Our first pandemic Valentine’s Day is Sunday, February 14. If your go-to move is a romantic restaurant meal, you’re scrambling.
At Good Earth Plant Company, we love flowers any time of year. But TBH, we love them even more if they aren’t cut flowers. Flowers are renewable at least, but they don’t last. It’s also true I’m still a little traumatized 40 years later after the early years when Good Earth Plants & Flowers went a little crazy this week. And with only two helpers, we did over three months’ business in two days.
Instead, lean into the pandemic craze for indoor plants and support your favorite local nursery by purchasing a heart-shaped plant. You know it will fit, it’s perfect at any age, it suits everyone’s diet, and your recipient is guaranteed to love it.
Good Earth Plant Company makes it even easier with these suggestions.
Sweetheart Hoya – this is the obvious choice at this time of year, and you’ll find them everywhere. They almost look too perfect to be real! The heart-shaped single leaves are actually cuttings from the full plant. They are thick and waxy like many succulents. They like high light indoors, with a little bit of water. It’s easy to keep them in a small desktop container. But they will grow and even bloom if you have the time and patience.
String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) The name says it. It’s an easy to grow, sturdy plant, and it can take a little neglect. It has heart-shaped leaves on long trailing stems. The vines can trail up to four feet long. It makes an ideal macramé hanger plant or one that can trail off a tall shelf. Put it up in your office to brighten up your Zoom background. It only needs a little water and can adapt to nearly any kind of light.
Philodendrons: Your “go big” choice. Multiple species of philodendrons have heart-shaped leaves. They come in different sizes including some that grow quite big. They also come with a wide range of greens, including striped or variegated varieties. You really can’t go wrong.
The Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron cordatum) is almost impossible to kill. It’s a perfect gateway plan to jump-start your indoor plant skills. This is another pretty trailing plant, another Zoom background option.
Philodendron gloriosum has beautiful big veined leaves. It is a Central and South American native, so it loves a warm, humid environment. Add it to your bathroom – voila, Instant spa! Avoid putting it in direct sun, or those lovely leaves will burn.
Heart Fern: So far, our choices don’t need a lot of care. But if your recipient is one of those people who just can’t avoid overwatering, try the Heart Fern (Hemionitis Arrrifolia). Ferns in general are perfect plants for those who can’t keep their hands off the watering can. They love attention and can grow in nearly any kind of planter.
Anthuriums: If your heart is truly set on flowers, how about live, growing flowering plants? Not only does Anthurium have heart-shaped leaves, but the flower bracts are also heart-shaped. There are an incredible variety of bloom colors and sizes – perhaps just short of roses. They are also forgiving as long it is in well-draining soil and kept moderately moist, but not waterlogged.
One warning; it is moderately toxic, so keep this plant away from small children and curious pets.
Cyclamen: The perfect Valentine’s Day presentation sure to impress! These favorites have deep green leaves with beautiful flowers in all the reds, pinks, and whites for a classic Valentine’s Day. You can get Cyclamens nearly anywhere. But be sure you get the right type for your conditions. Cyclamens sold as indoor plants are tropical, and they love warm temperatures. But cyclamens intended as outdoor garden plants like cool, humid weather. If you buy it at a grocery store, it’s probably an indoor plant. Double-check the plant’s label. Cyclamens are a little fussy about watering – not too much, not too little, and keep water off the stems and leaves because they’re prone to rot. The trick? Place in a shallow pan of water and let the plant take it up. Dump any extra after a day or so. If you can meet its needs, these plants are showstoppers.
Want to go REALLY big? How about a tree with heart-shaped leaves for Valentine’s Day? The Eastern Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) is a native of the southeastern U.S., but the University of California extension recommends them as a well-behaved tree, non-invasive, and easy to grow. They are adaptable to nearly any kind of soil, any type of light, and are drought tolerant once established. The heart-shaped leaves come in many different color varieties. Wow, what’s NOT to love?
These trees grow about 20-25 feet tall and wide with low branches. They make lovely specimen trees and border trees. Plant one as a focal point outside a window or off a porch so you can enjoy the change in leaf color and the heart-shaped leaves. Bonus: butterflies and hummingbirds love the nectar, and songbirds love the seeds, so there is always something to see.
Remember the reason for the season: all these heart-shaped plants remind us of all the people in our lives we love and appreciate. Especially in a year where we might not be able to show our appreciation in person, saying it with a lasting, living gift will remind someone even if they aren’t nearby, they are in your heart.
We are Nature’s matchmakers! If you’d like the love of Nature in your life with indoor plants, living walls, moss walls, and more, get in touch with Good Earth Plant Company. We enrich peoples’ lives with plants all year long. We’re just a call away at 858-576-9300.