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Indoor Plants with Heart Shaped Leaves
What does the classic play and movie “Fiddler on the Roof” have in common with Valentine’s Day? The one trait shared by both is tradition. These are the customs, celebrations and beliefs that have been passed down from one generation to the next and will continue to live on.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, tradition is typically expressed through chocolates, roses, and heartfelt cards. While I’m a firm believer in tradition, I always enjoy giving tradition a bit of a twist. In this case, that bit of “twist” is the gift of a plant with heart-shaped leaves or flowers. It’s a timeless way to express your love to family and friends, and not only for right now but for many years to come.
Houseplants offer many examples. Peperomia, heart-leaf philodendron (a.k.a., the sweetheart plant), satin pothos and golden pothos are easy-to-grow houseplants with heart-shaped leaves. Caladium requires a bit more care indoors but really dazzles with color via paper-thin foliage in varying combinations of red, pink, white and green. And for a houseplant with the truest of heart-shaped leaves, sweetheart hoya (Hoya kerrii), also known as Valentine’s hoya, is worth growing for the leaves alone. However the long-lasting exotic flowers will surely impress any green-thumbed gardener.
Two other indoor plants with heart-shaped leaves are African violet and cyclamen. Both offer exotic flair, textural interest and colorful blooms. And, for the more adventurous at heart, flamingo flower (Anthurium scherzerianum) has dramatic, luxurious leaves shaped like an elongated heart. The exotic blooms–which are actually spathes with the glossy and puckered flower spike forming out of the center–last for many weeks from spring to late summer.
Many outdoor plants also delight with heart-shaped leaves or flowers. Wild ginger, hosta, and bishop’s hat (Epimedium) wear their heart in their leaves and all thrive in the more shady areas of the garden.
The leaves of some hosta varieties–such as ‘Camelot’, ‘Heart and Soul’, ‘Bright Lights’, and ‘Blue Moon’–are more heart-shaped than others. Then there are those that express love in their names, such as ‘Purple Heart’, ‘Happy Hearts’, ‘Love Pat’, and ‘Heart’s Content’. And if you’re so inclined, there’s even a hosta named ‘Hanky Panky’.
As for flowers, who can resist the clusters of dainty heart-shaped blooms of bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis & hybrids)? This graceful plant has delicate fernlike foliage and spring flowers in shades of white, cream, pink, rose and red.
Whether grown indoors or outside, many of these plants can be found at your local Kmart. Keep in mind that most and maybe all of the plants destined for outdoors will be dormant when you buy them, which gives plenty of time for your intended to decide where to locate the plant in their garden. Include a picture or photo tag of what’s to come along with care instructions. Come spring or summer when the plant is in bloom it will be like receiving the gift all over again.
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