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Valentine's Day plants

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Valentine's Day is coming up and I am sure a lot of people are trying to come up with that special gift to give your significant other.

Some will decide to get chocolate, others a nice dinner, while there will be a group that decide flowers are the way to go.

It is important to realize that if you decide to give your significant other flowers, there is another floral option besides a dozen roses.

The other floral option is a live plant.

Live plants can be purchased at retail stores and from florists.

There are a few different plants that are lovely to give around Valentine's Day.

Those that I am referring to include anthurium, cyclamen, heartleaf philodendron and orchid.

Anthurium is also called "Heart of Hawaii," and is known for its large, shiny, heart-shaped leaves.

The flower of this plant ranges in color from scarlet, pink, while and lilac.

Once it blooms, the flower will last for weeks and is an excellent flower to use in a flower arrangement.

It is best to plant anthuriums in coarse, well-drained soil and place it where it can receive bright, indirect light.

Cyclamen is another plant with heart-shaped leaves.

It is often adorned with flowers that can be white, pink, red and lavender.

The flowers are often described as birds in flight.

What is truly unique about this plant's leaves is the white colored water markings that adorn them.

Cyclamens range in size, but thrive best with bright light, cooler temperatures and well-drained soil.

For a beginner gardener, heartleaf philodendron is an excellent plant to have.

It is easy to find and easy to grow.

It is a vine with heart-shaped leaves that grows great in hanging baskets or by wrapping around upright supports.

It tends to thrive in moderate indirect light with moist soil and high humidity.

Orchids are exciting, colorful flowers that are very unique.

However, they can be difficult to care for.

Orchids do best when placed near a window that faces east or west.

You should only water your orchid every seven to 12 days and fertilize every other watering.

You should only need to repot your orchid ever year to 18 months.

When potting, only use a soilless orchid potting mix.

Orchids grow best when potted in a plastic pot with holes in the bottom.

For someone just starting out with an orchid, it is best to purchase a phalaenopsis (moth) orchid.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Feb. 11 -- Farm Management Program, 6-8 p.m., Clay County 4-H Exhibit Hall,

* Feb. 12 -- Start of Master Gardeners, 6-9 p.m. Cost is $115, at Owen County Extension Office,

* Feb. 16 -- Bi-State Leader Clinic, 8:30 a.m., Cloverdale, and

* Feb. 19 -- Start of Annie's Project, 1-4 p.m. Cost is $75, at Owen County Extension Office. Call 812-829-5020 to sign up.



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