Houseplants are a living, breathing, air-cleaning gift that keeps on giving. They brighten spaces and bring calm and joy. If you’re a plant-lover (which we guess that you are since you’re here!), you know this already. So why not spread that joy and share your interests with the people who are important enough to make it onto your gift list?
Here are twelve tips to help you make that gift successful:
Consider the home.
Think about the atmosphere of the home in which the plant will live (hopefully for years). Think about its light, temperature and warmth, size and space for plants, and the size of plant that might be right for the home; think about the home’s style and aesthetics.
If you’re not sure about the lighting in the home or not sure where your recipient will place the plant, it’s probably best to go with a low-light houseplant.
Who lives there?
Are there children living in the home? You’ll want to be sure the plant is safe around kids, especially if they are toddlers or young children who might still be curious enough to touch a prickly cactus or taste a fallen leaf. For homes with kids, you might consider a hanging plant so it can easily be kept out of reach.
Are there pets?
If there are pets in the home, make your plant gifts pet-friendly. Make sure they are safe for pets, especially if the pets in the home are the curious and “mouthy” kind.
Again, hanging plants might be a good choice for homes with pets.
What are the schedules your gift receiver keeps?
When you give a plant, think about the schedule your recipient keeps. Think about the time they have for the care and upkeep of the plant. You don’t want your plant to be a burden to care for.
For example, is the person you are giving a plant to someone who travels a lot for work or pleasure? In that case, a cactus or succulent that doesn’t require frequent watering might be the best idea.
Experience with houseplants.
Does the person you are gifting a plant have a green thumb? Are they just starting out with plants? Do they have a lot of experience with houseplants?
When giving plants as gifts, it’s wise to keep them low maintenance and easy to care for unless you really know that the plant recipient is a skilled and experienced plant keeper who is up for a challenge.
Headspace plant expert Maryah Greene recommends giving succulents to people with allergies because they don’t gather dust and allergens the way many other plants can. Succulents can be a lot of fun, and you can create some unique mini-indoor succulent gardens for not a lot of money.
Christmas cactuses are another great option—they are long-lived, easy-care, succulent plants that are a hallmark of the holidays. Every season your gift recipient will enjoy its bright Christmas blooms and have a reminder of the person who so thoughtfully gifted the plant to them.
Tips for selecting and wrapping plants for gift-giving.
- Look for plants that show some new growth, which are signs that they are healthy, vigorous, and ready to grow.
- You’re better off starting with a smaller plant that can be packed and protected and that won’t be too heavy to transport.
- A holiday ribbon or some decorative rocks are nice gift-giving touches that will step up your gift with little extra work and little money.
- When you are out shopping for your plant gifts, in addition to the tips mentioned above, also consider things like plant size, travel, ease of packing, and protecting the plant from weather and low temperatures. Consider pot size and weight, too.
- If these are bound to be factors, pack the plant with decorative tissue paper around and above the plant to help keep it from being jostled and broken and to help protect it from cold during travel. Gift bags are one of the safest and easiest ways to “wrap” plants.
- Place a card inside the package with a set of care instructions for the plant that you are giving. This is especially important if the plant you’re gifting is one that you have propagated yourself since it won’t come with instructions from the nursery.
Buy plants with these things in mind, and yours will be a gift that will be well-received and enjoyed for many years to come.
Plants are gifts that really do keep on giving!
Plants make excellent Christmas and holiday gifts. Really, plants make excellent gifts for any time of year! They’re also an easy solution for that “person who has everything”.
Here’s one final tip—you can easily and inexpensively propagate houseplants for gift-giving. Share your love and your favorite plants!