From love potion plants and heart-shaped leaves to love goddess blooms, these plants are like a valentine from Mother Nature.
Sure, you could buy fresh flowers for your sweetheart on the day of all things Cupid. Even if 80 percent of the flowers are imported and grown in energy-guzzling greenhouses, and drenched with toxic chemicals ... and once cut, require a long journey under refrigeration to arrive at your local florist. But go ahead! I'm not here to eco-shame anyone. Even if Americans give around 100 million roses to their darlings on Valentine's Day ... producing some 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions between field and florist...
On the other hand, you know what's even more romantic than a vase of dead roses after a week? A beautiful potted plant that will live on long past the third week of February! And with that in mind, here are some particularly lovely love-themed houseplants whose message will endure.
In the Victorian language of flowers, lily of the valley meant "return of happiness" ... and who doesn't want to return to happiness, even if you never left? The little bells are one of the dearest of all flowers, and the fragrance is one of the most heavenly scents on the planet.
This beauty does double duty – not only are its leaves heart-shaped, but those pert petals brings hearts to mind as well.
As a houseplant, these petite sweethearts grow to about 8 inches tall, are easy to care for, and bloom for weeks.
There are few better scents than that of jasmine, a sweet exotic fragrance that wafts through the evening air. Given its sultry allure, there's little wonder why it is considered a powerful aphrodisiac by many.
Be still my heart. One of my very favorite garden plants, bleeding heart can also be grown as a houseplant. Its pretty foliage is lovely enough, but when it shoots out its arching branches dripping in drooping hearts, it's almost too much beauty to bear!
Long used to symbolize love and happiness in marriage, myrtle has been carried in the bouquets of brides for ages. In fact, in the UK royal wedding bouquets have included a sprig of the woody evergreen ever since the 1800s.
A staple of color and fragrance during winter months, forced hyacinth bulbs are a wonder indoors. During the Victorian era they symbolized the constancy of love, which is a pretty good message to be sending your beloved. And if said beloved happens to have a garden, the bulbs can be planted outside for years of blooms to come..
Maybe "touch me and I close up" isn't the expected message one might want to send on Valentine's Day, but something about the sensitivity of these incredible plants makes me a bit weak in the knees. If your Valentine has a soft spot for plants, they might feel the same.
Legend has it that at one point, pansies were white ... until cupid shot an arrow that turned them colors, and along with the colors came a magic power to be used in love potions. By other accounts, a jealous Venus turned them blue. Regardless, they are obviously filled with super love powers and should be given to one's sweetheart.
OK, so maybe not everyone is going to find a carnivorous plant romantic ... a carnivorous plant that engulfs live pray in its spiny jaw, no less. But look at how pretty it is! Charles Darwin was so enamored by these curious plants that he called them "one of the most wonderful plants in the world." While it may not be, you know, the most obvious choice in places of roses, you can't deny its loveliness – after all, it was named after the Roman goddess of love, sex, and beauty...
The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (ca. 1484–86)/Public Domain
Note: If your beloved has pets, be sure to check about the pet-friendliness of any houseplant you may consider giving – many a plant can be toxic for pets.