Denver's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Denver, Colorado | 9NEWS.com

Valentine's Day alternatives to traditional roses

If you want to give a live plant, but your Valentine doesn’t have a green thumb, there are many options that are easy to care for and colorful!

DENVER — Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, but there is still plenty of time to put together a great, long-lasting gift for your sweetie. Chocolates and cut flower bouquets are the standard Valentine gift, but to show your loved one you really care, look to gifts that are longer lasting, like live plants in fun containers.

If you want to give a live plant, but your Valentine doesn’t have a green thumb, there are many options that are easy to care for and colorful. One of the easiest types of plants to grow are succulents. Succulents come in many shapes, textures, colors, and some even have bright flowers. Think outside the candy box and plant succulents in a heart-shaped container to mimic a box of chocolates, or plant them in a small, plastic lined basket. Make sure the container has holes in the bottom to drain the water and plant them in a fast draining soil mixture, such as a cactus mix. Most succulents need bright light and only need to be watered when the soil fully dries out. 

One popular type of succulent is the snake plant, also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. The Snake Plant doesn’t require much light, so it is great for an office desk that doesn’t have direct light from a window. They also require very little water. Depending on the environmental conditions, they may only need water once every two weeks or less! To make the gift even more special, place the Snake Plant in a personalized hand painted pot. Painting clay pots is a fun Valentine activity for kids and can create a special gift for a parent to take to work. They will think of you every time they look at their special plant on their desk.

Another option for lower light conditions is lucky bamboo. Around Valentine’s Day, you can often find lucky bamboo trained to grow in the shape of a heart. Lucky bamboo can be grown in water with pebbles for support.

Some other beautiful and colorful options for your Valentine include, but are not limited to, cyclamen, bromeliads, and orchids. Cyclamen is popular for Valentine’s Day because it has bright flowers in the traditional Valentine’s Day colors. They range from white, to soft or bright pinks, to red. They prefer bright light, moist soil, and cooler indoor temperatures. Tropical options include bromeliads and orchids. These plants come from similar tropical environments and require similar care. Many varieties require bright, indirect sunlight; humid air, or frequent spritzing with water; and fast draining soil. A bathroom with a window for light is a great environment for both bromeliads and orchids because the moisture from the shower or bath creates more warm humidity in the room. Place a few of these exotic plants around the bathtub to create a tropical-feeling Valentine’s stay-cation environment.

Plants and flowers aren’t just for the ladies, men enjoy the beauty and sense of peace and calm that plants bring as well. So, no matter who you are buying for, show your Valentine some love with a beautiful, long-lasting live plant!

RELATED: Rob Proctor's seed starting refresher course

RELATED: Use manure to improve the health and productivity of your garden

SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Animals and Wildlife