxygen to the air while removing carbon dioxide, and encourage pollinators and other wildlife.

Plant knowing a hard freeze is still possible

While Mother’s Day weekend is traditionally the time to start planting flower beds and containers, there is still a chance for a hard freeze in May. Remember the more you plant, the more you may have to work to protect what you planted from freezing. If Jack Frost is in the forecast, some potted plants can be brought indoors while larger potted plants and planting beds should be covered with a blanket.

Establishing newly planted annuals and perennials takes some TLC. Make sure you are using good quality planting soil for containers and improving planting bed soils by adding organic soil amendments like compost, or barnyard manure that is at least one year old. Using a one time, time-released fertilizer or water-soluble weekly fertilizer also helps to establish healthy plants.

Newly planted plants need to be watered more often for the first one to two weeks and then check the soil every day and water only as needed. Be sure to top off your planters, containers and beds with mulch, which helps soil retain moisture. And don’t forget to deadhead, pulling off spent blooms directs water and nutrients to the most vital areas.

Other ways to conserve water – shower with a bucket

How many of us jump into a cold shower? Not many, most of us wait for water to warm up before stepping in. Use this ‘warm up’ time to capture shower water with buckets and after you’re clean, give you containers a drink. Using the right plant in the right place is another way to minimize maintenance and maximize water efficiency. Look at the plants label and follow what is recommended – some plants need full sun while others need partial or even full shade. Create a plant hydrozone use water more efficiently. This is simply grouping plants together by water need.

RELATED: Proctor's Garden: Put manure to good use

These are a few of our favorite plants

  • For waterwise hanging baskets use: Confetti Hot Spring Fling, Kwik Rocky Mtn High, Trixi CO Kaleidoscope, Verbena, petunias & calibrachoa are all good.
  • Geranium Big EEZE Foxy Flamingo – Geraniums are Japanese Beetle resistant, & easy to grow.
  • Orange Petunia Hells Glow are waterwise, new, and a unique color
  • Salvia g. Hummingbird Falls are very waterwise and attracts hummingbirds
  • Dahlia Venti Red & White - Dahlias are always a favorite and have been grown in Denver for over 100 years in Wheat Ridge by W. W. Wilmore.

Information courtesy Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. For help with designing, installing or maintaining your garden or landscape, go to ALCC's Web site at www.alcc.com and click on find a landscape professional.


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