With Easter being early this year and the thought of frost
still around, it's great to see flowers that are blooming. It is also a time to be careful
with your flowers, because of the frost. When Easter is early, most of the plants that we
get this time of the year are forced. Forced means that they fool the flowers, give them
a lot of light and some heat, so they bloom early. Bulb plants are most prominent, early
in the season. They are plants such as tulips, hyacinths, lilies, and daffodils. These
plants, after they have bloomed, and are starting to lose their flowers, can be cut back to
about an inch or two from the bulb top and be planted in the ground and will come up again
next year and years after that. These are called Perennial plants and they are a very
strong and rugged plant. They take the cold very well.
Now tulips are one of my favorite plants and the bud or flower of the tulip will open up
in sunlight and close when it gets dark. Hyacinths have a real smell to them; almost like
perfume and can overwhelm a room with their scent. When I remember my Grandma Morrissey,
I always think of the Hyacinth; it was her favorite. Lilies are the most typical Easter
flower and are very beautiful to look at. They also come back every year if you cut them
back and plant them. A little tip to keep the lily clean and pretty is to pull out the
pollen stems on the inside of the flower, but be careful not to get the pollen on the white
flower, it will stain the flower and make the flower die sooner.
Daffodils are another great flower to look at and are especially pretty when planted in
your yard, when the Daffodil starts to peak out of the ground, you know spring and warmer
weather are close.
Mums, Hydrangeas, Cinerarias, Miniature Roses, and Azaleas, - all of these are also great
plants for your Easter, Passover holidays.
Mums come in many colors and stay bloomed for a long time, sometimes 2-3 weeks. Mums also
will come back in the fall if you cut them back and plant them.
Hydrangeas, also called Sno-Balls, are another great plant. Hydrangeas once planted in the
ground will usually not flower for 2 to 3 years and then flower regularly.
They might also change color from pink to blue or purple or visa versa. A trick to help
your potted Sno-Ball stay healthy is aspirin, good old aspirin. Take 2 aspirins and dilute
in water and give your Hydrangea a drink. It really works.
Years ago my father had a whole truckload of Hydrangeas to sell for Easter. All of a sudden
they started to wilt; the flower I mean, so my Mom, the smart one in the family, said to
give them aspirins. We bought a case of aspirins, diluted them in water and gave each one
of the Hydrangeas a drink and it worked! Mom was always right.
Azaleas are another plant that are pretty but usually don't bloom this early, so they are
forced to bloom, like I explained before. With Azaleas that are forced, you need to be
careful when you plant them outdoors. Find a Southern exposure with a lot of light, out of
the wind and plant; they will be fine. Forced plants are not as strong in the beginning
but as time goes by they do just fine.
Well I hope I've given you a little information on Easter plants and how to care for them.
You know I know about fruits and vegetables, but plants?
Well over the years, being in a family business that sells everything seasonal, you pick up
a lot of knowledge on different things out of necessity. "Jack of all trades
- master of none" - that's me!
Happy Easter to All!
Other recipes from Produce Pete.