Potted plants: The perfect Valentine's Day gift that keeps blooming


Ditch cut flowers and gift potted plants this Valentine's season. Shirly Bashi, owner of Flower Factory in Nairobi shares some ideal plants that can stand in place of roses this Valentine’s Day.

“Potted plants don't die, their flowers can last for three to four months. The blooming will end but if you take care of the plant well, it will flower again,” she tells the BDLife. Potted plants can thrive in any part of the country as long as they have enough shade, and adequate water. They range from Sh350 to Sh3,500.

Potted roses: These are more long-lasting than a bouquet of rose flowers.

Orchids: They come in all sorts of colours including purple, green and red.

Glass anthurium: You can put it in a vase with water and the roots will only drink from the water. It is not a cut flower but it is the actual plant that sits in water. These cost Sh 5,000.

Strings of hearts plants: It is a beautiful plant that comes in a basket and has leaves that look like tiny hearts.

Petunias: For someone who likes gardening, petunias will also be a good pick. They are annuals and therefore, cannot last for more than eight months. It will give you a lot of colour.

How do you maintain the potted flowers?

Potted roses need sunshine. “Roses are quite spoilt. They need a lot of food and water. You can plant them in the ground if you have a flower bed or you can also plant them in a pot. The more you trim the rose flowers the more blooms you will get,” says Ms Bashi.

Flowers like strings of hearts are easy to take care of. You can put them inside the house as long as you provide them with adequate light. “Be gentle with the water. If you water them too much you may end up damaging them,” she says.

The glass anthurium requires adequate light and you need to change the water weekly. For orchids, you can put them on a shaded balcony or inside the house with adequate light. Orchids need to be watered once a week and the flowers will bloom for five to six months.

Petunias are outdoor plants that love the sun. “The more sun [exposure], the more water, the more flowers,” she says.

Which soil works best? Ms Bashi makes her own soil mix. “We mix a bit of coco peat soil, PittMoss then add red soil. The advantage of red soil is that it can hold water. However, if you only use red soil, it becomes hard denying your plants’ roots enough oxygen.”

How do you package them for Valentine’s? You can use some brown boxes with a red ribbon and then put the potted plant inside. It will look like a gift box. You can also do proper wrapping using cellophane paper making it look fancier.

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