image of tulips

A DIY Valentine’s Day

I enjoyed reading Dealnews’ tongue-in-cheek take on ways to save money on Valentine’s Day bouquets. Since forcing roses into bloom in February is tricky and probably best left to those hardy plant lovers who might be up to the challenge, I thought I’d offer a few alternate suggestions for intrepid romeos looking for a DIY source for Valentine’s flowers.

1) Camellias – For those in zone 6 and warmer, Camellias could be a simple way to get a rose-like flower. They are part of the rose family, and some of them bloom naturally in winter. Make sure to look for varieties that will bloom December through March, and pay attention to your hardiness zone. Some varieties are more tender than others. Keep in mind, these will look more like species roses, not the hybrid tea varieties you’d be getting at the flower shop.

2) Forcing bulbs – If you like the idea of forcing flowers for your Valentine’s bouquet, several flowering bulbs work well for that, and it’s pretty easy to do without a greenhouse. Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are probably the most common bulbs for this type of treatment. Pot up the bulbs, put them in a dark place and when you see green starting to appear on the bulbs, move them to a sunny room. Each type of bulb has different specific needs, so you’ll want to research the process for your chosen variety, but this may be one of the easiest solutions to the DIY flower problem.

3) Dried roses – If you still want to grow your own roses, you could plant some lovely varieties, let them bloom naturally, and dry the flowers. Come February, you could present them as a bouquet. Depends on your significant other – if he or she would enjoy a dried bouquet, go for it!

3) Silks – I can’t help but think this is something my dad might have tried as a joke. It sounds like him: buying a bunch of silk flowers and giving the same bouquet to my mom year after year. I have no proof, but I bet he thought about it! As a girl, I wouldn’t recommend it.

4) Non-bouquet options – Giving flowers doesn’t have to involve a bouquet of cut flowers. If you want a gift that will continue to provide flowers for years to come, perhaps a flowering house plant is the way to go. Just keep in mind the light needs of the plant. Orchid, gardenia and jasmine are all beautiful options, but you’ll want to choose something that will thrive in the living conditions you’ll provide.

Enjoy your flower-giving adventures!