December 16, 2019

Giving Houseplants as Gifts

By Amanda Rose Newton

Houseplants are an incredibly thoughtful and memorable gift that can be enjoyed for years to come.

But before you go and pick out a random houseplant plant to give as a gift, it is important to note that different houseplants require different levels of care – ranging from basic water and light requirements to more difficult needs such as excess humidity and fertilization. 

To make sure you gift the perfect houseplant this year, our greenhouse experts have put together a list of the best houseplants to give to a newbie plant keeper to ensure the success of the houseplant and to avoid frustration for the recipient.

We have also included a few plants that will make great gifts for the experienced plant lovers in your life.

Best plants to give as gifts for Beginners

Sansevieria aka Snake plants thrive on neglect, making them the best houseplant to give as a gift. Sansevieria are extremely easy to care for as they can go for weeks without water and will survive in low light conditions, although they will grow faster in medium to bright light.

Braided Sansevieria

Pothos are great starter plants and are commonly seen growing in offices with very little care. These vining plants can handle a wide range of conditions, from bright light to low light and dry soil to standing water. Check out Liz’s cuttings video to learn more about growing Pothos in water.  

ZZ Plant: These tough plants have gorgeous, shiny leaves and will grow well in many different lighting conditions. ZZ Plants reach heights of 3-4 feet, making them great houseplants for tabletop and floor decor. They are fun to watch as the new growth quickly fills in.

Philodendrons, often confused with pothos, are another easy to grow houseplant for beginners. Philodendrons require a little more light than most of the other plants listed, and they grow best when left to dry out in between waterings. These vining houseplants will show obvious signs of stress when they aren’t happy, but they are very hardy and will recover very quickly. 

Syngonium aka Arrowheads look great in hanging baskets or pots. These easy to grow houseplants come in a variety of colors and the foliage changes shape as it grows. They do well in low light conditions and prefer moist soil. This plant is a bit more challenging as it requires higher humidity which can be provided by placing the plant’s pot on a plate full of water and pebbles or by misting the plant frequently. 

Air Plants (Tillandsia) are great, unique gifts for someone who will be mindful of their watering needs. Air plants must be misted frequently or soaked in water every week to retain moisture. They do not need to be planted in soil, making them great plants to place in a variety of unique and creative containers.

Best Houseplants to give as gifts to experienced plant lovers

If you want to give a houseplant to those on your list who have already proven themselves capable plant parents, the following houseplants will thrive with a little extra TLC.

Calatheas are a beautiful yet picky plant. They prefer distilled water, a little extra humidity, and indirect lighting.

Alocasias are water-loving plants that need a little extra care and the right conditions to survive, but they are worth the effort. They have stunning foliage and will certainly make a great conversation piece for a room.

Crotons Here in Florida, these stunning plants can be found thriving in many landscapes, but they have a few requirements for a successful houseplant. They need lots of humidity, lots of light, and may need their leaves dusted off every once in a while. They don’t like to be moved and will drop all of their leaves when stressed.

Maranta aka Prayer Plant: These high maintenance plants have specific needs that must be met to keep it looking it’s best. They need bright, indirect sunlight, well-drained soil and requires high humidity. These plants are also prone to pests, such as mites and mealybugs, so it is important to keep a close eye on them.

No matter what plant you decide to gift to your loved ones, and probably last much longer than cut flowers. So happy giving, happy planting and happy holidays!