On a dreary winter’s day, there’s little that lifts the spirits like a spray of fresh-cut flowers; but for those in the market for an alternative arrangement (and one that lasts longer) this Valentine’s Day, we have a few ideas.
With the emergence of shops and sites like UrbanStems, Bloomscape, and The Sill, the city slicker keen for green has lots (and lots) of plants to choose from, from leafy palms and fragrant herbs to indoor-friendly, fruit-bearing trees. Comb through their tasteful arrays—a few of which are gathered here—and give the old V-Day bouquet a refresh.
Calathea Roseopicta from Léon & George
It’s Valentine’s Day; think pink! Sometimes called the Rose Painted Calathea, this alluring offering from Léon and George is native to Brazil, and keeps best in humid climates and bright, indirect sunlight.
Marimo ‘Moss’ Ball Kit from The Sill
Consider these budget-friendly balls of filamentous green algae for your loved one. Extremely low-maintenance—just add fresh water!—and extremely adorable, The Sill’s marimo balls thrive in low, indirect sunlight—and can keep for years.
Hoya Heart from The Sill
Care for something a bit more traditional? A 2.5-inch Hoya Heart—coupled with a glossy red pot—is hard not to love.
Dracaena Marginata Braid from Chelsea Garden Center
How’s this for a twist: Growers at the Brooklyn-based Chelsea Garden Center have trained the stems of their dracaena marginata into an attractive weave, upping the aesthetic appeal of an otherwise unfussy little tree.
The Orion from UrbanStems
For another singularly stylish house plant, see The Orion from UrbanStems. The fetching combination of a spiky, stripy snake plant (the Sansevieria trifasciata; also known as the viper’s bowstring hemp or mother-in-law’s tongue) and an artfully dappled ceramic pot is not only pretty, but eco-smart, too; the snake plant, research has shown, has the natural capacity to purify ambient air. It’s a gift that does it all!
Ficus Lyrata from PlantShed
A dependable partner deserves a dependable gift, and the classic ficus fits the bill. From its shapely leaves to slender stem, it’s a terribly civilized plant, but not at all hard to care for: indirect sunlight and a daily drink of water are all it needs.
Lavender from Modern Sprout
Modern Sprout has a wonderfully wide assortment of flora for the amateur, indoor-horticulturist; from a self-watering cilantro-growing kit to a table-top mossarium. But one of its more charming (and romantic) offerings is a teeny-tiny (4” x 4” x 5”) lavender-growing kit, contained within a waterproofed, recycled-paper tube. Skip the fancy perfumes next month, and go straight to the source.
A Meyer Lemon tree from Williams Sonoma
If a touch more demanding than your typical potted plant (growing up to 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide, it isn’t the most conducive to apartment living), a dwarf Meyer Lemon tree still makes for a fabulous—and surprisingly affordable—Valentine’s Day gift. Just think of all the lemonade to be made; the Martini twists; and the zests for pies! And that’s to say nothing of its delicate scent. Long-stemmed roses come and go; but a tree that blossoms in the spring and fall and fruits in the winter and summer is forever.