Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means that florists are making a killing selling overpriced red roses in gaudy vases. Nothing says romance like a one-stop-shop package of roses, a box of unidentified chocolates, and a teddy bear that will probably end up forgotten in a closet, right? If red roses are not your beloved’s favorite flower, consider some thoughtful floral alternatives.

 

Image: ProFlowers

Orchids

With thousands of different species that bloom at various times during the year, orchids are a great alternative to roses. Symbolizing beauty, orchids make for a thoughtful gift with the potential to last much longer than a standard bouquet. A single potted orchid plant is a low-maintenance, inexpensive gift that keeps on giving.



Lilies 

Popular in wedding bouquets, lilies can be much more visually inspiring than a dozen boring roses. The Asiatic lily, typically available year-round, comes in bright oranges, yellows, and pinks that are sure to brighten up the potentially dreary February weather. Lilies also symbolize purity of heart, making them a great gift for a non-romantic Valentine’s recipient. So even if you’re single, you can send some lilies to that platonic friend who’s spending her Valentine’s Day alone with Netflix. She’ll definitely appreciate it.


Image: Teleflora

Tulips

Red roses may symbolize passionate love, but red tulips represent perfect love, which is even better. After all, sometimes I feel passionate love for chips and queso, but my tumultuous relationship with Tex-Mex food is hardly perfect. Tulips are already a popular alternative to rose bouquets, so they’re easy to find at comparable prices.

 


Image: Teleflora

Amaryllis

If you love the idea of red flowers but think roses and tulips are too common, consider the amaryllis. Like the orchid, the amaryllis also represents beauty, and a small amount of bulbs can appear more striking than a large but monotonous bouquet. Bouquets of cut flowers can say, “My love for you is forever, unlike these roses, which will be dead in a week.” A gift of a potted amaryllis can say, “I love you and I am confident in your ability to keep this plant alive.” Nothing is more romantic than trust.

 

 


Image: Halladay's

Gerbera Daisies

Colorful yet more casual than roses, gerberas are sure to brighten your low-key loved one’s day. Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail says that daisies are the friendliest flower, and letting a Nora Ephron rom-com inspire your Valentine’s Day gift seems like a foolproof plan for success. However, daisies don’t have to be romantic—gerberas are the traditional flowers to send when a person needs cheering up. What better gift to a lonely friend on Singles Awareness Day than a gift of gerberas? 

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