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Pick these Valentine’s Day Flowers and House Plants That Make Perfect Alternatives to Red Roses

These are the best flowers to buy for someone who would prefer other flowers over red roses for Valentine’s Day

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By House & Garden | January 29, 2024 | Gift Guide

Valentine's Day is just around the corner now and, as we prepare to celebrate love in all its forms and ways, we should start to think about flowers and presents that do the same. Valentine's Day is synonymous with teddy bears, heart shaped chocolates and giant bouquets of red roses, but does it have to be quite so mundane? In the spirit of branching out from the norm, we've rounded up a selection of beautiful blooms and fresh flowers that are an alternative to the cliché red rose.

What is the best flower for Valentine's Day?

Beautiful flowers are an absolutely fail-safe gift whether you've been with your partner for years or a matter of months–thoughtful without being corny and simply a joy to receive. This year, why not surprise your loved one with a hand tied bouquet of something they weren't expecting, instead of a red rose?

Every flower means something, represents an emotion or a feeling. A red rose means romantic love but a full flower arrangement with a multitude of flowers better expresses the multi faceted and idiosyncratic nature of love. Why not give a bouquet that shows your thanks for their companionship, a token of good luck for the future and a symbolic representation of their beauty!


Carnations are coming out the other side of the 80s prom corsage reputation they have been sporting for the last few decades. We declare that it's time to rethink the little buds–after all, they were popular for reason! Carnations represent good luck, so they make the perfect addition to a bouquet for a new partner, or someone entering a new chapter in their life. These sweet blooms come in a plethora of colours but the reds and pinks have all the impact of the red roses with a touch more fun!

Carnations represent good luck, so they make the perfect addition to a bouquet for a new partner, or someone entering a new chapter in their life. Image via Unsplash.


The lily is one of the most well known and beloved flowers, with its elegant proportions and rich colour range. Every variety of lily is imbued with a different meaning but the overarching theme is one of fertility and purity. Derived from the sweetness and innocent look of the lily flower, the idea of new life and rebirth also appears frequently. We think they're the perfect foil to the round rose, bringing some angular contrast and height to the traditional Valentine's rose bouquet.


With Spring comes tulips and they are some of the most glorious, life-affirming flowers to gift. They are representative of love in all its forms, making them the ideal Valentine's Day bouquet for any loved one. They work as a token of friendship for Valentine's Day, a letterbox delivery for a sibling or a last minute gift for a partner.

Tulips are a token of friendship for Valentine's Day. Image via Unsplash.


Alstroemeria, or Lily of the Incas, has lived many lives of representation. They've meant just about everything at some point, from devotion to friendship, a congratulatory gift and even as a mark of favourable companionship. A few of these scattered in a bouquet will make for a really eye catching display.

Alstroemeria, or Lily of the Incas, has lived many lives of representation. Image via Unsplash.

Yellow and orange roses

Whilst the thought of a Valentine's flower bouquet conjures images of rich reds and vibrant pinks, there are plenty of online florists who offer mixed bouquets of yellows, whites and oranges, too. These are brilliant as a Galentine's present, with their sunny disposition, but still make a romantic Valentine, so don't overlook them. Different cultures and parts of the world place slightly nuanced and different meaning onto yellow roses but ultimately they often symbolise friendship, positivity, strength and happiness.

White roses

The white rose symbolises love and beauty, so they are often found at the helm of a wedding bouquet. Rightfully so, given their ability to shine without stealing the limelight too much. The white rose is slightly overshadowed by its more popular cousin on Valentine's Day but we think it's a great alternative choice, bringing a modernity and freshness that the red rose cannot.


Orchids mean love, thoughtfulness, beauty, charm and fertility. Image via Unsplash.

Sure, this is more houseplant than beautiful bouquet, but the wonderful thing about that is its lifespan is a lot longer. A lovely orchid will keep on giving, year after year, in a way that a floral arrangement cannot. Of course, there are still plenty of options that include orchids in a bouquet if you want all the impact with none of the commitment. Orchids mean love, thoughtfulness, beauty, charm and fertility, meaning they're the ideal plant to order as a romantic gift from an online florist.

This story originally appeared on House & Garden UK.