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7 Valentine’s Day Flowers that Beat Roses

For a thoughtful and surprising way to say "I love you," pick up one of these romantic floral alternatives this Valentine's Day.

iStock/Nancy Nehring


Red and pink tulips symbolize fresh beginnings, says celebrity event designer Preston Bailey, making them great to give when you’ve just started a romance. A perfectly scarlet tulip represents “perfect love,” according to one Turkish legend. Tulips can also help if you’re in the doghouse; smooth things over with yellow tulips (cheerful thoughts) and encourage forgiveness with white tulips. (Get our free Valentine’s Day guide packed with dozens of quick tips and sweet ideas for an amazing V-Day celebration.)



Bailey says tropical arrangements like anthurium or orchids are reminiscent of the far-off places they hail
from (Hawaii, Brazil, the Amazon Basin), adding an exotic hint of fantasy to your floral mix. Orchids in particular are delicate and graceful, representing love, luxury, beauty and strength.

iStock/Olaf Simon


The yellow petals and open face of this big bright flower symbolizes the sun itself. An entire bouquet conveys warmth, happiness, adoration, and lasting love.


Gerber Daisies

Daisies typically look innocent and fun, but a red one is a sweet and unexpected choice to express love, says Bailey. Grab a multicolored bunch to say “I admire you,” “thank you,” “I love you,” and “you make me happy” all at once.



Lilies are elegant and refined, but a bold choice. Bailey suggests a Mini Cala Lily, which blends magnificence and beauty with purity and innocence, or a Red Peruvian Lily, which mixes red heart-shaped petals with a hint of yellow.



Pink carnations symbolize a mother’s undying love—and their budget friendly price means you can afford a substantial bouquet.



If you’re part of the 36 percent of women who bought flowers for their guy last
Valentine’s Day, pick up a pot of these to say “I love you.” More spiny than delicate, succulents like aloe, cacti, or sempervivum are easy to care for and can last for months inside or out.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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