Say 'I love you' with flowers!
How do you decide which flowers will be the best gifts for your Valentine? Our favorites are chosen for their beauty (always), care (in varying degrees) and long-lasting qualities (potted plants usually stay fresh much longer than cut flowers)... sure to score a few points with your favorite sweetheart.
5 lush & long-lasting flowers for lovers...
INDOOR HYDRANGEA: Luscious, multiple petaled flowers sit like clouds on top of large, deep green leaves. This heavenly plant has been hybridized for indoor use with its larger flower heads and small root system. Satisfy your hunger for color with pastel or bright pink, big-sky blue, purple or snow-white blooms.
Light: When blooming inside, hydrangeas prefer medium to fairly, bright light. If moved outside to the garden in the warmer seasons, they prefer morning sun and afternoon shade.
Temperature: Indoor hydrangeas prefer a temperate climate between 55-75 degrees but they will tolerate a range of 34-90 degrees. Don’t push them though, their small root system, most likely, won’t survive freezing temperatures.
Water: Hydrangeas love their water so keep the soil evenly moist—not soggy.
PHALAENOPSIS ORCHID: Exotic flowers float like butterflies on long stems above bold, medium-green leaves. Plant breeders have worked hard to create a tropical plant with such long-lasting blooms and low maintenance requirements. Flowers can last up to 3 months!
Light: Indoors, Phalaenopsis or Moth orchids prefer filtered light because direct sunlight can quickly burn the soft tissue of the paddle-shaped leaves. Place them in an east or west window, but a lightly shaded south exposure will be okay, too.
Temperature: Although these orchids aren’t particularly fussy, this type prefers a range of 80-85 degrees during the day and 60-65 degrees at night.
Water: Keep Phalaenopsis on the moist side since they don’t possess the well-developed water storage systems of other orchids. However, do not allow them to become completely dry or to stand in water for any length of time. Water approximately every 7-10 days—depending on the season and amount of air circulation.
Re-blooming: For a quick overview, check out garden expert, Melinda Myers,’ 30-second video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rF-zL3drG5E.
ONCIDIUM ORCHID ‘Sharry Baby’: This orchid is beautiful enough with its tiny, burgundy and white flowers but the fragrance of hot chocolate and vanilla really makes it the perfect orchid for Valentine’s Day.
Light: ‘Sharry Baby’ prefers medium light in any window but north. Morning sun is best. TIP: If foliage turns a darker green, the light is too low.
Temperature: This orchid prefers intermdiate to warm temps. Day: 65-85 degrees. Winter nights: 60-65 degrees.
Water: Water plant when potting mix is dry approx. one-inch down…usually about twice a week. The new growth should not shrivel and leaves shouldn’t look pleated. TIP: If leaves do, increase watering and mist plant in the morning.
Fertilizer: Fertilize weekly when actively growing. Reduce water and fertilizer in winter... until you see new growth.
CYCLAMEN: This elegant, flowering houseplant thrives in cooler temperatures. In winter, it will love to sit next to a window (providing the leaves don’t touch the glass) or reside in the coolest room of the house. The blooms range from red to pink, violet, light lilac and bright white. The leaves are delicately patterned in green or silver.
Light: This flowering plant prefers bright, indirect light.
Temperature: It is known as a cool season plant and because it prefers cool temperatures all year round.
Watering: While blooming, keep the root ball well dampened, but never pour water directly on the tuber or root rot may develop. Ideally, water this plant from below, but quickly pour out any water that remains in the saucer.
Tip: Pinch off the finished flowers to encourage more flower buds to emerge.
KALANCHOE: If you want a pop of bright color inside this winter, Kalanchoes would be an excellent choice. These easy-care succulents are native to dry areas and are valued for their thick, fleshy leaves with scalloped edging, as well as the clusters of brightly colored, star-shaped flowers in hot pink, baby pink, yellow, orange, red, or white. Look for single or double petaled varieties.
Light: The easy-care Kalanchoe prefers a cool, well-lit location to prolong their blooms (on a windowsill). Avoid cold or hot drafts that can cause blossoms to drop and leaves to yellow.
Temperature: They thrive in warm temperatures… never below 55 degrees.
Water: Let the soil surface dry out between waterings. In winter, water the plant deeply and allow it to dry out completely before you give it more water. Avoid root rot by pouring off excess water that might collect in saucer. They thrive in winter houses with low humidity.
Blooming and shaping: Remove the first set of blossoms as they fade to encourage a second flush of flowers. Cut off spent flower stems and pinch back leggy growth to keep plant more compact.
GARDENIA: The beautiful fragrance of rose-like, snow white blossoms and glossy green foliage are a winning combination.
Light: For best results, place plant in a bright location with at least four hours of sunlight daily… but not in direct sunlight.
Temperature: 60-75 degrees is ideal but gardenias will tolerate a wide range of temperatures in the home.
Water: Keep soil lightly moist but do not overwater. Be careful when plant is flowering. If the soil becomes too dry, the buds might drop off.
Fertilizer: Gardenias prefer an acidic fertilizer but none is required when in bloom.
If you have any plant questions, please ask our Indoor Plant experts at Pasquesi Home & Gardens, they will gladly offer some guidance.