Red roses have stood the test of time as the classic flower of love. So this Valentine’s Day, like the countless others before it, you can expect to see a rush for red roses as lovers seek to reaffirm the strength of the bond between them. Still, red roses are somewhat cliché when you consider there are many other rose colors and flower types available for Valentine’s Day.
While we are still months away, it’s not too early to start thinking about what kind of flowers you are going to surprise that special person with. Here are some practical ideas.
1. Non-Red Roses
White roses usually represent a fresh start or purity. When combined with red roses in an arrangement, they symbolize unity. Warmer rose colors like peach and yellow stand for gratitude and friendship, respectively.
Orange roses are the floral epitome of energy and passion. Pink stands for poise, sweetness or femininity. Lighter pink may be associated with happiness and gentleness. Darker pink is acknowledgment and appreciation.
All of these non-red roses can be part of a Valentine’s floral gift to symbolize the different aspects of your relationship that you treasure. You can top it all off with beautiful succulents for Valentine’s Day that the recipient can save and replant. That way, your gift keeps on giving long after the special day has passed.
2. Baby’s Breath
Baby’s breath is a flower you have probably seen rose bouquets. Its dainty blooms convey diverse meanings, all of which can be linked to the celebration of love.
The flower’s white speaks to the usual traits of fresh beginnings, purity and innocence. However, baby’s breath is also a statement of eternal love, whether it is romantic, familial or platonic. Some also attribute this flower to a sense of self-discipline in romance and a rekindling of a love lost.
3. Calla Lilies
You have likely seen calla lilies at religious events and weddings. They do have their own Greek myth that associates them with fertility and lust. However, thanks to their regular depiction in Christian art, they are also linked to resurrection, purity and faith.
Whereas calla lilies bear a similar color symbolism to roses, black stands for enigmatic elegance while purple is the color of passion.
Daisies have plenty of meanings and myths tied to them so it’s best to give your lover a hint on what meaning you wish to convey.
For example, daisies are often associated with Freya, the Nordic goddess of fertility, motherhood and beauty. In Celtic mythology, the gods gave daisies to parents after losing a child. Among Romans, the flower was a statement of purity, transformation and self-love.
Daisies have that joyful, cheerful and positive disposition. A nice line to share with your loved one on Valentine’s Day is that daisies are two flowers in one – a white outer ring and a yellow middle. Yet, the two have become one; just like you and your partner.
Tulips are associated with both positive and negative sentiment – from charity to forgotten love. Of course, you would not want to give someone flowers denoting forgotten love. Especially on Valentine’s Day. In the context of love and romance, tulips, especially red ones, stand for perfect love.
The Turkish and Persian myths on tulips differ, but they boil down to the tales of two individuals – Shirin and Farhad. The two were passionately in love but star-crossed. One was a royal and the other a commoner. Neither could live without the other. It is said that wherever their blood fell to the ground, red tulips sprouted. It’s a tale uncannily similar to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Apart from red, other tulip colors that work on Valentine’s Day are yellow, purple and pink. Yellow tulips are symbolic of cheerfulness, white represents worthiness and forgiveness, while pink is the hue of love and affection. You could go with solid color tulips or, if you want to be a little adventurous, opt for variegated tulips.
Longevity, loyalty, happiness and adoration. These are the emotions and traits that sunflowers usually stand for. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these ideas emanate from the sunflower’s resemblance to the sun. There’s also the folklore that women will always turn their gaze towards the flower whenever they come across it.
The Greek myth that sunflowers were associated with wasn’t a pleasant one, however. The story goes that nymph Clytie was turned into a sunflower as a form of punishment or pity. Even in this form, she still follows the sun god Helios as he journeyed across the sky. Despite that somewhat somber tale, sunflowers will still brighten up a lover’s day today.
Peonies come in different colors, though pink is the color many people will know them for. The different colors symbolize different attributes and moods. Overall, they symbolize love, honor, good luck and prosperity, all of which can be tied to the Valentine’s Day mood.
In Greek mythology, peonies symbolized bashfulness. In East Asia, peonies are considered the “king of flowers” and associated with wealth, honor and bravery. They are often used in major cultural and religious events such as the Chinese New Year.
The flower had its roots in Chinese gardens thousands of years ago – well before it made its way to Japan (which is now one of the world’s leading producers of peonies.) They were introduced to Europe in the late 19th century and became a massive hit. It was not long before they were a fixture of gardens all over Europe and North America.
8. Multi-Flower Arrangement
As you have likely already concluded from the flowers covered so far, you don’t have to go with roses for your Valentine’s Day gift. But even better, you can have the best of all worlds not just by flower type but color too.
So for example, think purple tulips, orange roses, pink lilies and more. You can create an arrangement whose depth and diversity will take your loved one’s breath away.
Always Be Yourself
Different flowers have different meanings in different cultures, and to different people. You know your partner best and perhaps already have an idea what kind of emotion different flowers will evoke in them.
For instance, while red roses may be the flower of love for most people, perhaps a certain forgettable incident in your partner’s past has caused them to see roses in a negative context. Therefore, while the suggestions covered here are excellent gift ideas, ultimately you have to choose a floral arrangement that will best resonate with your partner on Valentine’s Day.