A houseplant with heart-shaped leaves is grown at Gikohen, a succulent plant grower in Mizuho, Gifu Prefecture, to be used as Valentine’s Day gifts.
The plant, a species of Hoya native to southeast Asia, is a succulent vine which withstands difficult conditions and requires infrequent waterings, similar to most cacti. Gikohen President Takayoshi Kato, 68, kept on picking out individual plants with heart-shaped leaves for 10 years and succeeded in commercializing the product.
Roughly 6-cm-high fleshy leaves of the Hoya plant, commonly known as “sweetheart plant,” are rooted in soil and are placed in decorated small pots. Some 50,000 pots, named “Love Love Heart,” will be shipped prior to Valentine’s Day.
The best way to take care of them is to water them sufficiently when the soil surface is dry. If adequately taken care of, heart-shaped sprouts might come out from the root of the leaves. Kato says the plant will be the perfect gift for loved ones, adding that he hopes people will cherish both the plants and their relationships. The pots will be put on sale at flower shops nationwide at JPY500 to JPY2,000.
(Feb. 6, 2014)