Red or pink roses offer a beautiful but temporary anniversary, Valentine’s, or birthday sentiment. If your sweetheart enjoys plants, why not choose a botanical gift with more lasting enjoyment? Houseplants with heart-shaped leaves and brilliant pink and red foliage and/or flowers are offered by florists and will look lovely in a pretty pot throughout the year. (Look for online florist’s links at the end of each plant description.)
Houseplants for Your Sweetheart
In keeping with holidays for your loved one, pink and red plants are best. Those with heart-shaped leaves are a bonus. Here are some of the prettiest and easiest to grow.
Heart-shaped flowers in Valentine’s colors make the South and Central American flamingo flower (Anthurium hybrids) a good houseplant for the season. Sizes vary based on the variety. ‘Queen of Hearts’ is a pretty one reaching up to 2-feet. The candy-striped ‘Livium‘ is shorter, reaching just 18″, and Anthurium ‘Million Flowers Red’ is a shorter red-flowered variety with many extra-small flowers of glossy red. The easy-to-grow houseplants grow beautifully on window-side tabletops with moderate sunlight. (Click here for a good potted florist’s option.)
Rosy Rose-Painted Calathea
The leaves are the star of the show with the truly pink-leaved rosy calathea (Calathea roseopicta ‘Rosy’). Each large, glossy leaf is truly rosy pink and haloed in dark green. The tropical plant reaches 2 feet and grows beautifully in bright indirect light. You know it’s got to be good because the Royal Horticultural Society gave the plant an Award of Garden Merit in 2020. (Click here for a good florist’s option.)
The nodding, shooting star flowers of the florist’s cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum hybrids) rise from mounds of heart-shaped leaves with intricate silver markings. Flower colors are mostly in shades of red, white, and pink, but there are also some purplish variants. When in bloom, the plants reach 6-12″, depending on the variety. The foliage looks attractive alone when plants are not in bloom. Provide your cyclamen with indirect sunlight. (Click here for a good florist’s option.)
Rippled Peperomia (Peperomia caperata ‘Luna Red’)
Peperomia lack showy flowers, but they make up for the lack with attractive, rippled, heart-shaped leaves with red overtones. The compact variety ‘Luna Red’ reaches 6-8 inches and has pewter and red foliage with a deeply corrugated texture. The brighter red ‘Schumi Red‘ is another option. The houseplant is also easy to grow and thrives in medium sunlight. (Click here for a good florist’s option.)
Good Luck Plant (Cordyline fruticosa)
Most varieties of good luck plant have streaks of brilliant pink or red. Two of the prettiest are ‘Maria‘, with lance-shaped green leaves edged in magenta, and ‘Harlequin‘, with leaves green leaves striped with paler green and pink. The plants look outstanding all year long. Be sure to provide bright indirect light and remove any leaves with browning edges. Provide ample humidity to keep the foliage healthy.
Most of the plants mentioned here are tropical, aside from the Mediterranian cyclamen, so their cultural needs are similar. Place them where they can get bright indirect light on all sides. If you can only provide good light on one side, turn the plant intermittently to ensure uniform growth. Warmth (60-75 degrees F), average to moderate humidity, and regular water will keep them looking good. Let the pots become mostly dry between watering.
If you find one of these plants at a local nursery, buy a beautiful pot to place it in and add rich, all-purpose potting soil, such as Black Gold All Purpose Potting Mix, to fill in any gaps around the edges after planting. Be sure to leave at least an inch or two at the top for watering. An application of all-purpose slow-release fertilizer after planting will ensure they will stay fed and happy for up to six months.