10 Mother's Day Plants She Will Love

10 Mother's Day Plants She Will Love

In the United States, Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday of May, making it easy to remember and even easier to shop for. While Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide, the date chosen varies as does the way it is celebrated. Here in the U.S., mothers often are given gifts of flowers like roses or maybe a box of candy, and usually families give their moms the day off from their usual chores, including cooking meals.

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The Origins of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has been celebrated for over a hundred years, but how did it start in the first place? As far back as ancient times, the Romans and Greeks held festivals in honor of the goddesses Rhea and Cybele as mother goddesses. In more recent times, the early Christians held a yearly festival called Mothering Sunday. 

Held on the fourth Sunday in the season of Lent, the faithful would attend a special service by returning to their “mother” church close to their home. At one time, this was a major celebration in England and Europe, but it eventually died out also.

There were several American women who were instrumental in bringing Mother’s Day, as we know it today, into fruition. Most of them worked in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Remember that at that time a woman’s role was very limited. A woman of marriageable age was expected to find a husband, marry him and spend the rest of her life caring for the home and children. There was little to no recognition of the value of her work.

The Stories of Ann Reeves Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe

Then, in the 1850s, prior to the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis started the Mother’s Day Work Clubs. These clubs were organized to teach women how to properly care for their children. After the Civil War, the country was still divided. In 1868, Ann Jarvis used the foundation of her Mother’s Day Work Clubs to organize a Mother’s Friendship Day where mothers would gather with former soldiers from the Union and the Confederacy to promote reconciliation. 

In 1870, Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation. Julia was an abolitionist and suffragette. The proclamation urged women, specifically mothers, to unite together and work for world peace. In 1873, Julia urged that June 2 be celebrated as Mother’s Peace Day.

There were several others who also worked toward a Mother’s Day to recognize women’s contributions, and some were successful in their local communities during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Then, in 1905, Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis who died that year, took up where her mother left off, championing the cause. 

happy mothers day card and flowers

Setting Aside a Day for Mothers

In 1908, Anna came up with the idea of Mother’s Day as a way of recognizing the sacrifice mothers made for their children. With the financial assistance of John Wanamaker, a department store owner, Anna organized the first Mother’s Day celebration in her town of Grafton, West Virginia. 

At the same time, the department store of Mr. Wanamaker in Philadelphia held a Mother’s Day event that saw thousands of people attend. Based on the success of these events, Anna pushed ahead with the idea of making this a national event. She made the argument that most American holidays were celebrations biased toward male achievements and that there was no day set aside to recognize women’s contributions. 

She organized a letter writing campaign to newspapers and politicians to adopt a day honoring motherhood. Four years later, many towns and even states had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday. Anna Jarvis persisted with her campaign, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Giving Gifts to Mom on Mother’s Day

In the U.S., Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated, often with the giving of gifts to mothers and other women. The day is an opportunity to honor any woman who impacts your life. Gifts can include personal messages of love and appreciation. More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year, which shows it is not just about material things. 

If you decide to give a gift for Mother’s Day, make it something meaningful to her and something she will enjoy and that reflects her interests. In other words, skip the vacuum cleaner. Your gift should give your mom the knowledge that you thought about what she would enjoy. Don’t forget your grandmother and other significant women in your life, too. You may even want to give a gift to friends and families who are dog or cat moms, too!

Gift the Gift of Living Roses to Mom

Plant Gifts for the Indoors

If you’re looking for a gift to give the mother in your life that she can have in the home, here are some ideas for you to consider, including:

indoor plant gift rose bush

1. Miniature Rose Bush

While cut flowers — especially roses — are beautiful, they only last a short time. This year, consider giving a live plant that will continue to potentially live for years with proper care. 

A miniature rose plant with red, pink or yellow roses will bloom for an extended period of time. Then, your mother can decide if she wants the plant to remain a houseplant that will bloom each year or it can be transplanted into the outdoor garden, where miniature rose bushes can grow happily for years.

2. Gardenia

A gardenia is a stunning plant with dark green glossy leaves and pure white blossoms. The gardenia is known for its gorgeous jasmine-like scent. This is an easy to care for plant that can be enjoyed indoors as a houseplant or it can be transplanted outdoors to give joy for years to come.

3. Bulb Garden

There is nothing more beautiful than a spring bulb garden after a long winter. Tulips, narcissus, iris and other bulb plants are a welcome gift in any home. Add some hyacinth for the scent as well as the beauty to make your gift that much more special. Later, your bulbs could be planted outdoors to be enjoyed for many springtimes to come.

indoor plant gift succulent garden

4. Succulent Garden

If you are looking for the best Mother’s Day plant gift that is easy to care for, you can’t beat succulents. They pretty much take care of themselves as long as you water them every once in a while. 

Succulents hold water in their leaves so even if you neglect them a little, they will quickly recover and continue to look great. For something even more unique, look for succulents planted in a hanging container.

5. Herb Garden

If your mother likes to garden and likes to cook with fresh foods, an herb garden would be a great Mother’s Day plant gift. Combining both passions, your mom will enjoy growing fresh herbs and then will be using them to season her special dishes. 

You can buy select herbs for her to plant in the garden or there are wonderful kits available with a selection of herbs and all the items she’ll need for a windowsill garden.

6. Lavender

Does your mom like the smell of lavender in her hand soap or lotion? How about a gift of the real thing — a living lavender plant? All she will have to do is run her hand over the plant to enjoy the calming fragrance of lavender. Lavender plants are easy to care for so long as they are placed in a location where they get full sun.

Plants and Other Gifts for the Garden Outdoors

The great news, at least in the U.S., is that Mother’s Day falls right in the middle of spring.  This is a perfect time to get your mom a plant or gift for the outdoors that she can enjoy throughout the entire summer and fall. Here are some ideas for what to get your mother for the outdoors, including:

outdoor plant gift tophat blueberries

1. ‘Tophat’ Blueberry Bushes

If your mom loves blueberries, the “Tophat” Blueberry Bush is the perfect gift. This bush will be covered with blueberries, but it is only about two feet tall so it can easily be added to an existing garden or grown in a pot on the patio.

2. Ergonomic Hand Tools

Is your mom still using those old hand tools you remember from when you were growing up? If your mother is an avid gardener, she will appreciate a set of new ergonomic hand tools. These types of tools have really advanced over time and will reduce hand fatigue when gardening.

3. Butterfly Bush

This is a great gift as it is both beautiful but then has the added enjoyment of watching the butterflies drink nectar from this plant. A butterfly bush makes a great gift for any mom. Butterfly bushes are an invasive plant though, so make sure your mom is prepared to regularly prune it back to keep it contained.

outdoor plant gift longstem roses

4. Roses

Instead of buying long-stemmed cut roses, why not give your mom an actual rose bush? If you want your mom to be able to grow those long-stemmed roses in her garden, choose a hybrid tea rose. If you want her to have an easy to care for rose that looks like a slightly smaller tea rose, choose a floribunda. 

5. Bird Seed Cakes

Instead of just a regular bird feeder, your mom will love a decorative seed cake. These come in all sorts of shapes like balls, bells and stars. Even better are the cakes that look like a miniature cottage or an animal like a raccoon. They are so cute hanging in the yard, and the birds will quickly find them and enjoy the seeds.

6. Hummingbird Feeder

If your mom loves birds, help her to attract one of the most unusual birds there is — the hummingbird. Once the hummers find the feeder, they will keep coming back throughout the day, all summer long. The hummingbirds are so much fun to watch, and for an additional benefit, hummingbirds are pollinators as they flit from flower to flower throughout the garden.

7. Garden Gloves

Every gardener appreciates a good pair of garden gloves. Gloves come in all different styles from cotton to gloves reinforced with simulated leather. The inexpensive cotton gloves are great for the messy jobs and can be thrown in the washer afterward. The reinforced gloves have the fingertips and palms of the gloves reinforced, giving extra strength and protection where it is needed most. 

bird bath in garden

8. Bird Bath

Gardens and birds just go together, and birds love to use a bird bath all summer long. They drink the water and enjoy cleaning their feathers in the water. Some birds prefer the shallow water and very daintily clean themselves. Other birds, like robins, will go all in and the water will be splashing everywhere as they take a full bath. 

9. Plant a Tree or Shrub

Maybe your mom has always wanted a beautiful Japanese Maple or a flowering Dogwood tree. Has she talked wistfully about the scent of lilacs from her childhood yard? 

Make this the year you surprise her with the gift of a tree or shrub that you plant or have planted for her as well. This will be a gift she will continue to enjoy for years to come.

Mother’s Day was a hard-fought-for day to recognize the contributions that mothers make for all their families. Mother’s Day is your opportunity to show how much you love and respect the moms in your life.  Use some of these great ideas — whether for inside the home or outside in the garden — to show her how much you love her and appreciate all that she does.

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