Sure, you can go with a traditional bouquet of red roses this Valentine’s Day, but if you’re looking to mix it up and surprise your significant other, there are plenty of pretty and unique options. Not all flowers are “one size fits all,” so choose according to your loved one’s specific preferences rather than default to the holiday standard. We asked Caroline Bailly, owner of L’Atelier Rouge in New York City, to share floral picks for every personality. Ask your local florist to customize the bouquet with one of these flowers and you’re guaranteed to win Valentine’s Day—your significant other will be thankful for the personalized gift.
For the classic romantic: Ranunculus
The traditional type will be happy with a dozen long-stemmed roses, but if you’re looking for something different, try ranunculus. “[They are] the most beautiful alternative to traditional roses, their simplicity and softness are the perfect combination for a classic romantic,” Bailly says. These flowers come in both bold shades (like vivid yellow, orange, and red) and pastel colors (like blush and white), so you can choose whether to go with a deep-hued bouquet or a more subtle, lighter arrangement.
For the free spirit: Mimosa
No, not the bubbly brunch drink—the cheerful bright yellow flower. “There is nothing comparable to the fragrance, shape, and movement of mimosa,” Bailly says. “Even though it does not last long, it puts a magical smile on anyone’s face. It’s a very spontaneous flower that you can toss in any shaped vase to make the room feel brighter and happier.”
For the laid-back type: Colored cactus
“This is the perfect gift for the laid-back person,” Bailly says. “It does not need much care or maintenance and brings a pop of color to your coffee table. It’s a great alternative to the ever-popular succulents.” The colors on the cactus make it a little more festive than usual green cacti—the tops look more like flower buds. Gift one solo or go for a grouping, like in this photo.
For the happy-go-lucky, outgoing type: Poppies
We dare you to look at a vibrant poppy and not smile. “This flower makes me happy,” Bailly says. “The stems of the flowers go in all kinds of directions and the texture of the petals remind me of a ballet dress or a tutu.”
For the person with dramatic flair: Peonies
If your significant other is always the most noticeable, bubbly person in the room (in the best way, of course), peonies make for a showstopping arrangement that will impress. “Peonies are an all time favorite of mine,” Bailly says. “The blooms have the most extravagant size once the flowers open, but yet they still remain so elegant.”