Gardening With Kids: Growing Flowers and Keeping Them Fresh
Fresh flowers are a great way to brighten your home. What mom doesn't appreciate the gift of fresh flowers on her birthday or Mother's Day? But if you're looking to keep your flowers around a little longer, you may want to try growing your own and learning how to extend the life of bunches you've cut.
Growing your own flowers and gardening with kids, is a great way to have a gorgeous home and teach your kids a thing or two about mama nature!
Here are a few tips to get you started growing your own flowers:
- When gardening with kids, you might experiment with soft, fuzzy plants like Lamb's ear or Bunny tails (an ornamental grass the produces soft puffy flowers).
- Plants with lovely smells are also good for gardening with kids. Roses, lilacs and peonies are particularly fragrant. Herbs such as mint, rosemary, lemon balm, and basil are also good plants for children—plus, it's nice to have fresh herbs in your home!
- Kids like plants that move. Win serious cool points by pinching the blossoms of a snapdragon to make the dragon's mouth open!
- When gardening with children, try to pick some plants that have a good chance of surviving! In other words, you might want to stick with a few low-maintenance favorites like marigolds, impatiens or bulbs.
Once you've got a garden in bloom and are ready to bring some of the beauty inside, here are some more tips for helping your bouquets last longer:
- Keep flowers upright before you put them in a vase. Also, handle them carefully so the stems don't get damaged.
- Cut stems with a sharp (un-serrated) knife. Cut on a slant to expose more stem surface area. Remove leaves that will be under water.
- Put flowers in water as soon as possible. Most flowers do better in lukewarm water, but many bulbs prefer cold water.
- Change the water every couple of days (don't top off the water; add fresh water).
- Put flowers in a cool location—away from direct sunlight.
- Daffodils should get their own vase. Daffodil stems actually release a compound that is toxic to other flowers.
- A teaspoon of sugar or glycerin (per pint of water) can help act as a preservative and keep flowers fresh in your home.
- Believe it or not, a few drops of soda can help to keep flowers fresh.
P.S. These tips work equally well for store-bought bouquets. (Hint, hint, honey!)