I have always loved heart-shaped plants, and what could be better for Valentine’s Day? While I’m not one to snub red roses or flowers of any kind or color for that matter, I do love heart-shaped plants partly because plants are usually easy to grow and last longer.
Carol Michel and I also talked about heart-shaped plants on the Gardenangelists podcast this week.
First up is the number-one plant on Instagram, Hoya kerrii, which is actually a succulent cutting. This Costa Farms Live Hoya Heart in its “love” planter is super cute. You can also find the same Hoya Heart on this website. Your sweet little hoya will hopefully grow into a longer series of hearts, which might surprise you. The one I bought off of Etsy is variegated.
You know how much I love my variegated plants! It took a long time to get here, but my hoya had some roots which I appreciate. I placed it in a terra cotta planter in cactus soil and didn’t water for four or five days as instructed. Succulents often need time to get established before watering to prevent rot.
Probably my favorite heart-shaped leaf is the string of hearts or rosary plant, Ceropegia woodii, aka, C. linearis ssp. woodii. Whatever its botanical name is, it’s string of hearts to me. I have both the regular form and the variegated one.
Let me tell you, the variegated string of hearts is such a slow grower, you need a lot of time to make a larger plant. My regular string of hearts also came from an Etsy seller. It is a succulent vine found in 1881 by John Medley Wood, curator of the Durban Botanic Gardens. Thirteen years later, he sent a cutting to Kew Gardens. In my greenhouse in winter, string of hearts flowers which makes it even more fun. I grow it outdoors in partial shade in summer, or if it’s extremely hot, I bring it inside to my living room. Since it is a succulent, you don’t need to water it very often.
Two easy-to-grow heart-shaped plants are philodendron and pothos. Two cool varieties are named ‘Neon’ in both plant groups. I especially love ‘Neon’ pothos for its delicate leaves. So pretty on my fireplace mantel. I’m in love with ‘Brasil’ aka ‘Brazil’ philodendron too because of its interesting leaf variegation. I found mine locally at the Plant Shoppe located on Film Row in downtown Oklahoma City next to the Stitch Cafe. Although the Plant Shoppe is tiny, it is probably the hippest place to buy plants in the city. After you purchase, you can take your small plant and go have some coffee next door and read a book.
Sounds like a perfect interlude to me.
You can grow these trailing plants to trail off a surface, or up a sphagnum moss pole, or a coir totem pole. You can buy these poles or make them. So far, I like to let my trailing plants trail, but if you had a lot of plants, the pole method is a good one to save space. You will also need pins to attach your vine to the pole.
Finally, cyclamen, I hate you. I’ve bought these gift plants many, many times at various places. They always die. They look grand in the store, but if I buy one, I will be taking it home to a slow, or sometimes, quick death. I don’t need that kind of aggravation.
In the comments below, let me know what you got for Valentine’s Day. If you didn’t get what you want, go buy yourself a heart-shaped plant. You won’t regret it!