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Tips to choose the perfect flowers this Mother's Day

Friday - 5/9/2014, 11:52am  ET

flowers spring (WTOP Photo/Colleen Kelleher)
Does mom want outdoor or indoor plants? Considering mom's preferences can help in the search for Mother's Day gifts. (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)

What kind of flowers would mom like?

WTOP Garden Plot Editor Mike McGrath helps you get mom the right plant for Mother's Day.

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WASHINGTON -- A bouquet of flowers is a very popular Mother's Day gift, and WTOP's Garden Editor Mike McGrath has some advice for picking the right blooms.

There is one rule to remember when buying flowers for Sunday's holiday, McGrath says: When giving mom a plant, don't make it more work.

"She has worked for you for X number of years already. Make it an easy-care choice," McGrath said on WTOP Friday.

Here are some of McGrath's other tips for getting mom the right floral-themed present:

  • What does mom want? Is mom an avid gardener? Would she prefer an indoor flower display? Consider mom's hobbies and what kind of flowers she would prefer.

    "There's no one-size-fits-all for Mother's Day," McGrath says.

  • Choose a durable potted plant. Some potted plants, such as the snake plant, are considered to be bullet-proof. It can thrive with low light and requires little maintenance.

    The plant is also known as "mother-in-law's tongue," so be careful giving it to in-laws.

  • Consider orchids. Getting the right kind of orchid - one that is not finicky and not delicate - can put on a show for a long time.

    McGrath says they can flower for six months, but had a caller correct him when his lasted for 10 months.

  • Look at the buds. When buying plants, look for the ones with a few open flowers and below those flowers, nothing but buds. The more buds, the more flowers left to bloom.

    "You don't want to get a plant with a couple of flowers open and all of these nubs on the stem that shows there have been flowers that have fallen off," McGrath says.

    The Phalaenopsis, known as the Moth Orchid, is a popular flower that is easy to count the buds to improve the plant's longevity. The flowers open in sequence, so every unopened bud beneath the two true flowers at the top can add two weeks to the plant's life.

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