Plants for Valentine’s Day

February 1, 2021

If you’re anything like us, you’d much prefer a new house plant or a plant to add to your garden (ok, and maybe some chocolate, too) for Valentine’s Day. We’ve made a fun reference guide of 5 house plants and 5 garden plants if you’re looking for that perfect plant for that special someone!

Garden Plants

Valley Valentine Pieris (Pieris japonica ‘Valley Valentine’)- This four season evergreen plant is perfect for giving this time of year as it has pink-red pendant like flowers. As it starts to warm up, new growth will emerge with a bronze tint that matures to green and will remain green throughout the year. It likes partial sun and regular watering especially in extreme heat.

Valley Valentine Pieris (Pieris japonica ‘Valley Valentine’) Photo Courtesy of Monrovia

Silver Heart Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’)- Brunneras are great for brightening up that shady spot in your garden that doesn’t seem to let anything else grow. The heart shaped leaves are green with a silvery-gray lace overlay. Light blue flowers rise above the foliage in spring. You’ll want to water regularly to keep it happy and clean out any dead/tattered leaves before new foliage appears in spring.

Silver Heart Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’) Photo Courtesy of Monrovia

Heart Throb Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Schmred’)- These next 2 trees are great options if you’re really looking for the ‘wow’ factor. While this one won’t look special this time of year, the wait is sure to be worth it. Blue-green foliage grows on horizontal tiers of branches and are followed by showy pink flowers in late Spring. Birds are attracted to its raspberry colored fruits that come after the flowers have faded. In the fall, foliage turns to shades of deep red and orange. As the tree matures, the bark will start to mottle and exfoliate which is an attractive feature in winter. It prefers full sun and likes to be watered regularly especially in times of extreme heat.

Heart Throb Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Heart Throb’) Photo Courtesy of Monrovia

Hearts of Gold Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Hearts of Gold’)- Another tree option, the large heart shaped leaves are a glowing show stopper in spring-summer. Purple-pink blooms first appear on bare branches before the leaves appear. When the foliage does appear, it starts out red and matures to bright, golden-green that resists burning even in full sun. Foliage will turn shades of yellow and red in fall. It can handle partial to full sun and likes to be watered regularly. This tree works great as a focal point in the garden.

Hearts of Gold Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Hearts of Gold’) Photo Courtesy of Monrovia

Black Heart Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Black Heart’)- If you’re looking for something a little bit different or if you’re just not into the shades of red and pink that Valentine’s Day usually comes with, this could be a fun option for you. Grown as an annual in our region, the Black Heart Sweet Potato is great for container gardens or hanging baskets. The dark purple, almost black foliage, has the classic heart shape that most sweet potato vines have and grow quickly. They like full sun and are pretty heat tolerant and easy to grow but they do like to be watered frequently.

Black Heart Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Black Heart’) Photo Courtesy of Monrovia

House Plants

Heart-Shaped Hoya (Hoya keri)i- Nicknamed the Sweetheart Hoya or the Heart Leaf Hoya, Hoya kerii has bright green, heart shaped leaves that grow on vining stems. Around this time of year, you’ll most likely see them sold with a single heart shaped leaf planted in a pot but if you look around, especially at your local nursery or online, you might be able to find some more mature plants that have started vining and have more than one leaf. Like other hoyas, if they are happy they will produce clusters of star shaped flowers along the stems. They prefer indirect, bright light, well-draining soil, and the top 2” of the soil should feel dry before watering again.

Sweetheart Hoya (Hoya kerii) Photo Courtesy of Pistils Nursery

String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)- This vining plant has, as you guessed it, heart shaped leaves that are mottled with dark green and gray and reddish-brown stems. They like to be placed near a window where it can get plenty of sun and should be watered about every 10 or so days once it has dried out between waterings. It’s a good idea to gently untangle the vines when you water and remove any yellow/brown leaves. If you notice it starts to look a little thin, you can give it a trim as long as it’s in the summer.

String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) Photo Courtesy of Hobby Plants

Heartleaf Fern (Hemionitis arifolia)- Ferns are a pretty common houseplant but this one is unique in that it stays compact and has perfectly heart shaped leaves. The leaves are glossy and dark green and grow on fuzzy stems. Like most ferns, it loves water so it works well in a terrarium setting or in a steamy bathroom that has a window so it can get at least some indirect sunlight. To keep it happy you’ll want to make sure to water it once the top 1” or so of soil feels barely moist. You don’t want to let the soil dry out.

Heart Leaf Fern (Hemionitis_arifolia) Photo Courtesy of Pistils Nursery

Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)- While most of these houseplants are pretty easy to care for, if you’re looking for one that tops that list, the Heartleaf Philodendron is super easy to keep alive and looks great almost anywhere you put it. You can find these heart shaped leaves growing on vining stems and come in both straight green and variegated varieties. They prefer indirect sunlight and like when the soil dries out a little between waterings (water about once a weekish). Another fun thing about these (and Pothos plants) is that they are easy to take cuttings and place them in water or moist soil and you can create even more plants for yourself or a friend!

Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron cordatum) Photo Courtesy of Little Leaf Shop

Laser Synchro Wine Cyclamen (Cyclamen ‘Laser Synchro Wine’)- This house plant not only looks great on a windowsill but will also work well for adding winter color to your outside containers. The heart shaped leaves are dark green with grey veining and margins. Rising above the mound of foliage are rich, deep red flowers. There are also many other varieties of Cyclamen that come in shades of pink, purple, and white so if red’s not your color you have plenty to choose from. They prefer part sun with evenly moist soil and bloom from December to March.

Laser Synchro Wine Cyclamen (Cyclamen ‘Laser Synchro Wine’) Photo Courtesy of Syngenta

What plant will you be buying for your green-thumbed sweet heart this year? No matter which one you choose, just know that your Valentine will appreciate the thought you put into it and they’ll be able to enjoy your gift for many months and even years to come!

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