In lieu of flowers

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with a loved one often involves a gift exchange, a fancy dinner, or a night out. And flowers.

Different types and colours of flowers mean different things when it comes to expressing love. But do not last long, can be expensive and lose excitement year after year. Maybe gifting a houseplant instead of the go-to flowers will bring some life to this year’s gift exchange.

Here are a few romantic favourite alternatives to flowers that symbolize love, smell great and are known as natural aphrodisiacs.

Jasmine: Jasmine is a vine usually grown outdoors but some varieties make great indoor houseplants. Poet’s jasmine, or true jasmine, has very fragrant white flowers that bloom all summer and rich green leaves with five to nine leaflets. All varieties of jasmine grow well in regular, well-drained soil with moderate levels of soil fertility and moisture. Keep this viney climber pruned, in full to moderate sun and repot it in the springtime.

Miniature roses: OK this one definitely skirts the line of “flower” vs. “houseplant” but they do differ from the regular long-stemmed roses most commonly gifted on Valentine’s Day. On it says when attempting to grow miniature roses indoors the plant needs as much sunlight as you can provide. Give them at least six hours of bright sunlight per day and remember to turn off any grow lights at night if you are using them as miniature roses need lengthy periods of darkness at the end of the day.

String of hearts’ leaves are shaped like hearts and is an easy plant to care for. Photo by feey on Unsplash

String of hearts: You only need to see a picture of this plant to know why it is on this list. There are no flowers on this plant but the string of hearts is known for its heart-shaped leaves that trail on delicate vines. On it says to keep your string of hearts out of direct sunlight as it prefers bright indirect light. Water the plant weekly in spring and summer, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Water less in winter and do not allow the plant to sit in water.

Bellini: A bellini is the smallest variety of a peace lily with arching stems and long-lasting blooms. According to, this plant requires a little bit of TLC, just like your relationship, but it will reward you with blooms that will last a lot longer than a dozen roses.

Bleeding heart: Maybe the name of this plant makes it easier to believe it would make a better gift for your enemy than your significant other on Valentine’s Day. Once you see its beautiful arching stems and eye-catching red and white flowers you may change your mind. Bleeding heart is a spring-blooming vine that grows quickly usually reaching two to three feet tall within 60 days. On the it says bleeding hearts thrive outdoors but do not take much extra care to keep one growing inside.

A bleeding heart makes a great gift for a significant other on Valentine’s Day, despite its name. Photo by Alli Remler on Unsplash

Anthurium: Last but not least is the anthurium plant. Bold, exotic and sensual, says anthuriums are an especially good houseplant during the romantic season. Its leaves are shaped like hearts and feature red, purple, or pink flowers that shine like lipstick. Staying colourful for two to three months, anthuriums also do not take a lot of effort to maintain. Keep this plant in bright indirect sunlight and wait for the top two inches of soil to have dried out completely before watering.

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