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Romantic Plants Express Your Love

Updated on February 10, 2018
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna writes about the care of plants (indoors, outdoors, and in gardens). She wrote an orchid care booklet—a companion piece for workshops.

Show Your Love

Living, blooming plants say, “I love you” which is the best way to show your love for Valentine’s Day, anniversary, special occasion, or just to say those magical words. Most people who send or receive a flowering plant are unaware of the traditions behind giving plants and the meanings attached to each flowering plant.

It begins with what you want to say to the receiver. Are you truly in love? Is the relationship just blossoming? Is the relationship just a friendship with the hope of more? Whatever you want to say or express to your intended, you can say it with a flowering plant by following these simple but effective traditions.


Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of the character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.

— Lydia M. Child

Courtship in the Middle Ages

People have been expressing their love with plants since the Middle Ages. Courtship during these ancient times was very restrictive. Outwardly affection was a taboo, so the language of plants became quite an art. Plants allowed couples to express themselves in a clever approach without being conspicuous.

Today, people are freer to express themselves openly in public. They can hold hands, hug, and kiss in a park or on a street corner. Expressing ones true feelings with plants is not as common as it was in the ancient times. The loving act is still done today but not as prevalent.

A woman would be overjoyed to receive a lasting gift like a flowering plant because she would nurture and care for the plant as if she were showing her love to the giver. In all, here is an opportunity to find out which flowering plant you can give to your loved one that expresses your true and honest feelings.


Medieval Approach to Love

Be a true romantic by taking a medieval approach to your love. On Valentine’s Day give an arrangement of an orchid, violets, and ivy in a white ceramic bowl. Your message to your beloved says she is beautiful (orchid), that you are faithful (violets), that you want her above all else (ivy) and that you are passionate (white ceramic bowl). Pretty potent stuff.

Still being romantic, you can interchange the orchid with a gardenia to say your love is secret but joyful. If you are self-conscious, you can send a cyclamen instead to say you are too shy to openly express your devotion and passion.


"What's in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (2.2.45-7)

— William Shakespeare

Victorian Approach

Take a Victorian approach. You can give a miniature rose to show your love. Chose a red miniature rose to say, “I Love You.“ Adding ivy to the miniature rose you are saying, “I love you above all else.”

Rather than send your sweetheart red roses, why not send red tulips with a white orchid as a living arrangement to say, “You are beautiful. Trust me. I love you.”

Relationship is Budding

Jasmine is a fragrance plant you can give to a friend because it expresses friendship. If your relationship is just budding and you are not sure where the courtship will lead, you can give an azalea saying, “Let’s not go too fast. Let’s restrain ourselves.” Place the azalea in a light pink ceramic bowl, adding “But, I feel joy and gladness.”


Deep Red Heart Shapes

“The Flower with a Heart” is called by Hawaiians while other plant owners call it the tailflower, flamingo flower, or flame plant. Giving an anthurium as a gift on Valentine’s Day, means the lasting deep red heart shapes offer your all-consuming love and obsession.

If you think you need to be restrained, present white, lavender, or pink anthurium. The heart shapes of the tropical plant say “love” no matter which color you choose.

If you want to offer a flaming red plant, but not as hot in meaning, you can cool it down by placing the heart shape gift in a reddish-orange plant container. You are telling the intended pleasure, desire, and above all a yearning for action.


Fond Memories

Another tropical favorite flowering plant as a symbol of love is the bromeliad. Like the anthurium, there is no special meaning for the rainforest flora but its cousin the pineapple means “fond memories.” Perhaps the sturdy and inflorescence plant of red, orange, yellow or pink colors expresses the enduring love that will continue forever.


How well do you know the meaning of flowering plants?

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Flowering Plant Gift

When you decide to send a flowering plant to someone you love, you have some options to consider. You can make your choice based on the traditions of giving plants and the meanings attached to them.

Take a moment to reflect your intended message to the one you love. What are you trying to say? What is the purpose of giving a flowering plant? Questions like these will help you display your message that will last and last because the receiver will see the plant every day, caring and nurturing it for the love it symbolizes.

© 2018 Kenna McHugh


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    • profile image


      2 weeks ago

      This article gave me some ideas on how I can express my love through giving live plants. I agree. Giving a living flower is so much more potent than a bunch of cut flowers.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      7 weeks ago from Northern California

      Hi Anne, Orchids are cultivated in hothouses and are shipped to the retailers where they are kept in cellophane for protection until they are purchased and brought to their new home. To answer your question, I am not sure which region your wedding will take place, but if it is cold (minus 72 degrees) then the orchids will not make it from the wedding to the homes of your recipients. In other words, they will take the orchids home and the flowers will drop off in a couple of days from the shock of the colder temperature. They should last through your wedding reception. I recommend something like cut flower arrangements with baby's breath in glass vases. That way you can use the preservative the florist offers. The arrangements will last 3 - 4 days at their home.

    • profile image


      8 weeks ago

      I would love to have orchids at my wedding. They are so beautiful and I could give them as gifts after the wedding ceremony. Do orchids grow well in February?

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      10 months ago from Northern California

      Thelma, Thank you for reading my article. The meaning of plants and flowers is fascinating. I am so glad to share this with whoever reads it.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      10 months ago from Germany and Philippines

      Awesome flowers. I never thought that many flowers have meanings in giving and receiving them. I only know about the meaning of the rose but not jasmine or ivy. Thanks for the heads up.


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