Monday, April 13, 2009

Gift for someone undergoing a minor surgery?

For complicated health reasons, my dad has to undergo a vasectomy next week. I can%26#039;t figure out what to get him as a %26quot;get well%26quot; gift. Here is some information:

*not into sports or music

*buys all electronic or technological equipment himself (one year he made me return the massage chair I got him!)

*really likes plants

*I%26#039;d like to leave the gift certificates as the last resort

I%26#039;m not sure what kind of pain/discomfort he%26#039;ll be in post-surgery, so I don%26#039;t know what kind of %26quot;relaxing/pampering%26quot; gift would be appropriate...

Any suggestions?

Gift for someone undergoing a minor surgery?
besides giving your dad HUGS and WELL WISHES,.....why don%26#039;t you try to give him Chinese bamboo...They are small and don%26#039;t grow much..they look very preety and remain live for atleast 4-5 years....Their significance in China is that IT MAKES A PERSON HEALTHY AND WEALTHY (thats why its holy)..

let me know what did U choose..
Reply:How about a good old fashion hug and I love you

White Teeth

Gift for Vietnamese neighbor?

I live in Australia and I have a very kind, elderly, Vietnamese couple living next door. I would like to give a small gift to them as a celebration of Spring. Can anyone suggest an appropriate gift? They are avid gardeners and so I was considering a plant would any one in particular have meaning in Vietnamese culture? Would any thing in particular be in-appropriate? Thank you in advance for your help!

Gift for Vietnamese neighbor?
Anything that resembles a South Vietnamese flag,the one with yellow background and 3 parallel red stripes (pre-communist), or anything that remind them of their past,before they came to settle in Australia.
Reply:Gardenias. A rosebush.
Reply:Try here and good luck!
Reply:What about a bonzai tree? They%26#039;re great.
Reply:A four faced Buddha to put in their garden.

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Gift for the teacher on the first day of school?

My daughter is starting kindergarten and fluctuates between excited and nervous. I thought (and she likes this idea a lot; I%26#039;m thinking it might help her feel less nervous if she has something to be responsible for) of bringing a gift for the teacher on the first day-- like a plant for the classroom.

My only concern is that I don%26#039;t want her to look like a suck-up on her first day! LOL

But, for kindergarten, kids probably don%26#039;t think along those lines, right? What do y%26#039;all think? Teachers, what would you think if a kid brought something like this on the first day?

Gift for the teacher on the first day of school?
Your plant is a great idea. Gifts are appreciated! Your daughter%26#039;s kindergarten teacher will not think she is sucking up or that you%26#039;ll want her to give her more attention! She will think it is sweet. You daughter will have her mind on something else, too. Good idea, mom!

How about a gift basket of fun school supplies? Pens, markers, cute note pad, ink jet cartridges... he he

The wish list idea from above is a great idea, too!
Reply:Not a plant... go w/ something like a piece of fruit. Believe w/ the teachers nerves on the first day she%26#039;ll be glad to eat them away on lunch.
Reply:I never brought anything for my teacher on the first day, even my first day of kindergarten. I have seen it in the movies in small towns. I%26#039;m sure if your daughter does not bring anything, she won%26#039;t be the only one. But if she does bring something, make it small and not so noticeable. Maybe something like a cute stamp or something like that.
Reply:Most of the teachers that I know, and I know dozens, have said the best gifts they ever received were gift cards to school supply places or office supply stores. The school districts never have enough money to go around and the teachers are always shelling out their own money for their classroom supplies. So the cards are very welcome!

Good luck to your daughter!
Reply:You should bake her teaching a cake or cookies or something, OR there is also getting her teacher the biggest, fatest apple in the whole world!!!
Reply:An apple.

Always does the trick!
Reply:Giving first day of school gifts isn%26#039;t something that is customary - for the very good reason that classroom space is limited and most teachers have plans for every bit of it. Giving plants is a nice idea, but it aside from the space issue, it raises problems with who will water it and look after it over the holidays, long weekends, etc.

This isn%26#039;t about looking like a suck-up, because kindergarten kids really don%26#039;t think about that.

What would happen if she gave her teacher a small bouquet - maybe even flowers from your garden if you have any - which would serve your purposes, but wouldn%26#039;t generate a problem for the teacher. (And by small, I%26#039;m thinking kindergarten size - like a nosegay)
Reply:Instead of your daughter looking like the suck-up, the teacher will probably think that you want him or her to give your daughter extra attention.

Maybe you could include a card with the gift your daughter will bring to class on the first day. Let the teacher know of your intentions and that in addition to a gift for the class, you are also trying to teach your daughter about responsibility. Ask if your daughter could be in charge of watering the plant from day to day. That way, she will feel very important.
Reply:i think its a great idea, and i believe the teacher would be flattered , and probably would be extra nice to your daughter for doing it, and in return would probably lift your daughters spirits. and as for kids picking on her for doing that, i dont believe kindergarden is a age for that kind of mentality. i dont think there would be any repercussions from it. i think it would be a great idea, go for it
Reply:The kids won%26#039;t think along those lines, but parents do! Anyway, how about a calendar - she%26#039;ll turn the page each day. Hopefully, kids won%26#039;t feel jealous that your daughter gets to do something and not them. Kids at that age wants to help, too! Good luck!
Reply:I think that your daughter should bring it the day before school...she will sleep soundly as well
Reply:If you brought things for all the kids too, like...candies, they would all be happy!
Reply:Hmm, I never thought giving any teacher a gift on the first day of school... but that is a really cute idea. The bamboo is a cute idea, as well.

You should get the teacher something that the whole class can enjoy!
Reply:kids that small don%26#039;t think like that yet. it%26#039;s ok now, next yr they%26#039;ll be all over her, though
Reply:well in Ireland we always brought presents for the teacher in primary school but i dont know about kindergarten!! i would just do it anyway, the other kids wont even notice if she does it and nobody else does!!

you could go in with her and if no one else has a present then you can just give it to the teacher or not give it to her at all!
Reply:I%26#039;m a kindergarten teacher and all I gotta say is that I love it when kids bring in presents. It definitely brightens up my day! The only thing is that I would love to get things that I actually need. A gift certificate to a teacher supply store would be wonderful for her teacher b/c I%26#039;m sure that she will need to buy some stuff and guess what..... 90% of what you see in the classroom, well, the teacher bought it or made it. Stuffed animals are cute and all but for example, I don%26#039;t go crazy over them. I%26#039;d always pass them along to my mentor%26#039;s little girl who was in prek and they didn%26#039;t have that much money.

Also, in response to the answer from the previous person, a plant is actually a good gift also. I plan on getting a plant and planting it with the kids and turning it into a mini lesson and then assigning a kid every week to water it. They love being assigned classroom jobs because it makes them feel special. If you%26#039;re going for the plant idea, then get something that flowers... my favs are gerbera daisies.
Reply:Go with an apple. Its classic.
Reply:Maybe a little vase with a nice flower. Or maybe home made cookies. Cookies and flowers shows you care :)
Reply:Be careful because you don%26#039;t want to send the wrong message to the teacher or the other students not to mention the other parents. Why would you want to give a gift to a stranger? just because they are a teacher doesn%26#039;t mean that they deserve a gift, why don%26#039;t you wait and see what kind of teacher/person she is before you do something like that. I personally wait until the end of the school year to give gifts because sometimes the teacher really wasn%26#039;t that good or nice so I don%26#039;t think they deserved a gift. Remember this, there are good and bad in everything in life, just because you hold the title of teacher doesn%26#039;t automatically put you in the good column , everyone; teachers included, have to prove themselves. Also if you wait you will know much more about the teacher and won%26#039;t have such a hard time thinking of what to get her.
Reply:Check with the school website - Do the have a list of supplies that the children are required to bring in? Some supply lists have an optional %26quot;wish list%26quot; on the back or on the website like room plug-ins, electric pencil sharpener, painting aprons, etc.

If you want to get something for everyone - how about special pencils that say Kindergarten on it - check out teacher supply stores, they sell them for every grade.
Reply:Buy something inexpensive but sweet. DON%26#039;T buy a $40 colored marker set or a fancy glass vase. That will definitely make your daughter look like a %26#039;suck up%26#039;. So, buy the teacher a bouquet of flowers or a box of crayons. I assure you the teacher will appreciate the gift!
Reply:give her some colored chalk
Reply:Give the teacher a car, they%26#039;ll appreciate it.


Longevity of poinsettia plants?

I%26#039;m going to purchase a poinsettia plant (red, specifically) at a local florist as a hostess gift for a party tonight. Will it keep if I leave it in my car for 4-5 hours, or should I bring it inside my office?

Also, how long will a good poinsettia plant last?

Longevity of poinsettia plants?
Many who keep poinsettias assume that it will last for months in the home environment. Cared-for properly, the poinsettia will give weeks of color and pleasure to its owner. Left in the car, however, it may not fair so well.

Bring it inside. Keep poinsettias away from warm or cold drafts from radiators, air registers or open doors and windows. Ideally poinsettias require daytime temperatures of 60 to 70°F and night time temperatures around 55°F. High temperatures will shorten the plant’s life. Move the plant to a cooler room at night, if possible.

You need to make sure that it%26#039;s watered properly. Keep the soil damp but not sopping wet. The dampness should feel cool to the touch. The soil shouldn%26#039;t be light brown or heavy and black.
Reply:It will be Just fine as long as the temperture remains above freezing . Preferbly 40 and up.

Poinsettias are grown under ideal conditions in order to get them ready for marketing. When they are subjected to a different envirement, they start going through a shock process .partickly in a home envirement where there is high heat and low humidity. They usually look good from two to three weeks and then start loosing their folage. This doesn%26#039;t mean that the plant is dying , it is adjusting to the new envirement.You. With lots of TLC ,it can survive. Keep it in a well lit COOL location with 50% humidity or better .I live in Ohio and my buddy has one in his bathroom over 15 yrs old.
Reply:they are a living plant so just take care of it and it will stay alive for ever
Reply:60-70 degrees F daytimes and 60-65 degrees F nightimes. Avoid excessiveely hot or cold areas. bright light and cool night temperature will help delay flower bud drop and will maintain brightly colored flowers. bright lights are best but poinsettias will tolerate low light. poinsettiaswill benefit from periodic fertilizer, used according to directions on manufacturers directions. moderate moist soil is preferred.
Reply:Listen to norman777.

Here in the USA, greenhouses %26quot;force them%26quot; to flower during the holidays.
Reply:my grandmother manages to keep all her plants, including pointsettias thriving by bringing taking them to her basement and basically neglecting them all season. they%26#039;re the largest, healthiest plants i%26#039;ve ever seen.
Reply:i think you should take it inside your office because 4-5 hrs is a long time for any flower to stay in the car%26amp;it also depends on the temperature at that time. now to ur second question,a good poinsettia will last long depending on how good you take care of this plant.i can give you a tip on how to do that-put 6-8 cubes into the soil everyday will do a good job of keeping the plant adequately moist which is very important for the plant to live.
Reply:They are native to Mexico so cold weather will do them in.

I have kept them alive for several years. They get woody and leggy over time. Pruning would help.

They have special light cycle needs in order to bloom, so be ready to give them several weeks of special treatment in the fall.

Check a plant book for the specifics on timing of light and darkness.
Reply:If you take proper care of it, a poinsettia can live on and on. It is a member of the very large euphorbia family. I have a poinsettia tree from last Christmas.Sadly it was attacked by white fly and I didn%26#039;t remedy the problem. Yet it still lives.
Reply:It depends where you live.

If it is freezing cold, then yes, take the plant inside with you.

If it is extremely warm, then yes again, take it inside the office.

Poinsettia%26#039;s cannot withstand extreme temperatures, but they are sturdy plants, and if taking the plant into the office is a hassle for you, leaving it in your car for a few hours shouldn%26#039;t hurt it.

3 years ago, I bought a poinsettia plant, a small red one, and it%26#039;s still thriving and turned red again in time for Christmas!

I do not have a green thumb, believe me, but this plant is quite hearty and we have repotted it 3 times.

I let the soil dry out, on average 3 days during the summer, and then soak the soil.

It is very dry where I live, so during the winter I water it nearly everyday.

We even take the plant with us on vacations!

The colorful leaves are not the flower, but the tiny yellow buds inside are!

The plant has lost nearly all its leaves during the summer months, but there were green buds, and new chutes.

This Christmas, our poinsettia is 10 times the size that it was when we first purchased it!

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
Reply:Bring it into the office.

I kept mine last year. It looked progressively worse, and died about June, although I fed it and watered it properly.
Reply:I%26#039;ve been given these plants for Christmas. And they never lived beyond January. I don%26#039;t know why. They dry out, despite me given the best of care.

Most of what the store sells seem just like buying other flowers like roses that die within one or two weeks. Makes you think. After all, many people buy real X-mass trees, and then they die.
Reply:To be safe, bring it inside. Poinsettia plants are very sensitive to cold, so if the weather is bad or it gets chilly in your car, it can actually kill the plant.

In terms of how long the plant will last, I think they have kind of a short shelf life, since they are more of a seasonal plant. Your hostess will probably get at least a good week to two weeks if she takes care to keep the plant warm and water it regularly. They are great for parties, though, because they are very pretty to look at and inexpensive. And when the holiday is over, they%26#039;re life has usually expired, too. Good luck!
Reply:u should bring it inside cuz if u leave it ur car itll get smushed and stuff
Reply:Don%26#039;t leave in direct sun lite or high heat. They will last until they wilt.
Reply:I have had a poinsettia plant for about 10 years and I put it outside during the summer and bring it back in and it blooms each year.
Reply:Don%26#039;t worry about it.... It will keep....just don%26#039;t place it in the car where the sun can come through the window and shine on it. This will dry it out and possibly cook it or wilt it down. Otherwise it will make a lovely gift. Good Luck... ---jim---
Reply:If the weather is cold take it inside. As to how long a poinsetta plant last, I have one from my mothers funeral two years ago that is still living today.
Reply:Do not leave the plant in your car,bring it in with you.

As to the longivity of the plant it can live for several years. When the leaves fall off,trim the branches back. In the spring re-pot into fresh soil. In the fall it needs to be put in a dark place for 10-12 hrs a day to force new blooms for the next Christmas season. I start putting mine in the dark in mid to late Oct. if you don%26#039;t have a room you can put it in in the dark, you can put it in a closet, or turn a cardboard box upside down over it. but it is important to give it 10-12 hrs of dark DAILY in the fall to get it to re-bloom.
Reply:Don%26#039;t leave it in the car, if it is tool cold outside. These plants do live for several years in doors, provided you water them once weekly. However, the pretty colors will not be retained and all the leaves turn green.

Life Expectancy of the Poinsettia - The poinsettia is a perennial plant, so it can live for many years. However, the average span of time in which a poinsettia is most attractive in the home is 2 to 4 weeks. With excellent care, it could last from 6 to 8 weeks. The maturity of the plant when it was purchased also plays a role in longevity of your poinsettia.

Post-Holiday Care - If you want to maintain your poinsettia beyond the Christmas season, you will need to give it some attention on a regular basis. And, there are some critical times at which you will need to tend your plant.In early April, cut the plant back to about 6 or 8 inches in height and place it outside in the shade. Keep the plant watered. Fertilize the poin-settia regularly when new growth begins. Pinch growing tips every 4 to 6 weeks during the sum-mer to make the plant bushy. But do not prune any more after September 1. You can re-pot your poinsettia to a larger sized container in May. Use a potting mix similar in composition to the one in which the plant is currently growing. Bring the plant indoors before the threat of cool weather.
Reply:You can safely leave it in the car for 4-5 hours. No issues.

Poinsettia plants, if treated well, would live several years. You need to keep them inside the house if it%26#039;s very hot and sunny outside. Similarly, you should not expose them to below-45 weather during winter.

They, however, will lose their color in April-July timeframe. Again, if treated well, they will get back their color in late-fall/early-winter... But that%26#039;s a tricky thing... You need to keep them in total darkness at night at that time of the year.
Reply:they can last all season and through the new year. even when you lose the red from it the green will stll be nice.
Reply:We have had the same poinsettia for 7 years now. We put in a closet at least 12 hours a day in the warmer months and clip off the stems in groups of 7, I don%26#039;t really know why, but it always comes back strong in the late fall.
Reply:As long as the plant is not in the sun it will be fine. Poinsettia%26#039;s can last for years. My Mom had a hugh 20 year old poinsettia tree in her yard that started as a samll potted plant. It all depends on the care it gets early on.
Reply:1st - What will the temp. in your car be for that time? Cool temps are the best, and in the 30s is okay if the sun is out to keep the plant from freezing. However, if it will be hot in your car, take it inside.

2nd - A good poinsettia CAN last for a number of years if taken care of properly. Water regularly, after the surface is dry to the touch, but do not keep the roots soggy. Typically, after the holidays, the plant should be kept in a cooler, very dim to dark area for the next 10 months or so (still water regularly, and transplanted ONLY if absolutely needed). Towards the middle of November, it can be brought back out into the light. This will cause the leaves to once again turn red.

Good Luck
Reply:Best to bring it in with you, and give it a little water WITH a plate under it - don%26#039;t forget the plate.
Reply:Poinsettia production starts with planning and not with panning. The first step in the planning process is to determine when you want plants salable. From that date, the timing of every other process is determined. It is real tempting to write this from flowering to propagation, however I will not do that to avoid confusion.

Planning (scheduling) Decisions

Flower date - ?

(response group)

Short days start - ?

Pinch date - ?

Pot date - ?

Propagation date - ?

Stock and Propagation

Poinsettia stock can be planted in March for a 3 pinch program, April for a 2 pinch program, or May for a 1 pinch program. Each of the programs have advantages and disadvantages. Less cuttings are produced per plant with the later planting, however the saving of early spring space for other production is often more valuable. Single pinched stock plants can also be grown in small containers but certainly require more greenhouse space. Stock plants should receive adequate light and space for pinching and harvesting of cuttings.

Stock plants must be grown in long days. Incandescent lighting (10 foot candles) should be provided from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. from planting until mid-May. Plants are pinched 2 weeks after potting and every 4-6 weeks to buildup cuttings and to maintain soft vegetative growth. 2-4 nodes are left on the pinched shoot. Poinsettia cultivar does affect the number of cuttings from a stock plant as well as scheduling of pinching and cutting removal. Seek guidelines for specific cultivars and follow those guidelines. Those guidelines are available from the breeders and suppliers.

Poinsettia cuttings 2.5-3 inches long are snapped or cut from stock plants with a sharp clean knife. The knife should be disinfected between stock plants. Cuttings should be taken in the morning when plants are turgid and should be placed in clean plastic bags or on clean newspaper. Cuttings should be treated with a rooting hormone to improve rooting uniformity and speed, stuck quickly, and not allowed to wilt. It is not necessary or desirable to remove leaves from the cuttings.

Poinsettia cuttings can be rooted in peat pellets (Jiffy 7%26#039;s, Jiffy 9%26#039;s), phenolic foam (Oasis), rockwool, or root medium filled cells. Cuttings can also be direct stuck in the finish container but this method requires a great deal of mist space. Whatever root medium or method is selected, great care should be taken to assure the medium is free of disease at the start and remains disease free through out propagation.

Cuttings must be rooted under intermittent mist. Mist is applied from sunrise to sunset at a frequency that keeps cutting leaves uniformly moist. Mist frequency may start with a mist cycle of 10 seconds every 4-6 minutes for the first 4 days. Mist frequency is reduced every 4-5 days as plants callous and root. After cuttings are stuck, it is very important to arrange leaves so cutting terminals (growing points) are not covered.

Temperature is very important during propagation. Minimum air temperature should be 70ûF. Bottom heat should maintain a root medium temperature of 75-80ûF. Cuttings should show visible roots in 21 days and be ready for potting in 28 days. Cuttings should be fertilized under mist beginning 14 days after sticking.


Poinsettia scheduling is required to provide top quality plants to the ever lengthening poinsettia market. The present market requires flowering plants from as early as the first week in November through the Christmas season. It is impossible to provide plants in prime condition without scheduling. Growing temperature should not be used to schedule poinsettias. Low temperatures, less than 62ûF. night/70ûF day, will delay flowering but will also reduce bract size. High temperature, greater than 65ûF night/80ûF day, will speed flowering but reduces plant quality and fades bract color. Cultivars can also be selected for early or late flowering, however your customer may complain if cultivars are changed during the marketing period. Therefore cultivar selection, although useful in specific cases, can not always be used to spread poinsettia flowering.

Response group (short days start until flower)

8 - 10 weeks

Natural season flower dates (Nov. 20 - Dec. 4)

2 weeks is a big difference

What is flowering in poinsettias? Anthesis or visible pollen on the first cyathia should be used as your guide to a salable poinsettia. Plants without pollen will never develop to their full potential in the post harvest environment and plants held in the greenhouse after anthesis, even at cool temperatures, will show reduced postharvest quality and longevity.

With all the new cultivars and their differences, along with the need for prime plants over a four week period, make poinsettia scheduling much more difficult. Different growth habits among cultivars also adds to the complexity. And on top of this complexity add the differences in growing conditions between the northern and southern production areas.


Growth Habit




But there are some general guidelines that are very important to remember: Natural short days start around 25 September (probably a little earlier for Freedom). If you do nothing, flower initiation will occur on that date. Lighting, to prevent initiation and make sure the plants remain vegetative, should start on September 5.

Lighting should begin September 5.

Two to three weeks of growth is needed between panning and pinching to develop a good root system before pinching. The time between pinching and the start of short days is to me the most critical decision on overall crop quality. This can vary between two to five weeks, depending on the cultivar and growing conditions. I would strongly suggest you seek information from the breeders and universities in your specific area to help in these scheduling issues. The time between the pinch and the start of short days greatly affects final height and overall plant size. We have tools to control size but few tools exist to increase size after the start of short days. The maximum potential height and overall plant size is in some respects determined at the start of short days.

Freedom scheduling as an example between flowering time and region1

North South

early late2 early late2

pot Aug. 05 Aug. 15 Aug. 15 Aug. 21

pinch Aug. 19 Sept. 05 Sept. 1-7 Sept. 10

short days natural Sept. 29 natural Oct. 06

flower Nov. 15-25 Dec. 01 Nov. 15-20 Dec. 01

1long day lighting should start on Sept. 5

2from Nell, Barrett, Hartley Grower Talks/August 1993.

Media and Fertilization

The root medium used for poinsettias should be porous, well-drained, contain a moderate nutrient content, have a pH of 5.8-6.2, be free of insects and disease pests, and be easy to manage. You also want to select a medium that will be appropriate for the consumer. It should not be so well drained that in the home environment it is impossible to keep it moist.

Poinsettias have generally been considered a high fertility requiring crop. Although the light leaf cultivars fit into this category, the newer dark leaf cultivars require lower nutrient levels (150-200 ppm N). In fact, high levels of fertility (300 ppm N) can reduce crop quality in the darker leafed cultivars. My experience would suggest that you really need to fertilize the light and dark leaf cultivars differently and not compromise somewhere between the high and low levels when growing both groups in the same greenhouse.

Micro-nutrients are important in poinsettia production. Poinsettias have a high requirement for molybdenum (Mo) which is generally added at each watering at 0.1 ppm.

0.1 ppm Mo Application


1 oz. of ammonium or sodium molybdate/40.0 fl. oz. water


0.15 fl. oz. of stock solution/100 gallons of water

Research has also shown the importance of the calcium to magnesium ratio for adequate calcium uptake in poinsettia production. High levels of magnesium interfere with calcium uptake, while too low levels of magnesium will cause magnesium deficiency, another common problem in poinsettia production. The best ratio of Ca:Mg for poinsettia production appears to be 2:1. Both calcium and magnesium should be monitored with root medium analysis because hey are both very important macro nutrients in poinsettia production.

Height Control

Growers generally apply a chemical growth retardant to poinsettias to reduce height and tone the plant. Commonly used chemicals are: Ancymidol (A-Rest), Daminozide (B-Nine SP), Paclobutrazol (Bonzi), Chlormequat (Cycocel), (Sumagic), and B-Nine SP/Cycocel tank mix. Different cultivars respond differently to the various chemicals therefore growers must adjust rates in their own production. General ranges are: Cycocel, 1,000 - 3,000 ppm; Bonzi, 10-30 ppm; Sumagic, 2-10 ppm; B-Nine Sp/Cycocel tank mix, 2500 ppm B-Nine SP/1500 ppm Cycocel; and A-Rest, .25 to .5 mg a.i. drench. Chemical growth retardants should not be applied after the start of short days as bract size can be significantly reduced in the northern United States.

Cut-off dates for B-Nine/Cycocel, Bonzi, Sumagic

North - start of short day

South - 2-4 weeks after start of short days

Research has shown that very low concentrations (1-2 ppm) of Bonzi or A-Rest can be applied as a drench as late as early November for height control without a significant bract size reduction. This approach is useful to correct a height problem occurring late in the production cycle and to avoid late stretch.

Late drenches of growth regulators


1 ppm drench (4 fl. oz./pot)

0.485 fl. oz./gallon

2 ppm drench (4 fl. oz./pot)

0.970 fl. oz./gallon


1 ppm drench (4 fl. oz./6%26quot; pot)

0.032 fl. oz./gallon

2 ppm drench (4 fl. oz./6%26quot; pot)

0.064 fl. oz./gallon

higher rates in the South, lower in the North

DIF is also used to manipulate poinsettia height in those areas with cool day temperatures. A positive DIF increases stem elongation and a negative DIF decreases stem elongation. Computer software is available to use DIF as a tool to control plant height. It is very important that average daily temperature not be changed when using DIF, therefore both day and night temperatures need to be adjusted to maintain the same average daily temperature. Average growing temperature can affect timing and bract size.

DIF - difference in day/night temperature

Positive DIF

warm day/cooler night taller plants

Negative DIF

cooler day/warmer night shorter plants

Bract Disorder

A number of bract disorders can cause serious problems in poinsettia production which appear suddenly at flowering. The grower has little chance to correct these problems once they appear. Research has shown bract necrosis (also called bract edge burn) can be caused by a number of factors including calcium deficiency in the bract tissue, fluoride toxicity, imbalances in Ca/Mg or Ca/K ratios, and pesticide toxicity. The following guidelines can be used to help reduce poinsettia bract necrosis:

• Supply adequate calcium in the fertilization program.

• Provide a calcium uptake environment

- reduce humidity in the greenhouse

- maintain good root growth

- use a well drained root medium

- reduce fertilizer salts

• Avoid fluoride

• Avoid pesticides on bracts

• Maintain 2:1 calcium: Magnesium ratio

• Avoid excess levels of potassium

• Select cultivars less sensitive to bract necrosis

Weekly sprays of 400 ppm calcium from calcium chloride beginning at first color have significantly reduced poinsettia bract necrosis. Spray plants to runoff making sure bract tissue is covered. I personally do not recommend a wetting agent from fear of phytotoxicity, although other researchers do recommend a wetting agent to improve coverage. Growers that have experienced any bract necrosis should spray plants with calcium as insurance.

400 ppm calcium spray solution

use %26#039;reagent%26#039; grade chemical

Calcium Chloride Dihydrate

(CaCl2 • 2 H2O)

1.47 gm/liter water


55.6 gm/10 gallons water


1.96 oz./10 gallons water

Post Harvest

Poinsettia growers have a responsibility in post production longevity of the plants you grow. You simply can not afford to just be happy to have the plant out of the greenhouse door. Happy poinsettia consumers make for repeat customers.

The grower%26#039;s responsibility in postharvest care is to provide the best poinsettia possible at the proper stage of development, free of insects and diseases, and low in soluble salts (fertilizer). Research has clearly shown that poinsettias have a much longer and better display life when sold at visible pollen. Young underdeveloped bracts will never develop good color in the postharvest environment. Pink bracts on red cultivars result when plants leave the production environment too early. Do not sell a poinsettia before its time!

Fertilizer salts should be reduced before selling, however t is not necessary or desirable to completely eliminate fertilizer application, just reduce the rate to 1/2 or 1/4 the rate used during early production. Poinsettias can also receive chilling injury when exposed to 50°F or less for as short as a two hour period of time. Chilling injury can cause epinasty as well as leaf loss under the most severe case. Transporting plants in unheated trucks in the north and uncooled trucks in the south can significantly reduce poinsettia quality. Certainly a general guideline is that poinsettias do much better when placed in a uniform non stressful environment. The best environment could be compared to the environment you would provide for a newborn baby but just a few degrees cooler (60 to 65°F).

The greenhouse grower should provide the following instructions to retailers. Upon receiving plants, unpack and unsleeve them immediately. Poinsettias left in the sleeve become droopy. This epinasty is caused by ethylene production from the sleeving process. The longer poinsettias are sleeved and the higher the temperature above 65°F, the greater the droopiness problem. The plants generally recover from epinasty in a couple of days when placed in a lighted area at 65-75°F if the sleeving period was longer than a couple of days.

Poinsettias should be placed in bright light at 60-65°F. They should however not receive direct sunlight under postharvest conditions. The plants should be out of hot or cold drafts. A heat duct or outside door should not expose the plants to sudden changes in temperature. At no time should poinsettias be stored in a garage area.

Poinsettias are fragile. Rough handling will bruise the bracts and cause stem and leaf breakage. Poinsettia plants can not be handled like hard goods. Also be sure to provide adequate spacing in the display area. Plants should not be spaced so close together that the bracts from one plant rub against the bracts of an adjacent plant.

As a poinsettia producer and marketer, you can do a great deal to maintain the potential postharvest beauty and longevity built into the modern poinsettia cultivars. At the same time you can reduce the postharvest life of the poinsettias you handle. It is extremely important that we all do our very best to give the consumer the best possible poinsettia. Plant abuse anywhere in the marketing chain will ultimately showup in the final consumer setting - whether it be a hotel lobby, mall display, or home living room. I like the concept that each poinsettia plant should be handled like it is the one you would take home for Christmas. Every poinsettia consumer deserves such treatment

Common name: Poinsettias

Latin name: Euphorbia pulcherrima

Native to: Man made hybrids

Growth habit: An upright woody bush usually not over 4 feet in height or 3 foot in width.

Temps: Normal indoor temps

Humidity: Not critical

Pests: Watch for white fly.


The Poinsettia was named after Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the US ambassador to the Republic of Mexico back in 1825.

Cultural information: As the holidays near... we all begin to decorate our homes for the season. The Christmas tree is up... the lights are on. It%26#039;s time to shop for a Poinsettia.

Did you know that their is a major difference in Poinsettias found in the mass markets... versos your local garden center or floral shop? The difference is quality and longevity. How long did the mass market Poinsettia live... two or three weeks tops? Your local garden center or floral shop has Colorado grown Poinsettias that will last well beyond the holiday season.

For optimum shelf life... place your Poinsettia in bright filtered light. Rotate your plant daily if the back side of the plant is not receiving light. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Poinsettias don%26#039;t like to sit in a saucer of water. Your Poinsettia will not need any fertilizer until well after the holidays. This holiday season... purchase a Colorado grown Poinsettia!


Source: The News %26amp; Record (Piedmont Triad, NC)

Publication Date: 11-DEC-04

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COPYRIGHT 2004 News %26amp; Record

Q. Each year we use poinsettia plants as part of our holiday decorations, but they seem to suffer and may not even last the entire season without dropping leaves, withering and sometimes dying entirely. What can we do to help them survive the season with us?

A. How well a plant will adapt to new surroundings can be determined before it leaves the store. Ask yourself a few questions as you examine the selections.

You are looking for the healthiest specimen, one that stands straight and tall with stiff limbs. No droopy or floppy plant will last long. Also, what color are the leaves? They must be deep, not light green. And the bloom (bracts, which we think of as the flowers) need to have strong...


(Euphorbia pulcherrima willd.)

Harvesting %26amp; Marketing

Production conditions to maximize postharvest longevity

Cool finishing temperatures increase bract and leaf retention.

Reduced fertilization during finishing (fertilization stopped one to two weeks before shipping) increases leaf retention.


Store plants for a minimum time and in the light. Plants stored in the dark have increased leaf drop and cyathia abscission.

Plants should be sleeved just before shipping to minimize damage in transit. Sleeves should be removed as soon as possible to limit epinasty (droopy leaves).

Store plants at 50 to 60oF for best longevity. Do not expose plants to temperatures less than 50oF.

Display conditions

High light intensity (75 to 225 footcandles) and long photoperiods reduce leaf loss. Less leaf loss occurs under incandescent than cool-white fluorescent light.

Cooler temperatures (about 60oF) increase longevity.


Michigan State University Extension

Whether cut flowers are grown in a home garden or in a greenhouse by commercial experts, their care is a science.

To keep cut flowers beautiful longer; remember that they have been removed from their source of water, the root system, and will wilt quickly if not placed in water. Cut stems should be placed in water immediately, as air will rapidly move into the water-conducting tissues and plug the cells. This is why the cut flower that has been out of water more than a few minutes should have a small portion of the lower stem cut off so that water will move up freely when it is returned to water. Cuts can be made under-water to assure no air enters the stem.

A cut flower also has been removed from a major source of food—the leaves on the plant to which it was attached. Although the leaves on the flowering stem make food, once indoors they are in a reduced light situation and this limits available carbohydrates.

Use a Preservative

Commercial preservatives will increase the life of cut flowers and should always be used. (Adding aspirin, wine, or pennies to cut flowers WILL NOT help to keep them fresh longer. Do not attempt a home brew concoction.) A floral preservative is a complex mixture of sucrose (sugar); acidifier, an inhibitor of microorganisms; and a respiratory inhibitor. Sucrose serves as a source of energy to make up for the loss of the functioning leaves and insures continued development and longevity of the flower.

An acidifier makes the pH of the water more near the acid pH of the cell sap. Most water supplies are alkaline and can reduce the life of cut flowers. The acidifier also stabilizes the pigment and the color of the flower. This is why red roses turn %26quot;blue%26quot; when placed in water without a preservative or acidifier.

A microorganism growth inhibitor is perhaps the most important part of a floral preservative. Bacteria and fungi are everywhere and are ready to enter the cut surface of the stem and multiply. Prior to actual decay symptoms, cells of the water-transporting tissues can become blocked with microorganisms, inhibiting water uptake.

To aid the floral preservative in slowing down microorganisms, always clean the vase or container. Also remove all leaves below the water surface, as they soon deteriorate. Water and water uptake are major factors in keeping cut flowers fresh.

A process called %26quot;hardening%26quot; ensures maximum water uptake. It simply means placing the freshly cut stem in 110° F (43.5° C) water (plus preservative). Place in a cool location for an hour or two. Maximum water uptake is attained because water molecules move rapidly at 110° F (kinetic energy) and quickly move up the stems. Flowers at cool temperatures lose less water. In this one brief period while the water is cooling, freshly harvested stems, leaves, and flowers take up almost as much water as in the balance of their life.

Other Tips for Long-Lasting Cut Flowers

Check the water level of the container or vase daily and add water plus preservative when needed.

Keep flowers away from hot or cold air drafts and hot spots (radiators, direct heat, or television sets).

While both drafts and hot spots increase water loss, hot spots reduce a flower%26#039;s life by speeding transpiration (water loss) and respiration (use of stored food such as sugars) and increasing development (rate of petal unfolding).

When away from home, move the flowers into the refrigerator or the coldest (above 35° F/1.5° C) spot in the house. Again, this will slow down water loss, respiration, and development.

Never store fruit and flowers together. Apples produce ethylene gas, a hormone that causes senescence, or aging, in flowers.

In summary, to keep cut flowers longer:

ü Recut the stems and remove excess foliage.

ü Harden the flowers by setting them in warm water in a cool place.

ü Use a floral preservative.

ü Keep them cool and avoid drafts, hot spots, and television sets.

ü Use a clean vase or container and check the water level daily.

Flowering Plants

Inadequate light, high temperatures, and improper watering are the common causes of failure in flowering plants. These plants are grown in a greenhouse where the night temperature is usually cool, the air is moist, and light is ample. When these plants are brought into a dry home where the light is poor and the temperature is maintained for human comfort without consideration for the plants, the results are often disappointing.


Poinsettias require bright light and should be kept away from drafts. A temperature between 65° and 70° F is ideal. Avoid temperatures below 60° and above 75° F. Keep the plants well watered but do not over-water. Newer, long-lasting varieties can be kept attractive all winter.

Reflowering a Poinsettia

The poinsettia blooms during short days. Starting October 1, exclude poinsettia from artificial light for 16 hours; either cover with a light-proof box each evening or place in an unlighted room or closet. Expose to full light during the day (eight hour days). Use fertilizer when new growth is visible. After 10 weeks of short days, the plants should reflower.

Easter Lilies

Keep the plants in a sunny place where the temperature does not fall below 60° F. Water when the soil feels dry.

After the plants have turned brown, cut off the stem at the soil surface. When the garden soil warms up in late May, move the plants outdoors. Choose a warm sunny place with well-drained soil. Plant the bulbs four to six inches deep (soil surface to the top of the bulb) in most soils and somewhat deeper in sandy soil. Easter lilies may bloom the first fall after being set outdoors. They are easy to transplant.

Fertilize several times during the summer and use a mulch to keep the soil moist. In the fall when the soil is lightly frozen, apply evergreen boughs or marsh hay around the plants. Keep this mulch on until new growth develops the next spring.


Azaleas require direct sunlight to remain healthy. A night temperature of 50° to 60° F will prolong blooming. Keep the soil moist. Azaleas can be planted in a shady spot in the garden during the summer months. Feed them with an acid fertilizer and examine them frequently, keeping plants watered during dry periods. Greenhouse azaleas will not survive Zone 4 winters.

Azaleas need short days and cool temperatures to form flower buds. If you can provide short days, after buds have formed, a six- to eight-week cool treatment is needed before plants will bloom. A well-lighted room with a temperature of 35° to 50° F is ideal, but hard to find in most homes. Unless you have the proper growing conditions for the azalea, you should not attempt to carry the plants over to the next year.


Cyclamens require full sunlight and a night temperature of between 50° and 60° F. Flower buds will fail to develop if the night temperature is too high or if the light is poor. They require regular watering.

Plants can be carried over, but as with the poinsettias, homegrown plants are seldom equal to those grown by a commercial grower.


Gardenias grown indoors need special care and specific conditions. They demand an acid soil and should receive the same nutritional care as azaleas. The night temperature should be near 60° F and the humidity around the plant should be kept high. High temperature and low light intensity will result in flower-bud drop.

Flower Seeds that grow in very small pots?

I have been mis informed by a nursery that I could buy African Violet Seeds. I have purchased 150 8x 8x 8cm pot for wedding gifts with a poem and I was going to plant African Violets. I have now been told that you cannot buy these seeds. Can you please suggest another flower that will survive in such a small pot and preferrably indoor plant and they have to begin as seeds.

Flower Seeds that grow in very small pots?
If they have to begin as seeds, do they have to remain in the pot??

How about Coleus? Its a colorful leafy plant, indoors/outdoors and should survive with careful watering in a planter that small.

Technically you can should be able to start almost any seed in those pots, its just a matter a how long they can survive in it.

hairstyles hair style

It's my Mom's 65th birthday this Sunday, I always buy flowers or plants, I need different ideas for a gift

Want would you suggest.

It%26#039;s my Mom%26#039;s 65th birthday this Sunday, I always buy flowers or plants, I need different ideas for a gift
If you had the time, you could have gotten her a Mother%26#039;s ring, that have the children%26#039;s birthday gemstones in them. (Maybe for M. Day.)
Reply:Anything written from your heart ... my son wrote me something that I will treasure forever ! You%26#039;ll do well !
Reply:ha..depends on what%26#039;s falling apart...maybe buy a new purse, new wallet, a housedress (or jeans or whatever she wears around the house, or slippers or just comfy shoes), maybe a battery and plug in radio (she should already have flashlights), maybe a new HD tv or pay for the digital box she might need. Does she do crafts? then maybe she needs something from Michaels craft store (take her mom once took me to K-Mart and let me buy what I wanted and I bought blouse material and a candy fish). Does she need earphones, a cam or a scanner or printer for her pc? Is there anything for security that she needs? Since she%26#039;s moving into a new phase maybe there%26#039;s something from her past phase you want her to remember like maybe in a frame, or a collage in a frame. I have 8 beautiful flowers from Michaels that look real and I continually enjoy them (two colors of roses both buds and flowering and some poenies).
Reply:Take her on a special shopping trip .Let her pick something special. Maybe purchase a visa card in advance so the amount of money will not be an abject.Moms love spending time with their children.That%26#039;s what is important.Maybe lunch afterwards.
Reply:Gift certificate for a meal or a spa day. Tickets to a play. Year%26#039;s pass to the movies or a year%26#039;s rental of dvds. Spend time with her if you%26#039;re nearby , take her to dinner or brunch or shopping and you pay for it all.

Wish her a happy sixty fifth!
Reply:Take her to a nice restaurant and treat her like she%26#039;s a queen which, of course, she is.

Enjoy every minute you possibly can with your precious mother and I hope this birthday turns out to be one of her happiest and most joyful ones ever
Reply:If you have always bought some kind of flower you need to do that because since you have always done this I would...send flowers and have them special delivered to her home and then plan a special enening together just you and her either take her out or make her favorite dinner.Spending time in a special way will be the most important gift you can give her.If you have time or the means take her out of town for the weekend.Enjoy your Mom while she%26#039;s still here.
Reply:I love everything my children give me because it tells me they love me and are thoughtful.

A pretty bracelet or necklace is nice. It doesn%26#039;t have to be expensive. You can buy nice jewelry for the same cost as a flower arrangement.
Reply:i would go with wine and a cheese tray!!!
Reply:If you were my child, and you really wanted to get something for me that I need, I would request a decent wine opener. I have never bought one that really works. There are some kind of expensive ones that are easy to use, but I won%26#039;t spend the money. I wish my kids would get one for me. This of course, won%26#039;t be appropriate if your Mom doesn%26#039;t drink wine. Otherwise, stick with the plants. We all love them.
Reply:She is a woman.

Buy her a nice bottle of her favorite fragrance...or indulge her in a really fine and luxurious body lotion.

Give her a gift certificate at a day spa or at a local salon for a massage and make-up makeover.....

Let her know that you recognize her as woman first, mother second.

Trust me, she%26#039;ll use it.
Reply:what a photo montage of your fam... hobby lobby has frame sets or some frames sort of together.
Reply:Take her out to a fine restaurant and make sure you let the waitpeople know that it is your mom%26#039;s birthday.
Reply:A Digital Keychain it%26#039;s the new brag book.....she or you can load it up with pictures of family or travel .....or a Digital Frame for the home......
Reply:I would suggest a lunch or dinner out at the restaurant of her

choice. Followed by a little birthday cake that could be pre-

sented afterward with a candle for her to blow out. Some

restaurants will have staff sing Happy Birthday in addition to

the cake, or a cupcake. You will have to make arrangements

with the manager by phone to get it set up though. The 65th

is a special birthday, as she%26#039;s definately leaving her youth

behind. So it should be marked with something to make her

really happy. I will be celebrating my 65th this September, and

I hope I can be surprised on that special occasion myself.
Reply:I%26#039;m older then your Mother but flowers are just so beautiful, I always love when I get flowers. So how about flowers and taking her out for dinner.
Reply:Take her to dinner at a nice restaurant like Outback or Olive Garden.
Reply:That number 65 is a magic number. Spoil your Mum a lot. If you can afford it (and if she likes it) buy her some good perfume! Or, take her to dinner and make the waitstaff aware that it is her birthday,. They will probably sing Happy Birthday to her during desert! Or if you have a limited budget, why not get her a really nice Birthday Cake from Baskin Robbins ( the ice cream kind)! These always go over well. Any jewelry, or clothing is another welcome gift. CJ (I just turned 66)!
Reply:Out to eat what she likes

Take your camera..ask someone to take a picture of her %26amp; you.

Give her a nice soft pair of PJ%26#039;s %26amp; beautiful card.
Reply:There%26#039;s this new photo frame you can buy that holds a bunch of pictures and displays them like a slideshow. It changes pictures automatically. I would buy it and upload a bunch of pictures from her childhood or the kids and grandkids, or wedding pictures. My neighbor got one for her birthday and can%26#039;t stop talking about it. She LOVES it, and has it in her living room. All her friends want one, including me.

genealogy mormon

Gift ideas for MUMS Birthday pls????

i asked this question before but everyone seemed to copy each others answers and they were to gay(not literally!) anyway. Specific gift ideas pls like a fondue set or a plant or jewellery, maybe something a bit different.....not breakfast in bed or a hug as others suggested :-)

P.S. she%26#039;ll be 51

Gift ideas for MUMS Birthday pls????
Send her flower/card or just surprise her with a birthday party.

Mothers always appreciate portraits of their families, children, grandchildren, etc

If you need an original gift try photoartomation ( ). They convert ordinary photo into Art and print them on canvas.

I am very pleased with the painting I received from

The painting is absolutely beautiful! I will definitely use this site to order gifts for people--including myself!

Reply:I am very thrilled with the work have done. The level of skill that has gone into this work very high and it is affordable for everyone. photoartomation have really captured the subjects Report It

Reply:A nice pashmina....have seen many around thats embriodered with elaborate beading...

Book her a ticket for a weekend away in the countryside ..

An elegant piece of jewellery..

A biiiiig bouquet of flowers always goes down well

Depending on her taste buds, take her to dine out

Treat her to a day out shopping..or even a day out somewhere nice..

..the list is endless.
Reply:I bought my mom a photo album (a nice one) and filled it with photos from all over. I even snuck into her basement and went through her old boxes of pictures. Left lots of blank spaces for her to fill in. She has spent the last 7 months filling it and LOVES it.
Reply:gift cards cd dvd
Reply:Theres a new store selling special theme jewelry, it is called Another option would be to take her with you to a nice SPA treat.
Reply:Age 51 only a pup.Adventure day out,Debenhams do vouchers
Reply:It might help if you give an idea of what you can spend.

Although, most women love to be pampered. How about a certificate for a massage, or pedicure, or manicure, or day at the spa if you can afford it! If you call a local day spa they can give you ideas in your price range.


The means for a %26quot;date night%26quot;. Maybe a certificate to her fav restaurant and/or movie tickets. You might also check out the play houses in your area for a live performance that might be coming up.

Good luck and happy b-day mom!
Reply:how about order qdolls?

you can visit this link to see detail!
Reply:I%26#039;ll be 50 next year and it%26#039;s hard for me to think what I%26#039;d like and also Christmas is coming up, I have jewellery and don%26#039;t really wear it,I have nice clothes only I don%26#039;t go out much to wear them and also have got Cd%26#039;s, the only thing that I can think of for myself and I would use it is things from the body shop, I like the body butter, lavender bath oil, vitamin e lip balm and moonflowers perfume, I%26#039;d like to get anything from the body shop and with Christmas coming up you can get all the pretty sets, so yes I think she would like that.
Reply:take her to a day spa or a proffessional makeover, or a hunky waiter to give her champane and strawberrys
Reply:My bf asked me this last year about what to buy his mum and I suggested this: Buy a nice giftbox and some of that shredded tissue paper to line it with, then in superdrug buy some of those minature travel sized bottles of stuff like shampoo, conditioner, hand/foot cream, foot soak, sachets of face masks etc. Maybe add some sachets of hot chocolate and an eye mask, and then you%26#039;re mum can have a ncie day feeling relaxed and pampering herself. It%26#039;s also good if you%26#039;re hard up for money cos it looks good and unique as you selected the stuff urself, but costs under a tenner. My bf%26#039;s mum liked it cos she said it was so thoughtful!
Reply:a lovely teddy bear....perfume... her favourite cd....a new top... a morning at the hairdressers... a potted palm.... thorntons chocolates...a bouquet of roses...a bottle of Bailey%26#039;s Irish cream... a snazzy pair of boots.... a bracelet....a necklace...any jewellery....
Reply:Not sure of your budget, but how about a gift theatre voucher? I%26#039;d never seen one of these, but you can buy them from the box office or over the phone to use at any show at any venue. Plenty of choice, and something different. Was given one for my birthday and booked to see Swan lake at Christmas- looking forward to it immensely - and will hopefully have lovely memories.
Reply:buy her Paul Potts cd I brought it my Mum and she absolutely loves it but it is really annoying coz she don%26#039;t stop playing it, but she did say it was the best cd she has ever gotton ... or go to a garden center and buy her a plant or a hanging basket..
Reply:If you want to get something unique you should have a look at They have over 200 different items that you can put your own design on (you upload a photo or image file) - I found their website about 6 months ago looking for something special for the Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles of my New Born Son - I gave them all a Cherrywood Framed Ceramic Tile With a Picture of My New Family on and when they arrived the quality was Amazing and the Family Loved them. have always delivered within 10 days on all of my orders (Yes I%26#039;ve used them quite alot since). The first order I made was at my door in six days and considering they ship from Hong Kong I think that is Amazing.

I%26#039;m going to stop going on now as I sound like an advert for Design Yer Own but I really think a Unique %26amp; Personal Gift is the way to go. I hope this helps in your decision.
Reply:What about getting vouchers from her favourite shop. My mum went 54 at the beginning of this month and i didn%26#039;t know what to get her so got her 15 pounds in m and s vouchers cause that%26#039;s her fave shop and she got lot more m and s vouchers from other people. No matter what you get your mum it the thought that counts.
Reply:whats your budget?

tightwad is right! lol only messin! :)

try something like a voucher for shoes, bottle of perfume, hair salon voucher, scented candles, ornament, earrings, orchid flower from the florist or the old reliable flowers and chocolates! hope this helps! :)
Reply:How about...

A nice necklace or bracelet...

OR you could always convert to the bear hug and a nice homemade card. That always makes them happy :)