A couple browses a selection of epiphytic plants including Night Blooming Cereus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) at Tula Plants & Design. A couple browses a selection of epiphytic plants including Night Blooming Cereus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) at Tula Plants & Design.

Save A Flower, Give A Plant!

So Valentine's Day, an anniversary, or a birthday are coming up, and you'd like to break away from the tired red rose cliche. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love flowers, but the sad reality is that they are dead in a week.

And there was a lot of carbon put into growing and transporting each stem only to last for a few short days.

Which is why I love plants that will grow, bloom, and thrive for the long run. Your plant could tell a story one day. Now that’s romantic.

As for aesthetic and making a statement, that will always depend on your sweetheart’s style. But I will say that matching a beautiful planter to a plant makes for more of a statement. Just make sure your planter has drainage, you’re repotting with the right soil structure and buying the correct planter size (go one size up from the nursery pot). So, if the plant is sold in a 4" nursery pot then you’ll want to buy a 6" planter and so on.

As always, when choosing a plant, we first have to consider the environment of your beloved. Do they live in a low light apartment with very little sunlight or does sunshine stream through at different parts of the day? The longevity of your gift starts with light.

For medium to low light conditions:

 

Tradescantia pallida, or purple heart, a flowering, easy care purple plant, photographed at Tula Plants & Design.

 

Tradescantia Nanouk (Tradescantia albiflora ‘Nanouk’): The leaves of this trailing perennial are a deep purple and green variegation with stunning violet undersides. They bloom little pink/white blossoms that look like hearts. Easy care and fast growing, this is the kind of plant that you can propagate and spread around your home in different pots.

Take One Home

 

Tillandsia, or Air Plants, arranged in a bouquet and photographed at Tula Plants & Design.

Air Plants (Tillandsia): For a really creative take on a bouquet, try arranging a collection of air plants in a cone of paper. No vase needed, these fully living plants will enjoy bright indirect light, misting, and the occasional soak. And when conditions are right, they might even flower for you. 

Take One Home

 

Calathea lancifolia, or Rattlesnake plant, paired with a PMD liberty bell terra cotta pot, for sale online at Tula Plants & Design. 

Rattlesnake Plant (Calathea lancifolia): This vibrant plant has all of the beauty and none of the bite of its common namesake. Between the rattle pattern on top of the leaves and the blushing red on the bottom, this humidity-loving tropical from Brazil is a show stopper that makes the perfect gift when paired with the perfect pot.

Take One Home

 

Oxalis triangularis, or false shamrock, paired with a liberty bell terra cotta pot, for sale at Tula Plants & Design.

False Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis): We love this clover-like plant for its weightless look and the way it can provide a splash of purple in a spread of lush green tropicals. Fully edible (by humans, not pets), you can give this plant, then use it as a garnish on a special celebratory meal.

Take One Home

 

For high light conditions:

A Tula Plants & Design employee holds a large, bare root Cereus forbesii 'spiralis,' a spiraling totem cactus.

Any and all Cacti: I don’t like to generalize, but men love cacti. It’s just a fact and we see it so often at Tula. Make sure you identify the species and find out when it will bloom – cactus blooms are AMAZING! Some of our favorites are the echinocereus, myrtillocactus geometrizans (forma cristata), all Mammillaria species… the list goes on.

Shop Cacti

 

 

String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) in a hanging planter for sale at Tula Plants & Design.

String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii): As a gift, this plant speaks for itself. Each glorious limb carries a chain of cascading purple-green hearts. Watch lavender-violet flowers blossom in spring and summer, and propagate with ease.  Give cuttings to friends! This medium light succulent is the epitome of the gift that keeps on giving.

Take One Home

 

 

A flowering Epiphyllum Oxypetalum, or night blooming cereus, an epiphytic cactus that flowers at night.

Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum): My personal favorite. A subtle and unassuming plant, the Night Blooming Cereus is an orchid cactus native to Central and Northern South America. This beauty blooms only at night, with flowers the size of your hand and an intoxicating fragrance. The blooms will only last 12 hours so you have to catch them when they’re opening. In the right conditions, the Epiphyllum could bloom multiple times through the summer into fall – I’ve had 30 blooms on our Epiphyllum at home in one night. It was incredible!

Take One Home

 

Alocasia Polly, also known as African Mask plant.

Alocasia ‘polly’: Native to South America and the Carribean, these tropical beauties grow a unique white pattern on their leaves (similar to the harder to find Anthurium plants listed above). They will also bloom, but the leaf pattern is more of a statement than the blooms.

Take One Home

 

There you have it, lovers. Hope this helps to find your beloved a green gift that keeps giving.

Tula Founders Christan Summers and Ivan Martinez behind animated leaf masks. Ivan, on the right, is wearing Alocasia Polly, also known as African Mask plant.