In our long winter season, houseplants are a must to keep a gardener’s spirits up with green and blooming plants to nurture. After drooling over the seed and plant catalogs arriving daily and dreaming of Spring, I often visit my favorite local nursery’s greenhouse for a plant fix. While inhaling the humid greenhouse air and enjoying being surrounded by the greens, golds, blues, and silvers of living plants, I noticed some beautiful plants with heart shaped leaves. I thought I would love to receive one of these plants as a Valentine gift instead of cut flowers which last around a week – or maybe even more than chocolate.
One plant I really admired has heart shaped leaves and flowers — the anthurium.
Anthuriums (Anthurium andraeanum) have heart-shaped leaves and “flowers” which are really spathes, or specialized bracts. I love the shiny, waxy texture of these spathes. You can find them in shades of red, pink, white and even green. Anthuriums will bloom continuously if they have adequate light, fertilizer and moisture. They like bright indirect light and humidity. This tropical is sensitive to cold temperatures and can die if the temperature drops below 55F, so it is not for the cool greenhouse. As a bonus, anthurium is a natural air purifier!
I recently wrote an an article for the Horticultural Art Society’s newsletter which describes more Houseplants with Heart. You can read it Here — scroll down the page to find out about Heart Fern, String of Hearts and more!