Consider living plants as an alternative to traditional cut flowers for Valentine’s Day this year. Cyclamen, kalanchoe, and miniature roses are all great alternatives.
Cyclamen has heart shaped leaves and flowers during the winter months. They perform well in indirect light, and prefer cool temperatures with daytime temperature between 60- 65°F. Flower buds fail to develop at temperatures above 70°F. Cyclamen grow best in moist, not wet, soil. So, avoid placing them near a heat vent to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly. Removing spent blossoms will encourage more flowers. For more information, see HGIC 1564, Cyclamen.
Kalanchoes have thick, waxy leaves with scalloped edges and produces flowers during the late winter and early spring, which makes them the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. They prefer full sun but will tolerate bright indoor light levels. Flowers will last longer with cooler night temperatures. The ideal nighttime temperature range is 45- 65°F and 50 to 70°F for daytime. Kalanchoes do best in well-drained soil, avoid over watering. For more information, see HGIC 1563, Kalanchoe.
Miniature roses are a perfect plant for Valentine’s Day. They range in height from 3 to 18- inches tall with flowers the size of a quarter. They can be kept indoors and planted outdoors in the spring. Until then, they do best with bright light next to a south facing window or under a fluorescent bulb. Once the fear of frost has passed they can be planted in an area with well-drained soil, good air circulation and 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. For more information, see HGIC 1172, Growing Roses.