It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and nothing says I love you like flowers.
This year, consider giving live, flowering plants.
Live plants, cared for properly, will last much longer than cut flowers and are often much less expensive than a bouquet.
Most live plants can be planted in your yard or grown indoors to be enjoyed year after year.
Here's a shortlist of indoor plants that would make a great Valentine’s gift:
Persian cyclamen has flowers that are almost heart shaped. They come in shades of pink and also in white. These plants are easy to care for and bloom for weeks at a time.
Orchids are a classic, and the Aphrodite orchid is named for the Greek goddess of love and fertility. With their graceful branches and large blooms, these plants are gorgeous. And, bonus points, very easy to care for and readily available.
Forget-me-nots are lovely perennial garden plants that can be grown indoors and then transferred to a shady area of the yard to be admired year after year.
Bleeding heart is a perennial often used in the garden or in hanging baskets. The flowers are heart shaped, with a droplet beneath, hence the name. They come in red, magenta, pink and white. They will also grow well in a sunny room with a south- or west-facing window. You can plant them outdoors in a partially shaded area.
Anthurium is another good indoor flowering plant. The heart-shaped blooms come in red, white or pink. The flower is actually a spathe — a kind of modified leaf that surrounds a flower cluster.
You can still give your sweetie roses. Try miniature roses, which will do well in sunny rooms with a south- or west-facing window. For best results, transplant them into a well-drained raised bed in full to partial sun.
Or you can go all out and get some traditional roses that can be planted in the garden, and which probably still cost less than a bouquet and can be enjoyed year after year.
Calla lilies are another great plant. They're gorgeous tube-shaped flowers bloom against glossy, green, arrow-shaped leaves. They come in variety of colors such as yellow, red, pink, purple and the iconic white.
Much like roses, calla lily colors have meaning. Yellow symbolizes charm and passion, pink symbolizes appreciation and admiration, purple symbolizes charm and passion and white symbolizes purity and innocence.
Calla lilies will come back year after year, blooming in February and March. They can be planted outdoors in wet areas, much like Louisiana iris.
If you aren't looking for flowers, check out the heart-shaped philodendron. These plants are easy to care for and will do best in a well-lit room with a window facing south or west.
Another unique and very cute plant is called pearls on a string (senecio rowleyanus). These succulents are super easy to care for and look adorable in hanging baskets.
Hearts on a string (ceropegia woodii) are another trendy succulent. Despite the delicate appearance of its heart-shaped, silver-engraved leaves, this is an easy care plant that looks great anywhere in the house.