Roses are red, violets are blue... and Valentine’s Day is the sweetest holiday of them all. This special day on February 14th, gives us all permission to show that special ‘someone’ that he or she is loved. Anything from handwritten notes, chocolate kisses, long-stemmed, red roses or a sparkling, engagement ring can create the most magical day. Everyone deserves a little love on Valentine’s Day—not only sweethearts.
Don’t forget to include others such as teachers, parents, best friends or even a favorite cashier. Whether you give blooming plants or cut flowers, you can’t go astray when you match the color of the flower with its intended meaning: ‘Heart-ripping’ red screams romance, passion or courage. Smoldering orange or coral suggests enthusiasm and desire. Cheerful yellow colors convey friendship and joy. Sweet pinks indicate admiration or gratitude. Pure white flowers communicate respect and humility. Deep purple reveals that the giver has fallen in love with the recipient at first sight. (Be careful with this one!)
Now that you are armed and dangerous with information, enjoy heartfelt giving, as well as gracious receiving, on this historical day—the celebration of love and affection.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FLOWERS!
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum): The sweet-scented red, pink or snow-white flowers float like butterflies above heart-shaped leaves. TIP: Florist’s Cyclamen likes a good amount of filtered light—not direct. They will last longer if kept in a cooler area at night (55 degrees). Don’t overwater them. Let the plant dry out, then stand the pot in several inches of water—giving it a good soak. Let drain and allow planting medium to get fairly dry before repeating watering schedule.
Orchids: Most orchid flowers will last longer than cut flowers. The easier-to-grow, Phalaenopsis or ‘moth’ orchid can bloom for up to three months. Many hybrids are available in a wide range of exotic colors, patterning and sizes. TIP: In general, water weekly with 1-2 ice cubes for a 4- to 6-inch container. Try not overwater plant as roots will rot. Painters Palette (Antherium): Here’s a tropical plant will garner plenty of attention on Valentines’s Day with its large, heart-shaped flowers in red, pink or white. These bold plants team up beautifully with orchids and other tropical foliage for a spectacular display of love!
Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla): This elegant, indoor plant with its large, deep green leaves and cloud-like panicles of white, blue, pink or cranberry red flowers can deliver a romantic message as well as a toast to friendship. For best results, grow in moist, rich soil in bright light—no direct sun. Keep well-watered and never allow the soil to dry out. The flowers last longer in cooler temperatures. Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana): Drought and heat tolerant, this succulent grows successfully indoors and outdoors in bright and warm locations and a well-drained container. Its long-lasting flowers grow in clusters of orange, red, yellow, hot or pastel pinks or white tones. Water moderately and this plant is low maintenance. TIP: For re-blooming, snip off the spent, flowering heads, reduce watering and new buds will form. African violet (Saintpauli ionantha): This lovely, flowering houseplant is known for its violet-like flowers in bubblegum pink, lavender, dark purple, red-violet, baby pink and white—along with its dark green, fuzzy leaves. The low, compact plants are perfect for the warmth and low humidity of indoor home environments. They thrive in medium to high, indirect light (north and east-facing windows in summer and sunnier, warmer windows are better in winter.) TIP: Use African Violet potting soil for best results. These delicate but hardy plants exude old-fashioned charm and flower almost continuously.
LOVE THOSE LEAVES!
Scented topiaries: The small, herb-scented leaves of rosemary can be snipped into decorative shapes of globes, cones or even hearts. The plant can bear blue flowers but the allure remains in its pungently, scented leaves. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, wore it as she rose from the sea. Potted Ivy: Indoor-grown ivy makes a beautiful Valentine’s Day gift as a heart- or wreath-shaped topiary. Or, the unique “Heart Ivy’ with its heart-shaped leaves is sometimes available. If you prefer to customize your gift, select a ring of ivy called the ‘Hole-in-One’ and add color by placing a small, flowering plant such as cyclamen, orchid or kalanchoe into the middle of the ivy ring. Bromeliad: These strappy-leaved, tropical plants will deliver a burst of color even when their intriguing flowers aren’t in bloom. Their green leaves contrast happily with yellow, red, orange, chartreuse and many other combinations. They’re easy to maintain in bright light along with a good orchid potting mix to provide good drainage.
Pasquesi Home & Gardens indoor plant sale is going on now thru February 17. For more information, visit our website at www.pasquesi.com