Planting Fall Bulbs in the Midwest: What Grows?

Are you preparing to plant fall bulbs but don't know what grows in the Midwest? We all know that you can't grow tropical plants in the Midwest. You should avoid planting flowering that won't survive a winter frost and freeze.

As someone who is fairly new to gardening, you may not know the ins and outs of the best times to plant bulbs and the steps you should be taking to get ready for planting. You can't plant bulbs after the ground freezes, so you'll want to keep that in mind when you're thinking about planting.

Most bulbs need between 14 and 16 weeks of cold temperatures that are between 41 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit followed by two to three weeks of room temperature before they will bloom. Ideally, the best time for planting bulbs in the fall is from September 30 through November 30 in the Midwest.

Fall Bulbs That Grow in the Midwest

When you want to ensure that your garden will be blossoming come spring, check out these fall flower bulbs to plant now:

Dutch Iris: The intense colors of Dutch iris will be welcomed after a dreary and colorless winter. There are a variety of the blooms available including blue, magenta, purple and yellow. For the best display, plant them in pots. They're a hardy bulb that will survive a Midwest winter.

Daffodils: This classic bulb can stand up to the cold and are easy to grow, making them perfect for those who are new to gardening. You'll love the way they look when several are growing in a pot come spring.

Tulips: There are a variety of tulip bulbs that can be planted in the fall, including parrot tulips. You'll find plenty of this bulb, as well as daffodils, being sold between August and October. Tulips can grow anywhere, including through a brutally cold Midwest winter, and will more than likely return year after year.

Other fall bulbs you can plant in the Midwest include Ornamental alliums, lilies, crocuses, hyacinths and scilla.

5 Ways to Brighten Up Your Home with Fall Colors

Fall is finally here and that means it's time to change up the colors in your home. You don't need to keep out your light blues, pinks and nautical stripes; now is when you should pull out fall colors like oranges, reds and golden yellows.

Tips for Brightening Up Your Home for Fall

When you want to bring the colors of autumn foliage into your home, try some of these easy ways to brighten your space:

Add Flowers: Not only will fall-colored flowers make for colorful addition to your home, but they smell great. Flowers are an inexpensive way to liven up a room. To really set the autumn mood, be sure to choose blooms that are in season. You should try Teleflora's Country Pumpkin - a bouquet set in a pumpkin vase that's filled with orange, red and gold mums. There's also Sunny Sunflowers - filled with bright sunflowers and orange roses. Pure Happiness is a bouquet of red roses, bright sunflowers, orange mums and red carnations. Other types of fall perennials include witch hazel, aster, hydrangeas, Russian sage, helenium and monkshood. You can also add some potted plants for eye-catching color pops. You should consider planting lantanas, sweet potato vines and gomphrena for a blossoming porch plant.

Throw Pillows: One of the easiest ways to brighten up your home for fall is to invest in colorful throw pillows. Natural light will do its work to liven up a space, but when the days are shorter you may find that lively throw pillows can keep things from looking dull. Opt for mix-and-match pillows with different patterns and try to incorporate colors like burgundy, burnt orange, emerald green and gold.

Paint A Wall: If you're really feeling ambitious or want to tackle a fall project, paint a wall or two. Consider adding autumnal colors such as red, orange or even a darker teal rather than light blues or grays. Changing up the colors will not only add drama but make it feel like a brand new room. For those that don't want to paint, consider wallpaper. It's a less permanent solution than paint, and some wallpaper products are easier to install and remove than in the past.

Lay A Rug: To brighten up your home without breaking the bank or spending too much of what little time you have to spare, purchase a patterned throw rug. You can keep your home's autumn theme by choosing a rug that's colorful. However, be sure not to choose one that classes with furniture, artwork, curtains or throw pillows.

Create A Welcoming Entrance: Make friends and family feel more welcome when they visit your home by creating a dramatic entrance. Consider lining your steps with fall blooms like sunflowers and mums, greenery and colorful pumpkins. In your entrance, pile pumpkins on a table in a decorative manner so you can show off just how excited you are for fall. An autumn-inspired wreath that's filled with fall flowers and colors is another way to make for a more welcoming entrance to your home.

September Spotlight: Flowers in Season

Fall is just around the corner, and while you may typically set your sights on mums this month, you'll be surprised to know there are several other types of flowers that are in season. 

Whether you're planning your wedding, picking out a beautiful bouquet to give to a loved one or just want an eye-catching bloom to add to your mantle, there's plenty available in autumn.

There are a kaleidoscope of colors in the fall, and if you're planning a wedding then you'll definitely want to incorporate a pop of foliage into your theme. September, October and November bring bright flowers and there are several different kinds of combinations you can use to create your wedding bouquet. 

Flowers blooming in September

Check out this list of flowers that are blooming in September:

Aster: These flowers are available in white and pink during the fall months. The beautiful daisy-like flowers are a major attraction for butterflies as they supply a great source of nectar during the creatures' peak migration season. 

Hydrangeas: The best colors of hydrangeas that bloom in September include red, burgundy, yellow and orange. The large leaves are shaped like those you'd find on an oak tree and the brilliant autumn colors are great for getting in the fall spirit.

Daisies: Also known as gerbera, daisies are most known for their snow-white color. However, they also come in several other colors and varieties. Single and double petal daisies are a great combination for a bouquet.

Kangaroo Paw: This unique flower is native to Australia and is brightly-colored. It boasts vivid colors and velvety flowers. These blooms produce no fragrance but do attract birds because of their pollen deposits. 

Slipper orchid: To really set the mood for fall, choose the slipper orchid. The petals come in a brownish red, yellow and green.

Roses: There's never a bad time to give someone roses. Whether you're using it in a bouquet or using them as a centerpiece, roses come in a variety of colors that range from pink to chocolate. Go with fall-like colors to accommodate the season such as burnt orange, chocolate brown, apricot, deep yellow, red-orange or coral-orange. 

Sunflower: The picturesque autumn bloom is the sunflower. The double yellow petals are the perfect color to help you transition from summer to fall.

For more flower inspiration, check out these other fall blooms:

  • Stock
  • Zinnia
  • Daffodil
  • Iris
  • Lillium stargazer
  • Orchid Cymbidium
  • Snap Dragon

Remember Grandma & Grandpa with Flowers on National Grandparents Day 9/7/14

Remember Grandma & Grandpa with Flowers on National Grandparents Day 9/7/14

National Grandparents Day will soon be here, brunch times will be booked solid, and kids will be cheering for a chance to spend some quality time with their older relatives. Parents, to help your children show how much they are truly thankful for their grandparents, help them send flowers for the September holiday. 

You always want to send your grandparents a gift that is thoughtful or somehow reminds one of the gift giver. Have your children think about what characteristics describe themselves best, such as their favorite color, personality traits or favorite activities. All of these can be found in plants. Each bouquet and plant has different traits that can mirror a personality. So send a bouquet that will remind the grandparents of their grandchildren each time they water it.  

Identifying the flower personality

Parents, if your child happens to be bright, cheery and full of beaming happiness, choose a bouquet that incorporates sunflowers. A great option is the Teleflora Grand Sunshine Bouquet. This arrangement is full of color that just calls for attention. This stunning bouquet is sure to make grandparents sit up and think of their affectionate little grandchild.

Shop for a Grandparents Day bouquet!
Grandparents Day Bouquet
Teleflora's Grand Sunshine Bouquet $49.95

If your child happens to exude peace, harmony and walks with a graceful flow in each step, consider sending the Teleflora Zen Artistry bouquet. This bouquet is not only relaxing to look at, but it requires little maintenance. This gift should be from a grandchild who wants fully to take their grandparent's happiness into his or her flower choice. Best of all, grandma is sure to adore the beautiful orchids.

For the grandchild who inherited a love of cars and trucks from his classic auto collecting grandfather, send Teleflora's '48 Ford Pickup bouquet. This little blue truck looks a near replica, and it is cool enough to please any grandpa. Not only do the flowers look beautiful in the trunk, but the truck can be reused for a multitude of things after the bouquet has gone. 

The little girls who prefer to wear matching outfits of red patent shoes, red jumpers and red bow clips are sure to love the Teleflora Lovely Ladybug bouquet. Your daughter will want to send this bouquet to her grandparent to show how cleverly she coordinated her flowers with the vase. For a personal touch, have your little girl write a small poem about ladybugs to send in the card.

Be sure that all of the children weigh in on what the card has to say. This day is all about the grandkids' love for their grandparents, so let their voices be heard. 

This article is brought to you and published by Teleflora.

How to Revive Flowers Scorched by the Summer Sun

How to Revive Flowers Scorched by the Summer Sun

A common problem with both indoor and outdoor plants is that they can suffer from too much sun. The sun's rays can stress a plant's leaves to the point of dehydration, causing the plant to lose much of its green vigor. A sign that your plant has been overexposed to the sun is a collection of dark or bleached spots on the leaves. Often times, the soil beneath the plant will have little or no moisture, causing it to harden. If this happens to be the case with your plants, follow the instructions below for a quick fix. But remember, not all plants are easily revived, so have patience, and keep a good watch over your greenery.

Immediate Help
If your plant is indoors, remove it from direct sunlight and place it in a shadier spot. Changing a plant's sun exposure can give it needed rest, but you must keep a close eye on its progress to be sure you have not placed it in too much shade. Shade, much like overexposure to sunlight, can easily disintegrate a plant's health as overexposure to sunlight.

Next, for both indoor and outdoor greenery, you will want to water your plant, thoroughly. For outdoor fauna, this means soaking the ground at the plant's base multiple times in a day. The soil has been hardened, and will take a few good soaks until it has been properly hydrated. For your potted greenery, or indoor flora, you will want to do the same. Let the soil have a full soak, and if possible, get the entire plant wet in the process, in order to cool it off. To keep your indoor plant's moisture levels high, place the pot in a tray of water.

You will want to trim the dead or scorched foliage after properly watering. Your plant is expending energy on attempting to keep the burnt parts alive. Clip these areas off so that the energy it produces will go to the areas of the plant that are still healthy.

After you have completed this process, mulch underneath your outdoor plants. The mulch is necessary to keep the roots and soil both hydrated and protected from the sun's rays. This is a good idea for any plants that seem to dry out in your yard.

Lastly, if you are worried you have a shady house plant in the sun, check the following list. Some plants that you should move away from the window include - moth orchids, flame violets, peace lily, thanksgiving cactus, most palms, coleus, snake plant, zebra plant, philodendron and ferns.

This article is brought to you and published by Teleflora.

5 Plants Safe for the Most Rambunctious of Kids

5 Plants Safe for the Most Rambunctious of Kids

Having an excitable group of kids in the house can be nerve-wracking when it comes to house plants. Make sure that plants are not a child hazard by keeping the garden and the house green with kid friendly nature. These plants make your house look beautiful without resulting in any issues that could be caused by a little roughhousing or curiosity. Also, if pets are a worry, remember, what is safe for kids will also be safe for pets. 

Safe Play

Usually, kids like to explore the world they live in - looking at plants and not being able to touch them can be both a burden and a temptation. You want your kids to grow up appreciating nature, not seeing it as off-limits. Help educate them in plant care and love with a bromeliad. Bromeliad has great common names like earth star and flaming sword, and not only do they have kid friendly names but their appearance is kid friendly too. These tropical natives come in a variety of colors and sizes, and are resilient enough to touch. Be sure to keep the room warm and humid where this plant will be housed.

The zebra plant is another good choice for your house. This is also a tropical option, and works well with kids because of its bright colors and defined patterns. Kids will be proud to show this plant off to their friends after school. Because the plant is from the tropics, it will prefer warm and humid conditions, so placing it in the warmest room in the house is a good idea.

A Christmas cactus is the perfect plant for a child's bedside. This plant lacks the prickly thorns stereotypical of cacti, but also has bright red flowers. Christmas cacti like dry conditions and direct sunlight. Water them appropriately and they will last at least a few years. Not only are they great to look at, but their resiliency makes this a great plant to have your child care for, as a first chore project.

For The Curious Tasters

The Boston fern may look more delicate to the touch, but is not so. Its gentle leaves are great for kids to stroke, and the leaves are soft enough that no young hands will be hurt. Place this plant on a pedestal so the leaves can droop down over the sides, much like a spider plant. A great fact about the Boston fern is that it is non-toxic, so if you are worried those little fingers will try to grab a few leaves for a snack, you won't need to call any doctor. The same goes for pets.

Other non-toxic plants include the African daisy, African violet, alyssum and arrow root. 

Sunflowers can be grown either inside or outside. These bright, tall flowers have a short growing period, so it makes it easy for kids wanting to learn about how plants grow to see the different phases. If you are lucky and the birds have not taken off all the seeds of your outdoor sunflowers, gather them and roast them for a snack, or save the seeds for another planting the next year. What a great way to let your kids feel proud about their own hard work.

Another great way to teach your children about the plant life cycle is to grow a lollipop flower. Have your child plant a seed in a small pot, use a simple plant like chia. Once the sprout is tall enough for the child to see growth, swap out the pot for an identical one with a lollipop inside. 

This article is brought to you and published by Teleflora.