Every plant is beautiful and touches our hearts in a unique way, but some just strike us as especially romantic. Sometimes they tease us with fragrant scents, and other times charm us with eccentric leaves. Here are ten plants that symbolize love and make endearing gifts for Valentine’s Day.
Over the course of history, plants have developed their own language and symbolism. This was especially prevalent in Greek methodology and the early 1800s during the Victorian era. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the plants that symbolize the language of love:
- Roses – Because of their connection to love, red roses are the most popular flower given on Valentine’s Day Two by-products from roses include rose oil and rose water. Giving a single stem, of any colour rose, signifies “I love you”.
- Beetroot – Who would have connected the beetroot vegetable to plants that symbolize love? However, when you think about the deep red colour and shape, the understanding begins to emerge. Beets are a vegetable grown for their edible taproot. Sacred to Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love.
- Chrysanthemum – There are countless varieties and cultivars of this popular plant. While chrysanthemum is a perennial, the plants sold in garden centres should be treated as annuals. They are not bred to be hardy perennials. A red mum means ‘I love youwhile a rose-coloured mum symbolizes being ‘in love’.
- Dianthus and Carnations – Carnations feature lovely flowers, in numerous colours, on stiff 40cm stems making them ideal for flower bouquets. Therefore, these are some of the more traditional flowers we associate with love. While Dianthus caryophyllus is a perennial, we generally grow them as annuals or short-lived perennials in the garden.
- Strawberry – While popular to give chocolate-covered strawberries on Valentine’s Day, I never thought about the connection to love. Sweetness, fragrance, and flavour are its most important characteristics of strawberries. According to Greek legend, due to their colour and heart shape, strawberries are a symbol of lovefor Venus, the Goddess of Love.
- Lavender – So dainty, fragrant, and long-lasting in the garden. Lavender is an evergreen perennial shrub. It has wonderful aromatic leaves and flowers. Furthermore, the plant is a source of lavender oil and the dried flowers are used for potpourri. In the language of flowers, lavender brings to mind purity and devotion. Clothes scented with lavender will attract loveas will a note written on scented lavender paper. Maybe that’s why drawer liner paper is frequently scented with lavender.
- Thyme – Thyme is a woody perennial herb grown for the culinary use of its leaves. Thymus is a Greek word meaning ‘courage’. Love, purification, strength, and joy are also associated with thyme. How nice to include a few springs of thyme in a bouquet or give a plant to demonstrate love.
- Moth Orchid – The orchid is another sensuous flower known for its rare beauty. With their long-lasting wing-shaped blooms, they’ll continue to intrigue your partner throughout the year.
- Anthurium – With bright red heart-shaped spathes that are shiny like lipstick, the anthurium is one the most sensuous houseplants.
While bouquets of flowers are a traditional way of showing love and affection for someone, plants can provide equally powerful symbolism. In addition, plants will be around for a longer period to remind the receiver of that love.