Roses have become a very common and an easy option, making them a less thoughtful gift on this occasion that celebrates love. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK


Alternative flowers to gift your loved one this Valentine’s Day

One of the age-old Valentine's Day customs involves giving red roses. They are seductively elegant as they are fragrant. However, roses have become a very common and an easy option, making them a less thoughtful gift on this occasion that celebrates love.

Worry not, there are other options that are especially perfect for plant lovers and anyone who appreciates the beauty of nature.

Lucy Wairimu Kioi, the founder of Planty Kenya, a shop that sells a variety of flowers, says nothing expresses love and affection on this special day like a unique plant.

Here are her recommendations:

Lucky bamboo: These are known for their symbolism of good fortune and are often associated with positive energy. Planty Kenya's lucky bamboo arrangements can make meaningful and elegant Valentine's Day gifts.

Succulent packages: These are carefully curated succulent packages that include a variety of beautiful and low-maintenance succulent plants. These packages can be paired to your loved one's favourite colour as the dominant.

Plants in cute ceramic pots: It’s not always about banquettes. Lucy says one will never go wrong with potted flowers. They include succulents or other greenery, presented in adorable ceramic pots. These arrangements are not only visually appealing but also make for delightful and long-lasting gifts.

Succulents in heart-shaped planters: For a romantic touch, one can offer succulents arranged in heart-shaped planters.

Poinsettias: Though traditionally associated with the holiday season, poinsettias can make a stunning and unique Valentine's Day gift. Their vibrant red and green foliage can add a pop of colour to the occasion.

Poinsettias can make a stunning and unique Valentine's Day gift. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

These unique plant gifts, Lucy says, offer a creative and eco-friendly way to express your affection and appreciation on Valentine's Day.

"Whether it's a succulent package, a heart-shaped planter, or a potted rose, each option provides a lasting and memorable way to celebrate the occasion," she says.

If you need help choosing flowers to gift your loved ones, Benjamin Mwongela of Carnations Landscapes Kenya has provided a list of alternatives to roses.

Orchids: These are a brilliant choice for Valentine's Day. They represent unity, love, beauty, and unbridled passion. These beautiful and rare wildflowers embody the spirit of love and resilience in relationships.


Orchids represent unity, love, beauty, and unbridled passion. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Orchids are sturdy flowers that grow easily and quickly. They bloom for months or even years, serving as a perfect reminder of your love every time your date passes by the flowers.

Gardenias: They are named after Alexander Garden of Charleston, South Carolina, and symbolise love, refinement, and purity. It is no surprise that gardenias are often included in wedding floral arrangements.

Jasmine: Instead of fresh-cut flowers, consider giving your Valentine a potted houseplant that will thrive well beyond the winter season. If your partner is wooed by sweetly scented flowers, you might consider giving them aromatic star jasmine. If it's visual beauty they crave, offer them a stunning bleeding heart.

Geraniums: Geraniums symbolise good health and joy, and the Scorpio birth flower. White geraniums were thought to drive away snakes, and pink ones were used in love spells.

Geranium plants. PHOTO | BILLY OGADA | NMG

Sweet Williams: These signify gallantry. It should be of no surprise therefore that the Duchess of Cambridge chose to include the white Sweet William in her wedding bouquet in 2011 – in honour of her own gallant Prince, no doubt.

Sunflowers: A perfect choice to brighten up the day of your mom, a friend, or even your partner on Valentine's Day. These cheerful beauties represent warmth, happiness, and loyalty, making them the perfect mood lifter.

Tulips: They are commonly associated with spring, but they also hold a deeply romantic meaning. They symbolise a perfect and enduring love. Red tulips are most strongly connected with romance, but there are other tulip colours that are relevant to Valentine's Day.

Pink tulips represent happiness and affection, while yellow tulips convey joy and cheer. Purple tulips, on the other hand, are associated with royalty, nobility, and elegance, making them an ideal choice for someone who deserves to be treated like a king or queen. Overall, tulips are among the top ten most romantic flowers for Valentine's Day.


"Just remember that it's not about how much you spend or what you choose to gift. The simple act of considering them on this special day of celebrating love will warm their heart," says Lucy.