Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Beyond cut flowers; Valentine's Day plant ideas to give your fave gardener.

Rows of sweetheart hoya plants potted in small black containers. The plants have fleshy green leaves that resemble heart shapes.
wichatsurin/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Heart-shaped hoya plants are a fun gift for a gardener on your Valentine's Day list. Look for a full sweetheart hoya plant and not just this single heart-shaped leaf, which is harder to keep alive. The full plant will grow for years!

Always beautiful and welcomed, cut flowers, like long-stemmed roses are always a great go-to gift for Valentine's Day. And if you love a gardener, consider these fun plant alternatives, too.

Sweetheart Hoya
Usually a vining plant with big, fleshy leaves that are heart-shaped that you might find in garden centers with single, heart-shaped leaf cutting in soil. These make a lovely and fun Valentine's gift but you can go a step further. Try to find the whole plant, not just the cutting, and it will last for years.

Moth Orchids
Not only do these orchids look dramatic and beautiful, they are also make a great, easy-care house plant gift.

If you took a moth orchid, put it in a room with indirect light and did nothing, as in - didn't water it, didn't even talk to it - it would still flower in spite of your non-interaction AND it will last longer than cut flowers!

More on moth orchids from Vermont Public - Vermont Garden Journal: Get Your Orchids To Bloom Again

Depending on its root system, this orchid will last for weeks, sometimes months. And if the moth-orchid receiver is really into gardening, they can take care of it and have it come back again next year to flower next winter.

Cut flowers
If you received cut flowers for Valentine's Day, take a few steps to ensure they'll look beautiful for days after you bring them home.

First, if they are wrapped in cellophane, take off that plastic sleeve and strip off and leaves that are near the bottoms of the stems. Next, re-cut the stem bottoms under warm, running water. (This ensures you don't get air bubbles into the stem that could interrupt water uptake).

Choose a clean, appropriately sized vase for your flower bunch; make sure it's big enough to accommodate your flowers and plenty of fresh water. Then add warm water and the floral fertilizer packet to the vase.

The packets that come with your cut flowers work well and supply some sugar for your flowers as well as an antibacterial element to keep them fresh. For a home-made, natural version, try apple cider vinegar in the water.

Finally, add your cut flowers to the vase and display them in a cool room. Change out the water every couple of days and they'll last not just days, but weeks.

Q: I just put my boots on, trudged through the snow to my elevated bed, and I picked some rosemary to use for tonight's dinner. I'm floored that we continue to enjoy it fresh from the garden in Vermont January. On the other hand, the one I bought into the house to overwinter lasted like a month or so. Have you ever heard of this happening? - June, in Essex

A: Rosemary is hardy to 10 degrees! So, this tracks that your plant would still be hanging in there in January when it was unusually warm in Vermont.

As for the indoor rosemary plant, trying to overwinter it takes a couple of steps.

Put the rosemary plant in the sunniest room you have or place it under a grow light. Ensure that the plant is getting good airflow around it. And each time you water it, water thoroughly then let the soil dry out.

This should help your indoor rosemary plant carry over the winter. Come spring, put it into a new container and bring it outdoors for the spring and summer.

All Things Gardening is powered by you, our audience! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie may answer them in upcoming episodes.

You can also leave a voicemail with your gardening question by calling Vermont Public at 1-800-639-2192.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition with Vermont Public host Mary Williams Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch by tweeting us @vermontpublicWe've closed our comments. Read about all the ways to get in touch here.

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.