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Mother’s Day Flowers

Catch J Schwanke live at the upcoming annual Spring Home & Garden Show The Woodlands.

Catch J Schwanke live at the upcoming annual Spring Home & Garden Show The Woodlands.

Flower Expert J Schwanke Provides Tips And Tricks To Make The Most Of Mother’s Day Arrangements

If April showers truly do bring May flowers, gardeners in Southeast Texas can expect a bumper crop if the month’s early downpours are any indication. And coincidentally, May just happens to have one of the most popular flower-giving holidays, Mother’s Day.

Because the area’s subtropical climate provides ideal growing conditions for vegetation, an abundance of wild and homegrown blooms begin appearing in mid-March, reaching their peaks in April and May. Wildflowers such as Blue­bonnets, Indian Paintbrushes and Black-eyed Susans, among many others, pop up along the roadsides, and lovingly cared for azaleas, roses and sunflowers adorn both city and rural landscapes with a blast of vibrant springtime colors.

Fourth-generation florist J Schwanke, CEO of uBloom LLC, host of JTV and author of the 2015 Living Now Book Award-winner Fun With Flowers: Your Guide to Selecting, Arranging and Enjoying Beautiful Flowers, and 2017 IPPY Award-nominated Bloom 365: The Essential Guide to Selecting and Arrang­ing Flowers Every Day, offers the following tips for “rookies” to get the most out of harvested flowers:

  • Pick the flowers for your arrangement early in the morning and place them in ice-cold water to keep them fresh longer.
  • Cut the harvested flowers as short as your arrangement will allow. Shorter flowers last longer and grouping the flower heads together provides a prettier arrangement.
  • Flowers should be cut at a 45-degree angle with a sharp knife or a bypass cutter. Schwanke advises against using scissors, as scissors crush the stem, reducing water uptake and shortening the life of the flower.

Mother’s Day is an ideal time to get kids involved, Schwanke said, adding that the first step is to encourage their creativity.

“Help them personalize a vase especially for Mom and another just for their flower creations – Mason jars work great for this,” he said. “I recommend purchasing a pair of child’s bypass cutters so they are able to cut their own flowers easily and safely. For an unending supply of blossoms, plant some flowers specifically for the youngsters to cut for arrangements. Zinnias are a perfect example of flowers that not only grow in a variety of vivid colors, the more you cut the more they bloom.”

Long known as an expression of love or best wishes, a bouquet of flowers – whether held haphazardly in a toddler’s fist or professionally arranged – is certain to improve the life of the recipient, according to studies publicized by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

Citing both mental and physical benefits, UPMC reported a study that found hospital patients with flowers in their rooms needed less pain medication, had lower blood pressure and were less anxious and tired than those patients with no flowers at their bedside.

None of this comes as any surprise to Schwanke, who believes that surrounding ourselves with flowers is a natural way to gain physical, mental and spiritual benefits.

“Learning to arrange flowers,” he said, “not only extends our exposure to fresh-cut blooms, but can help transform our good thoughts into a beautiful gift while saving a little cash during traditional flower-giving holidays, birthdays or any time we want to show someone that we care.”

Schwanke will share more of his knowledge and love of working with fresh-cut flowers as he joins the lineup of speakers at the 15th Annual Spring Home & Garden Show The Woodlands, where he will present two demonstrations each day: Flowers for Entertaining and Life is #BetterWithFlowers, sharing tips, tricks and hints with audience-members, one of which from each show will receive that program’s creation. In addition, Schwanke will sign and sell copies of his books, Fun With Flowers and Bloom 365, at a special show price of $20 for both books.

The 15th Annual Spring Home & Garden Show The Woodlands will present more than 200 experts to answer questions and provide home-improvement guidance to those in attendance. It will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive, on Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4.

Visit WoodlandsShows.com or call 832-274-3944 to learn more.


Roses of all shades and sizes are always a big hit on Mother’s Day.

Roses of all shades and sizes are always a big hit on Mother’s Day.


Arranging fresh cut flowers on bare branches or in empty bird cages are a couple of techniques Schwanke explains in his award-winning books.


A variety of colors, textures, shapes and heights makes for an interesting bouquet.


Single stem hydrangeas in colorful bottles are an easy way for a child to impress mom on Mother’s Day.


A monochromatic bouquet with a hint of another color is a popular option for any occasion.

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