The Valentine’s Day industrial complex has descended upon us. I, for one, can’t get enough of it even while being fully cognizant of the rampant capitalism at play. There’s something comfortingly cartoonish about this holiday, with all the reds, pinks, hearts, and frills overtaking stores. Speckled among the plastic and mylar artifice of V-Day are beautiful floral arrangements. While I’m quite fond of roses, the indoor gardener in me can’t resist a potted plant. It lasts longer (with good watering and sunlight, that is) and is likely cheaper for your significant other to procure (maybe send them a hint by way of Pinterest board). If you want to spare $20+ bucks on a bouquet on Valentine’s Day, here are a few romantic plants that you can pick up from a nursery on Valentine’s Day to gift your boo or keep the vibe festive in your own home.
So, what do I mean by romantic? Let’s first talk about heart-shaped plants. Isn’t nature just so wondrous to produce heart-shaped foliage?
My favorite is the heart-leaf philodendron. It’s accessible, low-maintenance, and fast-growing. You can probably find a huge pot at a local nursery for around $10 as well. The thing that distinguishes it from any old pothos is its waxy surface and heart-shaped leaves. As long as you don’t stick it by any air conditioner or heater, this philodendron will grow for you. (I left it by my heater, and hence, I had to cut some dead leaves off. But it’ll bounce back in a couple of weeks.)
Next up is the sweetheart plant, aka hoya kerrii. I don’t personally own one, but my mom does, and it’s a steely plant. As with most hoyas, it appreciates a decent amount of sunlight and doesn’t require a ton of water. You’ll often find single heart-shaped ones stuck in nursery pots around winter and spring for around $12. However, it’s better to get one with an established root system so that it can acclimate to your (or your boo’s) home.
As a femme girly girl by nature, I love pink plants. When I got into indoor gardening, I often thought that plants with pink foliage were fake! But there are plenty of affordable pink plant options that are 100% real.
My favorite pink plant that I own is my pinstripe plant (calathea ornata). When I first started out with plants, I was so scared of prayer plants because they can be super finicky. Now, I find that as long as you give them distilled water and a decent humidity level, they’ll stay pretty happy. I got this gorgeous plant at Walmart for $10, and it’s been thriving for the last few months (except for one flare-up of mealy bugs, yikes.) With prayer plants, it’s always best to start out with a healthy plant as opposed to resuscitating a dying one.
Last, but not least, there’s the ficus elastica ruby, aka a ruby rubber plant. Regular rubber plants flaunt a sleek and modern look, but these variegated babies are super cute and have a tropical meets camo aesthetic. From my experience, a few bottom leaves will fall in the winter, but don’t fret too much over it! As long as they get enough sunlight, the leaves stay firm and pink. Don’t overdo it with the water, but make sure the soil gets a good soaking after you let it dry out. You can get a relatively healthy six-inch plant for around $10 at big-box stores such as The Home Depot and Lowe’s. Honestly, a bang for your buck!
I won’t lobby against bouquets, but if your significant other is a plant parent, it can’t hurt to drop by your local nursery to look for a cute, on-theme plant. May your plants be as everlasting as your love!