TOP 5 ALTERNATIVES TO CUT FLOWERS FOR VALENTINES DAYRachel Patey
Fresh cut flowers are a beautiful, classic valentines gift. But their short life expectancy means they soon wilt and fade, so why not consider one of our top picks for a gift that will continue to grow and bloom long into your relationship.
With its heart-shaped leaf like spathe, the Anthurium makes a perfect valentines gift. You can enjoy bold coloured blooms for eight weeks, with the potential for year round re-blooming.
Native to the tropical regions of the Americas, from Mexico to northern Argentina, they live on the forest floor or grow on trees and so are shaded from direct sunlight, which means that in the home, Anthurium care is simple – plants can tolerate all levels of indirect light.
Make sure to water your anthurium regularly, but don’t over water. The plant is susceptible to root rot, so too much water can cause the roots to die.
Keeping them misted, dust-free and applying a regular feed during the growing season, makes them very happy.
Hydrangeas with their big, brightly coloured clusters of small flowers covering the plant, are easy to care for but best used as a temporary plant indoors. For a long life it should be planted outdoors in early to mid summer so it has time to acclimate to outdoor conditions before winter arrives.
Hydrangeas are thirsty plants, so it’s a good idea to check the soil every day while in bloom. Leaves that turn yellow and fall off are a sign of dry soil. But do not overwater it by allowing it to stand in water.
Phalaenopsis orchids are elegant flowering houseplants. Flowering can last for a couple of months up to five months.
The key point to note about watering Phalaenopsis orchids is that overwatering will kill them far quicker compared to under-watering. The best way to check if it needs watering is to check the roots deep in the pot, dry Phalaenopsis roots are silver, moist roots are green. Brown mushy roots are not happy. Make sure the water is lukewarm; water that’s too hot or too cold can shock the roots. Water your orchid in the morning to allow extra moisture to evaporate during the day.
Your aim as far for light levels is to mimic natural conditions ie lots of natural light but no direct sunlight between 11 and 4pm. Very dark green leaves indicate that your plant is not getting enough light. Pale green foliage means that the plant is getting too much light.
The Guzmania, a relative of the pineapple is an ideal house plant. With their vibrant star shaped flowers they provide an exotic touch.
Guzmanias grow in trees and on rocks in their native South America.They have a ‘well’ around the central stem, which in nature they use to collect water running down the tree. Keep the well quarter full & flush it out with fresh water every 1-2 months. Keep the potting mix moist but not soggy during spring and summer. Like all houseplants you want to water less in autumn and winter. They appreciate misting once or twice a week.
Guzmanias require bright indirect light which mimics the filtered light they receive through trees.
Spathiphyllum or Peace Lily are some of the most beautiful and easiest to look after house plant, that also cleans the air. NASA lists the Peace Lily as one of the best plants to clean the air of harmful toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.
Flowers generally appear in spring and flower for most of the summer.
Peace Lilies will thrive in almost any light situation except full hot sun as they are shade-loving plants in their native habitats. One of the great advantages in caring for the Peace Lily is the fact that it wilts when it needs water, if you wait until it wilts before watering, your Peace Lilly will last for many years.