Plants with hearts timely for Valentine’s Day
By now I am sure everyone is sick of the dark, muted tones of winter and would love to see a splash of color around their house. One way to give someone else a splash of color in their life is by purchasing flowers for them for Valentine’s Day.
Since Valentine’s Day is about showing someone you care for them, what better way is there to say, “I care” than with a heart-shaped flower.
Some of the plants that are heart shaped include heartleaf philodendron, cyclamen and anthurium. For a beginner gardener, heartleaf philodendron is an excellent plant to have. It is easy to find and easy to grow. It is a vine with heart-shaped leaves that grows great in hanging baskets or by wrapping around upright supports. It tends to thrive in moderate indirect light with moist soil and high humidity. Cyclamen is another plant with heart-shaped leaves. It is often adorned with flowers that can be white, pink, red and lavender.
The flowers are often described as birds in flight. What is truly unique about this plant’s leaves is the white-colored water markings that adorn them. Cyclamens range in size but thrive best with bright light, cooler temperatures and well-drained soil.
Anthurium is also called “Heart of Hawaii” and is known for its large, shiny, often heart-shaped leaves. The flower of this plant ranges in color from scarlet, pink, white and lilac. Once it blooms, the flower will last for weeks and is an excellent flower to use in a flower arrangement. It is best to plant anthuriums in coarse, well-drained soil and place it where it can receive bright indirect light.
As you are picking out the plant, you should take the time to think about what container you should put it in. Almost anything can be used as a container for a plant. However, you need to make sure that it has drainage holes and is the appropriate size.
Some of the containers that are on the market include glazed and unglazed clay containers, plastic containers and metal buckets. Glazed clay containers and metal buckets are decorative and look attractive in homes, but they often do not have good drainage.
If you chose to use these, then you should place the plant in a properly-sized unglazed clay container with drainage holes and then put it inside the decorative container. Be sure to discard the excess water that will be at the bottom of the decorative container after watering.
If you do think about getting someone a plant for Valentine’s Day or any day when it is as cold out, then you should consider transporting it in a paper bag. This will help prevent the plant from getting cold and dying.
Be sure that you fold the top of the paper bag down so that you limit the amount of air that gets into the bag. Then once inside, open the bag up and give the plant away.
Visit www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 653-8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee.
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Feb. 16 – Exploring 4-H kickoff, Fairgrounds, 6-7 p.m.
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