Flowers and chocolate may be the traditional tokens of love. But, for something longer lasting, a houseplant with heart-shaped leaves is the perfect treat for Valentine's Day.
In fact, whether you're looking for a gift for yourself or for a green-fingered friend, a new indoor plant is always a good idea. They help to beautify our homes, which can help improve our mood, and caring for them is rewarding, too.
Of course, there are tons to choose from – but one with heart-shaped foliage suits the season perfectly. Below, the houseplant experts share their top choices.
5 of the best houseplants with heart-shaped leaves, chosen by the pros
These swoon-worthy suggestions, including trailing and flowering varieties, make gorgeous additions to a living space.
1. Arrowhead plant
Juliette Vassilkioti, the founder of My City Plants, says she adores arrowhead plants for their ease of care and kaleidoscope of leaf patterns and colors. 'As the plants mature, they might develop trailing or climbing stems and larger leaves, adding a playful touch to any space.'
They grow happily in low- to medium-light environments, Juliette says. Avoid direct sunlight, and make sure the soil doesn't dry out completely between waterings, she adds. 'Regular pruning is recommended to maintain the plant’s full and appealing shape.'
We love the 'Neon Robusta' arrowhead plant from Lively Root for its pretty pinkish leaves.
Juliette, a horticultural expert and plant educator, is the driving force behind My City Plants. Her goal is to transform lifeless office spaces into vibrant, green sanctuaries. She and her team are responsible for the health and growth of thousands of different types of plants, helping numerous New Yorkers establish a bond with nature.
A recommendation from Vladan Nikolic (Mr. Houseplant), string-of-hearts (available from The Sill) are trailing plants with delicate, heart-shaped leaves. In summer, they often produce small, pink flowers.
When caring for a string-of-hearts, Vladan recommends repotting annually to give it fresh soil, filled with all the important nutrients. 'Since this plant is a succulent, it’s sensitive to overwatering and should be grown in a well-draining and loose potting soil,' he adds.
A spot with bright but indirect light is best.
Vladan Nikolic, otherwise known as Mr. Houseplant, is a houseplant expert with over 10 years of experience. He is the founder of the houseplant care blog MrHouseplant.com and also an influencer who helps newcomers in the houseplant world become great plant parents. You can find him on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
They consistently display their beautiful flowers throughout the year, says Juliette. These come in an array of colors – white, pink, and red – making them a vibrant focal point, she adds.
'Easy to care for, the anthurium thrives in medium light, and is best kept away from direct sun exposure,' Juliette continues. 'It's crucial not to let the soil dry out completely. Instead, maintain a consistently moist but not overly wet soil between waterings for optimal health and vitality.'
Autumn Hilliard-Knapp of Perfect Plants Nursery says, 'The Monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, is a popular and striking houseplant that brings a touch of tropical vibes into any indoor space.'
Its leaves begin as heart-shaped and bright green, Autumn says. As they grow, they become large, glossy, and fenestrated, making the plant instantly recognizable.
Caring for a monstera isn't too tricky. 'This plant thrives in bright, indirect light but can also adapt to lower light conditions,' Autumn says. She recommends watering it thoroughly, and then allowing the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. 'This plant enjoys a moderately humid environment, so misting the leaves or placing a tray of water nearby can help increase humidity levels.' This can benefit many other tropical plants, too.
Cleaning the leaves regularly with a soft cloth will keep them free from dust, Autumn adds.
You can shop monsteras from Lively Root.
Autumn is a horticulture specialist and marketing professional at Perfect Plants Nursery. With four years of experience in the horticulture industry, she has developed a passion for helping people create beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy. Her expertise in horticulture encompasses a broad range of activities, including plant care and selection, landscape design, and maintenance.
5. Heart-leaf Philodendron
Also known as the Philodendron hederaceum, the heart-leaf philodendron is another trailing, tropical plant, and similar to a pothos. 'The leaves reach the size of 2–4in, but the plant’s trailing vines can grow more than 4ft,' says Vladan. 'It’s usually grown in hanging baskets to display the lush foliage, but can also be trained to climb up a trellis or pole.'
When caring for philodendrons, provide plenty of bright light. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent leaf burns, Vladan says. Regular misting is beneficial to increase the surrounding humidity level.
What are some good heart-leaved houseplants for small spaces?
Trailing plants, such as the string-of-hearts of heart-leaf philodendron, are generally good choices for compact areas. They can be hung from the ceiling to make the most of available vertical space, and will create a beautiful botanical aesthetic.
However, if you're looking for something less sprawling, you can't beat the sweetheart succulent – a tiny plant perfect for prettifying a desk or bedside table where space is limited.
Which are the easiest heart-leaved houseplants to care for?
Arrowhead plants are considered low-maintenance houseplants and are a good choice for beginner plant parents.
String-of-hearts is an easy indoor plant, too, due to its tolerance to drought. Just remember to be careful with its fragile stems. Similarly, heart-leaf philodendrons are relatively drought-tolerant and undemanding.
With the right care routine, houseplants can last for years. However, if you love a floral pick-me-up at this time of year, too (who doesn't?), the most romantic spring flowers are difficult to resist.
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The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then; over the years, she's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator. Having worked for Gardeningetc.com for two years, Holly now regularly writes about plants and outdoor living for Homes & Gardens.
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