All Hearts

In February heart-shaped gifts are everywhere!  In addition to roses for Valentine’s Day, consider something longer lived for your sweetheart.  Nothing says love more than a plant with heart-shaped leaves, right?  Whether indoors or outdoors, consider the following plants below for Valentine’s Day gifts for your sweetheart – or yourself!

Indoor Plants with Heart-shaped Leaves

Hedera helix. Photo courtesy of Cindy Haynes. 

Sweetheart Plant

Sweetheart plant (Hoya kerrii) is a succulent that is sold as a single, heart-shaped cutting in a pot.  While the thick, dark green heart-shaped leaf in a pot is super cute and unique, alas, the cutting rarely lasts, so treat this one as a temporary houseplant.  The full form of this plant (which is covered in heart-shaped leaves) is more durable and a long-lived houseplant, but just like true love, sometimes harder to find.

Heartleaf Philodendron

If your sweetheart is a novice gardener, consider the Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum or P. scandens).  This trailing vine is nearly impossible to kill.  Plants are adaptable to moderate or low light situations and inconsistent watering practices.


Another easy-to-grow trailing plant with green and gold heart-shaped leaves is golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum), but its other common name of devil’s ivy sometimes prevents its purchase for Valentine’s Day – no matter how worthy the plant is!

English Ivy

English ivy (Hedera helix), another vining plant, will occasionally have cultivars with heart-shaped leaves.

String of Hearts

String of hearts or Chain of hearts (Ceropegia woodii) is another vining plant with small gray and green, mottled, heart-shaped leaves. This vine is more delicate looking than heartleaf philodendron but almost as durable in bright light with regular watering.

Heartleaf Fern

There are many tropical ferns that perform well indoors as houseplants.  Heartleaf fern (Hemionitis arifolia) is unlike other ferns, as the leaves are dark, green, and distinctly heart-shaped.  For best growth, place this fern in bright, indirect light and keep it consistently moist.

The vibrant pink, red, white, or lavender flowers of the cyclamen have reflexed petals – giving them a windswept appearance. Photo courtesy of Cindy Haynes. 


Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) is widely available in February at garden centers, florists, and grocery stores.  The vibrant pink, red, white, or lavender flowers have reflexed petals – giving them a windswept appearance.  The leaves are dark green hearts with decorative silver markings on top.  Plants perform best in bright, indirect light, and cool temperatures (around 65F).

Flamingo Flower

Anthurium or Flamingo flower (Anthurium hybrids) is a show-stopping plant with heart-shaped leaves and flowers.  The waxy red, pink, or white flowers last for a long time indoors.  It brings an exotic or tropical touch to home décor.  Plants are best suited to bright, indirect light and consistent moisture.

Anthurium or Flamingo flower (Anthurium hybrids) is a show-stopping plant with heart-shaped leaves and flowers. Courtesy of Cindy Haynes. 

Outdoor Plants with Heart-shaped Leaves


Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a smaller tree (20-30 feet tall) with attractive pinkish-purple flowers in spring.  The gray-green heart-shaped leaves follow the flowers and turn a vibrant yellow in fall.  Redbud is native to the US and performs best in partial shade with fertile, well-drained soils.

Katsura Tree

For a larger tree with heart-shaped leaves consider the Katsura tree (Cercidipyllum japonicum).  The leaves are smaller than redbud, but the tree is larger (often 50 feet tall).  The leaves have scalloped edges and sometimes have a sweet scent when they drop in fall.

Littleleaf Linden

Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata) is a wonderful large shade tree (over 50 feet tall) with dark green, heart-shaped leaves.  Many lindens also have small, fragrant, yellowish flowers in early summer.  While this tree is often planted in urban areas with diverse conditions, it performs best in full sun with fertile, well-drained soils.


Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) is a large tree (over 50 feet tall) with large, showy, orchid-like white flowers in late spring. This fast-growing tree is native to the US and adaptable to diverse soils.  The heart-shaped leaves of catalpa are also large, sometimes 12 inches long. 

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day knowing that you and your sweetheart are surrounded by one of the symbols of love…. hearts! 


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