When it comes to giving gifts on Valentine’s Day cut flowers and blooming plants are a couple of things that spring to mind, but did you know you can say it with foliage? If you are looking for something a little different to say “Be my Valentine” how about one of these endearing plants?
Sweetheart Hoya (Hoya kerri)
Sweetheart Hoya is so named for its perfect heart-shaped leaves. As a plant it has a vining habit, being able to ultimately reach heights of 10 feet or more. However, it is also sold as individual rooted leaves, which are perfect for those who do not have unlimited growing space, as these little gems rarely turn into vines. This plant is available in both green and variegated forms, and is easy care, just requiring bright indirect light and infrequent watering.
Sweetheart/Triangle Fig (Ficus triangularis variegata)
This ficus with its triangular shaped leaves and heart-shaped patterning makes an elegant statement. It is slow growing, taking time to reach several feet in height, and in fact makes an excellent bonsai specimen. Sweetheart fig care is similar to other ficus, however as with many variegated plants, it will need higher light levels in order to maintain its variegation. Aim to place this plant where it will receive bright indirect light, but avoid direct sun as well as drafts and heating vents.
Heart Fern (Hemionitis arifolia)
Heart fern is native to southeast Asia and is petite in size, ultimately reaching 6-8 inches tall. Each arching stem bears a delicate heart-shaped frond of a dark, glossy green. Like many ferns, indirect light is sufficient. Appreciating warmth and humidity, it is a great plant for a terrarium, which will also help prevent it from drying out – vital, given its tropical origins.
String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)
This delicate trailing plant is a fast-growing succulent vine, whose small, heart-shaped leaves are marbled green and silver. Bright light, average household temperatures and a light hand with watering are the requirements for success. Due to its succulent nature, string of hearts can easy tolerate short periods of drought. It does actually flower and will do so prolifically when happy, but generally these dusky pink pitchers are an added bonus to the foliage.
Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron scadens)
This is another easy-care vine that despite its tropical origins is very adaptable to typical household conditions. New growth starts as a bronze color and contrasts well with the mature dark green, heart-shaped leaves. It can reach lengths of 4 feet, but regular pinching back at a leaf node will create a lush effect as well as keeping it in bounds. Similar to Philodendron scadens is Philodendron micans, the velvet heartleaf philodendron. It too has similar colored foliage, but with the addition of a velvety texture.
Sweetheart Peperomia (Peperomia verschaffeltii)
Sweetheart peperomia also goes by the common name of baby watermelon peperomia, as its heart-shaped leaves also share the watermelon markings of Peperomia argyreia. Reaching about 6” in height it is another great plant for small spaces and lower light levels. It is a little particular about watering in that it needs a porous potting mix that offers that perfect balance of water-retention without waterlogging. While this sounds complicated, generally just allow the surface of the soil to dry before watering and it will be happy.
So if you are looking for a different take on Valentine’s plants, why not look into these foliage plants?