Answer: I think your idea is delightful and there are two ways for you to go: if you want plants in flower at the time you give them away, you'll want to have them in 4" pots rather than pony packs. This will entail a longer growing period and at least one transplanting process. On the other hand, if you want to give away green plants that are almost ready to flower, you can start them later, and keep them in pony packs, ready to cut apart, when the time comes for distribution. Late summer and fall blooming plants include Viola, Primula, Lobularia (sweet alyssum), Chrysanthemums and Aster frikartii. The mums and asters are best purchased as small plants, but the pansies, primroses and sweet alyssum can all be started from seeds in late June. Seeds of rosemary, thyme, basil or sage can be started in June for late-August gifts. You can add a colorful ribbon at the last minute to make them really attractive party favors.
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