A vase of freshly cut flowers is always a winner. Picture: Marchelle Abrahams

Let's face it, on Valentine's Day it's all about the flowers and choosing just the right arrangement to convey your feelings to that someone special: 'I like you', 'Let's be more than friends', 'I like you but I just want to be friends', 'You don't know it but I love you'.

After all each person is special to another in a unique way.

The flowers you chose may depend on how long you have known each other or how well you want to get to know someone.

God forbid you get your wife a country bunch on Valentine's Day! It's the day to ignite a flame, not extinguish it.

Even the colour of a rose has connotations and once you begin to explore the messages you might inadvertently be suggesting (I assure your friend, girlfriend, lover or wife is absolutely deciphering the hidden meaning) you will want to give it some serious thought.

Luckily for you we've pooled a few experts on the subject.

"When it comes to choosing flowers, it comes down to the person's personality," advises Zahn Rust, manager at Aspen Florists in Cape Town. "Do something different and more creative," she adds.

"It seems when it comes to the flower that most represents love, red roses still win out, "says Howdens Florist in Musgrave, Durban.

But they do also suggest going for something in season, like lilies.

Rust agrees, "Lilies, hydrangeas, tulips and stargazer lilies are always in season". These are a more colourful option than the obligatory red rose, which could set you back R300 or more.

Prices at Netflorist start from R399 for a dozen red roses, and that excludes delivery costs. Woolworths Valentine's Blooms Bouquet sells for about R99.

When it comes to store-bought versus florist bought bouquets, horticulturist Lou-Anne Daniels has this to say, "There's nothing wrong with buying a bouquet at your local supermarket – the quality is not always great and they generally last only about four or five days before they start looking mangy."

"Florist bouquets are usually hand-picked by a person who is in the business because they love their craft. This means you get a finished product with personality and polish.

"Sure they cost more, but you have the option of choosing exactly what you want and how you want it to look. This means you can buy according to the taste of the person you're giving the bouquet to," says Daniels.

But why limit yourself to a bouquet?

Potted flowering plants are big on colour and last much longer if taken care of properly.

"My money will always be on a flowering pot plant since it lasts for years, depending on which variety you buy," advises Daniels.

She says orchids are fantastic for the wow factor as long as you know how to care of them. Just because it's being sold locally, doesn't mean it will do well in your region, so do a bit of research before you buy an investment plant such as this.

If you're planning on going for a potted orchid, the mistake that many people make is to over-water the plant. Only water once a week with a quarter cup of water, don't keep it in direct sun or close to a drafty area. Also, orchids thrive in humidity, so the bathroom would be a good place to display it.

"Peace lilies (Spathyphillum) are stylish, easy to grow and filter toxins from the air – definitely a winning combination. Again, watering once a week, no direct sunlight and good drainage is key."

"Bromeliads are another winner. They are easy to care for and gorgeous when in flower, it is guaranteed to draw attention. Water once a week, pouring the water directly into the plant's 'cup' until the soil is moist but not sodden."

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