You can't go wrong with a bouquet of flowers for Valentine’s Day, but it's always a little sad to see them shrivel and die so soon (usually in less than two weeks). Instead of a one-and-done vase of fresh blooms, you can express your love in a more everlasting way with houseplants that have heart-shape leaves. With a little care, these houseplants will stick around far longer than a dozen cut roses and can continue to remind the recipient of your affection year-round as they grow. We've picked out five indoor plants that may not be as traditional as a bunch of cut flowers for Valentine’s Day, but their heart-shape leaves (and flowers for some of them) make them every bit as romantic.
1. Sweetheart Hoya
Also called Valentine plant, sweetheart hoya (Hoya kerrii) is a popular gift around Valentine’s Day because of its shape. You’re most likely to see single heart-shape leaves for sale in cute little pots, but sweetheart hoya will eventually grow into a vine, covered in little green hearts that will look especially eye-catching when draped over a hanging basket. This succulent plant doesn't need much water and will grow in low light, but it does best when grown in bright, indirect light.
2. Flowering Cyclamen
Potted cyclamen is one of our favorite alternatives to flowers for Valentine’s Day because it's just as colorful as a bouquet of roses. You can find varieties that bloom in shades of deep rose-red to blushing pink, as well as pure white. To sweeten the deal even more, its pretty green-and-silver leaves are heart-shape. Cyclamen likes plenty of bright, indirect light and a little water whenever the top inch of soil gets dry. Most will stay on the small side, but cyclamen can eventually grow to just over a foot tall.
Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images
3. String of Hearts
When one heart isn’t quite enough to express your feelings, give dozens! String of hearts has trailing stems dotted with small, heart-shape leaves that are usually green and silver, but can sometimes have a touch of pink. This dainty-looking vine loves plenty of sunlight, so place your plant in a south-facing window, where it can grow up to three feet long. It's not a succulent, but string of hearts is almost as drought tolerant as these plants so you should let the soil dry out completely between waterings.
4. Heart Fern
Warm up the February chill around Valentine’s Day with a heart fern, which comes from tropical regions of Southeast Asia. Its dark green, heart-shape leaves need plenty of humidity to look their best, so try misting it once a day or placing it in a room with a humidifier. Otherwise, keep it in bright, indirect light and keep the soil moist. Heart ferns usually stay under a foot tall, with each leaf growing about 2-3 inches long.
Buy It: Heart Leaf Fern, $19.99, Amazon
Tim Graham/Getty Images
There's so much to love about anthurium, which not only has heart-shape leaves but its heart-shape blooms even come in bright red. You can also find varieties with pink, white, and even purple flowers. Bright, indirect light will produce the best blooms, but even without flowers, the leaves will still look beautiful all by themselves. Otherwise, all they need is a little water whenever the soil feels dry and they'll eventually grow about two feet tall.