This year we challenge you to go beyond the bouquet.
The here today, gone tomorrow, fragrance-free, been there, done that bouquet of a dozen red roses. While lovely and traditional, the short-term beauty of a single bouquet can never truly express the joy, exuberance, passion, and swoony sort of beauty that a long-lasting, living, growing plant can.
Here are creative Valentine's Day gift ideas that'll make you want to walk past the flower shop to the garden center this Valentine's Day. Too cold to plant in your region? Houseplants (find 6 choices below or search here for more), gift cards and pre-ordered plants are great choices, too!
(Above) Keiko™ (Adored) Itoh Peony has a subtle fragrance, huge, beautifully colored blooms, and strong stems that make it the perfect cut flower. It's a great gift for Valentine's Day not only because of its sweet name but also because it offers the opportunity to give your loved ones bouquets of fresh-cut flowers for years to come. Partial to full sun. Up to 30" tall and wide. Zones 4-8.
Give Plants, Grow Love: Creative Valentine's Day Gift Ideas
Giving a bouquet of cut flowers may seem like a nurturing, generous, romantic act. However, the truth is that giving a live plant is infinitely more nurturing (and dare we say, romantic). Humans need nature, and so nature needs humans to be aware of the environmental impacts of consumer choices. While you can buy local cut flowers, nothing is more beneficial than installing a flowering plant.
Give the Classics: Love that Lasts
Cut flowers come and go, but plants, given now, will literally grow with your relationship. At the end of the day, what plants really are, is a promise. A promise that if you care for them, they'll reward you with sublime beauty that gets better year after year. (Love is like that too!) A well-nurtured living plant can remind you of and reflect the way you also nurture your relationship with your partner.
Classic romantic flowers that are perfect for Valentine's Day gifts include roses, camellias, peonies, early-flowering hellebores, and, thanks to their heart-shaped spring flowers and clever name, bleeding hearts. See our favorite picks below.
Upright bouquets of stunning, fully double red roses adorn low-maintenance shrubs that exhibit unwavering bloom even in the face of a prolonged, scorching summer. This own-root rose boasts exceptional disease resistance, self-cleaning attributes, and a track record of flourishing seamlessly from coast to coast, enduring both heat and humidity as well as dry, hot summers. Full sun. Up to 5' tall, 4' wide. Zones 4-9.
A profusion of formal, four-inch crimson red blooms unfolds gradually, extending the bloom season significantly. Even in their early stages, young plants exhibit an impressive abundance of buds. The glossy, dark green foliage further enhances its appeal, particularly in milder regions where this prized plant thrives with distinction. Full shade to partial sun. Up to 8' tall and wide in 10 years; larger with age. Zones 8-10.
Generous, exquisitely fragrant blooms deliver the timeless allure of roses, coupled with the modern advantage of disease resistance through careful breeding. The fuchsia-colored blooms gracefully take shape as lovely buds, gradually unfurling to reveal their full splendor. Offering a continuous bloom cycle from early spring until the first frost, they supply an abundant harvest of roses, perfect for creating beautiful bouquets. Full sun. Up to 4' tall and wide. Zones 5-10.
An outstanding perennial boasting an extended blooming period, this plant features delicate clusters of cherry-red, buds on elongated stems that unfurl into reddish-pink heart-shaped flowers, gracing the landscape from spring through summer. Tolerates full sun with ample moisture. Full shade to partial sun. Up to 18" tall and wide. Zones 2-8.
The petals of this compact peony exhibit a gradient from peachy orange to creamy white, transitioning to a pink hue along the edges. Positioned closer to the foliage, the flowers contribute to a compact, rounded form that remains self-supporting, eliminating the need for staking. The foliage is resistant to mildew. Partial to full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 4-9.
Photo by Plants Nouveau
With blooms in a soft yet vibrant pink, this delightful cool-season bloomer adds color to your Valentine's garden sooner than other flowers. Large flowers face outward and even upward, adding a vibrant touch to the spring landscape. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 2' tall and wide. Zones 5-9.
Home is Where the Heart Is: Houseplants that Make Love Grow
Grow your love this Valentine's Day by gifting a big, beautiful Monrovia houseplant. Consider plants with pink or red tones like the new and exclusive Ninetta™ Begonia, which has dramatic spotted foliage and soft-pink flowers with delicate heart-shaped petals. Share your love with plants featuring foliage in pink or red tones, or give plants with heart-shaped leaves like Shangri-La Philodendron or Tectonic™ Caldera Begonia.
Delightful crinkled and spotted foliage is deeply dark green on top and burgundy red on the underside. Great in the garden where hardy, or makes a wonderful houseplant. Soft pink, heart-shaped flowers bloom in summer and fall outdoors, sporadically through the year indoors. Bright indirect light. Up to 3' tall and wide.
A new generation of a classic easy-to-grow houseplant, with more compact growth. Beautiful leaves of green, cream, and bright pink are a colorful addition to the home. Can easily be kept to a small size to fit your space, or let grow into a tall statement plant to add a tropical accent to a room. Bright indirect light. Up to 6' tall, 2' wide.
Massive, glossy, heart-shaped leaves emerge red and swirl open to bright green. An enormous variety in its native range in northeastern India, with leaves up to two feet wide! Will make an impressive specimen where hardy if given plenty of space. Partial shade. Up to 6' tall and wide, remains smaller in containers.
Unique succulent provides great contrast, with rosettes of absinthe green, vividly painted with red on margins and mid-leaf. Coral-pink and yellow flowers appear atop tall bracts in summer. Thrives in dry, sandy soil and indirect to bright light. Rosettes reach 5" wide; Can form clumps up to 2' tall, 3' wide.
This stunning succulent displays dramatically ruffled, heavily textured, fleshy gray-green rosettes with a soft red edging. Red-orange flowers appear on tall stalks in late summer. Adds fantastic texture to rock gardens, dry borders, and containers. Requires excellent drainage and indirect to bright light. Rosettes reach 12" tall and wide.
Prized for its thick, round, paddle-shaped succulent foliage, with a chalky blue-green color and red tinge that intensifies in full sun. Clusters of yellow flowers on spikes appear on mature plants. Provides dramatic color and texture in rock gardens or xeriscapes. Easily grown in containers, indoors or out. Requires well-drained soil and indirect to bright light. Up to 18" tall and wide.
Gift Happiness: Plants That Make Them Smile
Romantic pink and red blooms are the obvious choice for Valentine's Day. However, knowing your sweetheart's floral preferences is even more of a caring gesture. The most meaningful floral treat for your Valentine may not be a classic choice like roses. Some of us feel a big smile coming on when we see a garden filled with daisies, sunflowers, or lavenders. Picking out that plant (and offering to plant it, of course) shows that you've been paying attention. Also that's what really makes your honey happy.
Classic Shasta daisy flowers with full, bright white petals surrounding a rich yellow center on this compact plant that naturally maintains a tight, low habit. A real garden MVP that will reliably produce a profusion of blooms. Excellent for container gardening or at the front of a border. Full sun. Up to 15" tall wide. Zones 4-9.
A highly fragrant evergreen shrub with gray-green foliage and abundant purple flower spikes. A wonderful addition to dry, sunny borders and gardens. Useful as hedge or edging in herb gardens. Highly effective in mass plantings. Flowers may be dried and crushed to use in sachets. Full sun. Up to 2' tall and wide. Zones 5-9.
This award-winning, multi-branching, heat tolerant, non-invasive annual sunflower produces over 1,000 flowers in a single season, from spring until first frost. Sunny yellow petals with a dash of rich red surround the large brown center of each sensational flower. Excellent in borders and containers. Full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Annual.
Plan for the Future: Promise Snacks
And for some Valentines, floral gifts may not be the best expression of love at all. Go beyond the bouquet in a big way by choosing something deliciously edible. Fast forward to a summer day when you pluck some sweet, juicy berries from a plant given on Valentine's Day. Then, feed them (champagne here is optional, but nice!) to your sweetie. Who’s a rock star now?
This nearly thornless raspberry produces large, tasty, good quality, bright red berries. Strong vigorous canes support the heavy summer crop. Ideal for freezing, canning, cooking, and fresh eating. Plant near a fence or wall for support or allow to ramble. Developed in Oregon and was first introduced in 1953. Full sun. Up to 6' tall with support. Zones 4-8.
An extremely compact variety with an impressive crop of small berries packed with flavor. The glossy green leaves develop a wonderful deep red fall color that persists through winter. The small size is perfect for containers; a great addition to a patio kitchen garden. Evergreen in mild climates. Recommended chill: 800 hrs. Full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 5-9.
A thornless dwarf blackberry that presents a fireworks-like display of large, juicy berries in the summer! Fruits more reliably than other, similar varieties. Its compact habit makes it perfect for patio pots. In most regions, this blackberry will produce twice in one season. Produces on second-year canes. Full sun. Up to 4' tall and wide. Zones 4-9.
I'll Love You Forever: Plant a Tree in Their Honor
When looking for a Valentine's Day gift that has big "I'll love you forever" potential, consider giving and planting a beautiful, spring-blooming tree. These gorgeous, showy, and romantic trees will remind your Valentine of your unconditional love every year when they burst forth in an incredible display of blossoms. Cherry, magnolia, redbuds, and other showy spring bloomers are sweet choices.
Learn More About Using Plants in Meaningful Ways
- The Meaning of Flowers: Use these flowers to share your feelings
- Captivating Foliage and Flowers for Your Perennial Cutting Garden
- "Shades of Beautiful" garden color guide
- Perfecting the Art of Plant Combinations
- Guide to easy and colorful plants
- Using Layers to Wow in a Low-Water Shade Garden
- Create an Enchanting Garden Where the Whole Family Can Play
- Rare and Unique Flowers for Collectors
- Grow Gifts: Perfect plants for the people you love
- Your Gift Guide for the Truly Hard-To-Shop-For
- Find large, healthy Monrovia plants at your local Monrovia retailer.
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