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Tired of roses? Here are 13 flowers to give instead on Valentine’s Day instead

Flowers that are just as nice as giving roses as Valentine's Day gifts

We know it’s coming every year, but Valentine’s Day flowers — and other gifts — are still hard to pick out. There’s a lot of pressure to get the right thing and make sure it correctly expresses how you feel about the other person. Roses are the traditional go-to gift, especially for romantic partners, but what do you get someone who dislikes roses, or someone who you care for, but not romantically? We’ve got 13 flowers for you to consider!

Women at a flower shop
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What is the language of flowers?

Throughout the centuries, the language of giving fresh flowers has been used in mythology, sonnets, folklore, and plays. People have always been obsessed with finding meaning in everything, and flowers are no different. Fortunately, there’s almost no feeling, expression, or event that can’t be expressed with flowers. You just have to know which ones to use.

While most of the symbols have been forgotten, you can use this guide to help find the perfect flower for your Valentine, whether they’re a lover, a friend, or family. There are way too many flowers and their meanings to cover here, so we’ll go over some of the most popular and most appropriate for this time of year. It might even be fun to explain these meanings in the card you give along with the flowers.

  • Aster is a symbol of love
  • Calla lilies mean beauty
  • A red camellia says, “you’re a flame in my heart”
  • A white camellia means “you’re adorable”
  • Pink carnations mean “I’ll never forget you”
  • A red chrysanthemum says, “I love you”
  • Daylilies are the Chinese emblem of motherhood
  • Edelweiss is a symbol of courage and devotion
  • Gardenias are for a secret love
  • Grange lilies stand for hatred in case you need something for your ex!
  • Pink roses mean happiness
  • Salvia flowers say “forever mine”
  • Red tulips mean passion
A bouquet of multiple flowers
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What kind of flowers should you not give on Valentine’s Day?

Not every flower’s meaning is something lovely and sweet; some flowers have nasty and nefarious meanings. Naturally, you’ll want to avoid giving these types of flowers to your Valentine, so here is a list to keep you out of the doghouse!

  • Daffodils should be avoided, even though they’re probably popping up everywhere this time of year. You’ll want to steer clear since these flowers mean vanity or self-absorption.
  • Yellow carnations are another flower to avoid giving your Valentine. They are pretty little flowers but are associated with disgust and rejection.
  • Lavender is a great flower for relaxing after a long day. Still, your significant other won’t want to receive them on Valentine’s Day, since they usually signify mistrust. If your loved one enjoys the scent of lavender, but you want to avoid the negative meaning, why not give them some homemade lavender-scented gifts?
  • Yellow chrysanthemums mean sorrow and regret, which are more than a little inappropriate during this time of year.

Of course, if these flowers happen to be a favorite of your loved one, they’ll still appreciate receiving them! Flower meanings are fun to explore and use, and can even be an entertaining way of passing codes back and forth, but many people aren’t aware of them. Flower meanings can even vary from place to place, and some have changed over time. So unless your loved one is passionate about flower symbolism, you shouldn’t worry too much about the negative meanings of some flowers. Instead, focus on picking flowers that they’ll love!

Bouquet of chrysanthemums and other flowers
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What gifts besides red roses are often given on Valentine’s Day?

Need some gift ideas that aren’t roses or other flowers? Here are some of our favorite gift ideas for Valentine’s Day that aren’t flowers.

  • Who doesn’t love candy? Instead of a bouquet of flowers, get your significant other a bouquet of candy! This is also a great Valentine’s Day gift for your friends or family.
  • Everyone has a wine friend, and if you don’t have a wine friend, you probably are the wine friend! Either way, while flowers are nice, wine is a tasty way to send someone you love a gift they’ll enjoy. Of course, it might not last in their house as long as flowers will, but at least they can enjoy it with a good meal or dessert.
  • Buy them a gift card for a massage, facial, pedicure, or manicure; nothing says I love you or I appreciate you more than the gift of self-care.
  • Another fantastic gift to give would be a house-cleaning service; nothing says pamper yourself like letting someone else do the cleaning for a day. This is especially nice for anyone who works long hours or is busy with their kids all day! They’ll be sure to appreciate a day of rest.
  • Many of our significant others love flowers, but those only last about a week. So instead give them a plant! A succulent is easy to care for and lasts for years and years, just like your love. There are even some heart shaped succulents!

If the idea of getting your soulmate the wrong flower on this critical day is too stressful, stick with our non-flower gift suggestions. You can also ask a florist for their opinion; they’ll be able to guide you through the flower-buying process expertly. Stop by a small shop and get an expert opinion and you’re sure to delight your loved ones!

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Rebecca Wolken
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rebecca's has written for Bob Villa and a Cincinnati based remodeling company. When she's not writing about home remodeling…
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