Indoor Plants For Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day has just passed us by, but it’s never too early to think ahead to next year.  Instead of giving your significant other cut flowers that will wither away in a matter of time, or chocolates, which often disappear quickly as well, consider giving a unique and lasting gift. An indoor plant is a gift that will endure more than a just few days. As part of the decor it will continue to spur conversation about a great Valentine’s Day long after the date has past. Give an exotic plant maybe even a red or pink flowering plant in an eye-catching container and your Valentine is sure to be thrilled! If you are an interior landscaper consider giving your clients or prospective clients a Valentine’s Day themed container plant to thank them for their business and remind them of your services. If you send it a few weeks prior to Valentine’s Day they may be reminded that they would like your services for a Valentine themed plantscape.  The following are a few ideas for Valentine’s Day container plants.

Bromeliad by kimubert

“Bromeliad” by kimubert

Bromeliads

Bromeliads covers a wide family of plants, but many send up flower spikes that can come in a variety of bright colors. Often times the flower spikes are pink or red.  Bromeliads are easy to care for and they usually require indirect sun from a window. It is important to keep the bromeliad moist, but not soggy. Place water in the cup that is formed where the leaves come together and in the potting soil. Once the soil is dry an inch or two deep or the cup is empty it is time to water again. You can use distilled water in the cup to prevent saline build up or simply wipe out the cup with a soft cloth in between each watering.  V. flammea is one variety of bromeliad that Clemson Cooperative Extension recommends for beginner bromeliad growers. Guzmania is another variety of bromeliad that has beautiful red and pink flower stalks. For more detailed information on how to grow bromeliads visit Bromeliad Plant Care Information.

Anthurium

Anthurium have a red, heart-shaped flower perfect for Valentines Day.  According to About.com Houseplants,  A. scherzerianum and A. andreanum. are the easiest to grow and the most readily available.  Anthurium prefer to be moist and kept above 60 degrees. You can keep them in a window that gets indirect sunlight, but move it away if it gets very drafty when the temperature drops. Anthurium would be ideal for a sunny kitchen!

Cyclamen

This plant has beautiful pink or red flowers and usually flowers in the fall, winter and spring after a period of dormancy in the summer. To make the blooms last as long as possible the University of Minnesota Extension suggests keeping the plant in cool conditions. Do not let it get above 70 degrees and if you can put it in a cool spot between 40 and 50 degrees at night, it will last even longer. If the leaves start to wilt and turn yellow the cyclamen is too warm. Cyclamen can also be forced to bloom for another season. Once the flowering is done allow all of the leaves to dry completely.  When the leaves are dry the tuber can be moved to a new pot and potted with the top half of the tuber above the soil. In the fall when the leaves begin to grow again water the plant thoroughly. Allow the soil to dry some between each watering. Once the leaves appear move the plant to a bright location and continue to keep cool. This will allow you to enjoy your cyclamen for another season.

These are just a few ideas for Valentine’s Day house plants. There are many more that could convey your thoughtfulness and add some brightness to a home or office as the winter drags on. What was your favorite Valentine’s Day gift? Have you ever given a plant to a friend, loved one or client for Valentine’s Day? What is your favorite variety?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405702452 Satoko

    Dear bromeliad exeprt:Our bromeliad had a bright red bloom when we bought it, and it looked good for the first month that we kept it indoors. Two months ago, some of the green leaves began to turn brown, gradually getting worse until the entire plant including the bloom had become withered and brown.Despite the mother plant dying, 3 pups emerged about a month ago. Although they haven’t grown much since then, now they are 2-3 cm tall. In the past week, our bromeliad has looked worse and worse, with brown spreading to almost the entire surface of every leaf and the whole plant leaning to one side. The stem was kinked in two places and smelled like it was rotting, so I decided to remove it. Because the stem was soft and wet, I was able to simply rip off the stem near the base without pulling up the underground portion.Afterwards, I realized that the pups weren’t tall enough (1/3 the size of the mother) as suggested . What can I do to ensure they survive without the mother plant? Should I have left the dying, rotting mother in place or did I do the right thing?Is it bad to leave bromeliads indoors with the air conditioning running? I read that they like humidity. Is there any way to keep them inside with the AC on?Thanks in advance for your help!Jason & Karen

    • Sarah

      My guess without seeing the plant, is that it was overwatered or its potting media did not allow for enough drainage. The smell of rotting is what makes be think this. If the plant stays too soggy in its container it can very easily rot. Air conditioning is makes it tough to keep humidity high, but bromeliads do like moving air. There are a few things you can do to keep humidity high: place a tray filled with small rocks and water underneath or next to the plants, make sure the plant isn’t sitting in the water, taking it up into the potting media; if you have other houseplants, place them nearby, they will raise the humidity a bit in the area; or you can invest in a humidifier. You can go ahead and try to plant the pups. Be sure to use potting media specially formulated for bromeliads, if you are not already. Plant them in very small pots, no bigger than 4 inches, as they grow you may have to transfer them to a 6 inch pot. Make sure they receive a lot of indirect sunlight, but don’t place them in direct sun until they are established. Only water when the potting media is dry a few inches down. Good luck! If there’s anyone else out there with suggestions let us know!

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