If your loved one shares everything from special moments to what they ate for breakfast, make this coming Valentine’s Day a memorable selfie moment with a gorgeous indoor plant. It will certainly outlast the traditional bunch of flowers and box of chocolates.
There’s an old saying, ‘ A picture is worth a thousand words’. Substitute ‘words’ for ‘hits’ and one of these five plants is bound to have your loved one hitting the selfie button for sharing with mutuals.
The sweetheart plant
Hoya kerrii heart ( also known as the sweetheart plant) has a small, perfectly formed single leaf in the shape of a heart and is almost indestructible. It is a tiny succulent that needs minimal watering and a warm, bright room, even some morning sun.
Allow the soil to dry out between watering as this plant is susceptible to root rot from over watering. If the leaf is plump it doesn’t need water, but it becomes thin an slightly wrinkled it needs watering. Apart from that it needs very little care.
It takes two to tango
Pair up rock roses (echeveria) and pink flowering calandiva to make the perfect Valentine posy. Dress them up with some romantic bric-à-brac and pop them into a beautiful bowl. This irresistible combo was an inspiration at the recent Royal Flora Holland Trade Show in Aalsmeer that is an annual highlight of the floriculture world.
On a practical level, both are hardy succulents that like bright light, minimal watering and minimal care. Calandiva will reward with flowers throughout summer if you remove the dead flowering stems.
You simply cannot go wrong with the ever-so-elegant phalaenopsis (moth orchid) and you can be sure that as Valentine’s day approaches there will be some inventive displays to tempt you. Fortunately, all the hard work of training the plant has been done and it will retain its shape without any further effort.
Phalaenopsis flower for three months or more. Once the flowers are over, cut off the flower spike and the plant will continue growing naturally. Keep in a cool room with bright light (bathrooms are good) and give a little water once a week.
Of course, red is the colour most associated with love, and you can’t beat anthurium for their glossy, heart shaped red flowers and leaves. Anthurium need bright indirect sunlight to continue blooming throughout the year. Water the plant when the first few centimeters become dry, and make sure it’s in well-draining soil to prevent root rot. These are long lasting flowering houseplants that will flower repeatedly if the dead flowers are cut off and a liquid fertiliser is given once a month during summer.
You can’t get away from it. Roses will always be romantic because their blooms are just so beautiful. Any colour goes, as long as its is the colour that makes your loved one’s heart beat a little faster.
Each pot contains three to four mini-roses, which is why a single pot is so full of blooms and buds.
Having been grown in warm, light controlled greenhouse, they are perfectly acclimatised for displaying close to a windowsill or on the patio where they get good light. Snip off the dead flowers to encourage new buds, feed with a liquid fertiliser once a month and keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
For more information visit LVG Plant
TEXT: Alice Coetzee.