The joy of receiving a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers is often offset by the subsequent sadness of watching their petals fall off and their stems turn to mush. Most won’t last more than a week, which is one of the reasons you should consider a potted plant or flower this Valentine's Day.
“A potted plant is long-lasting, a reminder for months—or possibly even years—of the giver’s thought and generosity,” gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi says. “It also sends the message you’re in love for the long haul.”
Here are 10 more reasons to consider potted plants over a bouquet this Valentine’s Day.
“Flowering potted plants are often associated with cost savings,” Nardozzi says. “For example, a dozen roses around Valentine’s Day can run you $50 and up, while a miniature rose plant, kalanchoe, or cyclamen will cost half as much.”
They Add to your Decor
Dress up windowsills with succulents, suspend a Boston fern or satin pothos from a macrame hanger, or add a bold statement to the corner of a room with a palm or a fiddle leaf fig. plant.
“Potted plants make your surroundings more beautiful and are an easy way to style up your living space,” Peg Reynolds, the owner of Reynolds Garden Shop and Landscaping in Manahawkin, New Jersey, says. “There are many beautiful ceramic, terracotta, and mixed metals pots on the market that will enhance your décor."
They Can Purify the Air
It’s well known that living plants produce oxygen throughout the day, but research also shows they can help rid the air of common toxins and indoor pollutants. “One study. revealed a single bromeliad houseplant removed 80% of six volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air,” Reynolds notes.
Other houseplants in the study found to remove VOCs include spider, jade, and dracaena plants.
They Can Help Reduce Stress
Surrounding yourself with indoor potted plants can reduce anxiety, according to Reynolds. “Studies show putting a plant on your work desk such as a bonsai or kokedama can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure,” she says.
The act of caring for your plants has also been shown to decrease stress. “When we surround ourselves with plants, we experience a natural, living sanctuary which makes us feel warm and loved," Reynolds shares. "Next time you’re watering your plants, slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy the moment.”
Next time you’re watering your plants, slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy the moment.
They Can be Propagated and Shared
Potted flowers like geraniums, begonias, and holiday cactus can be easily propagated, creating a new plant you can share.
“Take a 4-inch long cutting from the end of your plant’s branch just above a leaf or bud, dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder (available at most garden centers), and stick it into a pot filled with moistened potting soil," Reynolds explains. "Place in a bright, warm area, and watch it root within a few weeks.”
They Come in a Variety of Styles
“With the recent upsurge in the popularity of live houseplants, garden and nursery centers are stocking their aisles with beautiful flowering potted plants and those with decorative foliage, like Rex begonias, that can be even more striking than fresh cut flowers,” gardening blogger Claire Jones shares. “Choose from orchids, kalanchoe, cyclamen, anthurium, and star jasmine or consider a potted herb or a heart-shaped succulent, like the Hoya Heart plant.”
They Lend a Hand in the Kitchen
“A pot of herbs such as rosemary, parsley, or sage can come in handy for the kitchen chef, while a pot of peppermint is an ideal gift for a tea lover,” Nardozzi says. “Put them in a sunny window away from any drafts and then plant them outdoors when the weather warms up for a summer of fresh herbs.”
They Smell Beautiful
“Rubbing the leaves of fragrant geraniums, lemon verbena, lavender, and peppermint will bring a beautiful scent into your home,” Nardozzi notes.
They're Easy Enough for Non-Gardeners
“You don’t have to have a green thumb to grow and care for a potted plant,” Nardozzi says. “Many indoor plants, such as moth orchids, flamingo flower, peace lily, and holiday cactus will flower for months with little care.”
They Support Local Businesses
While many cut flowers come from out-of-state and from other countries, you can source potted plants from area greenhouses and florists, which in turn supports your local businesses, Nardozzi notes.