There's just something about receiving plants for a gift that warms my heart more than a simple bouquet ever could. It's hands down one of my favorite gifts to receive. But to make it a successful plant gift, you need to know your recipient. We've got all the best houseplant gifts covered, whether you're giving it to a green thumb or a plant novice.
Easy and Low Maintenance Houseplants to Give as Gifts
I'll be honest. At times, I get a little overwhelmed when I'm given a new plant. Especially if it's a fast grower, needs constant repotting, or requires 24/7 care. These plants? They're the absolute opposite, so they're perfect for plant newbies.
A snake plant is so low maintenance that there's no better plant for someone who is busy but wants a touch of greenery. A snake plant thrives on neglect and loves to be crowded. It'll let you know when it needs repotting: when the roots emerge from the soil, or it starts to crack the planter. Until then, this drought-loving, cozy situation, thriving plant needs very little.
The ZZ plant is one I want to give everyone these days. This beauty requires very little light or water and doesn't need much aside from good company. The plant is toxic to pets, so it may not be ideal for plant parents who also have climbing cats.
Tiger Tooth Aloe
Succulents are a great plant to give, no matter the time of year. They're notoriously low maintenance and can thrive on a bit of neglect. They make the perfect plant for someone who travels or doesn't spend much time at home — it's highly unlikely they'll come home to a brown plant.
Better yet, when the tiger tooth does bloom, it won't kill the plant. So whoever has this on their shelf can enjoy the stunning blossoms without saying so long to a plant pal. Oh, and as for the "pups" that this plant spawns? Leave 'em. They'll help make this plant bushy and stunning.
Fairy Castle Cactus
Gifting a plant that takes up a lot of space can strain a plant shelf — and a relationship. But the fairy castle cactus doesn't take up much real estate aside from height. Slow growing, doesn't need much attention, but looks like something straight out of a fairy tale — it could inspire your plant recipient to kickstart a fairy garden. It's the perfect petite plant for someone who lives in a small space or tiny house.
For the plant lover who is looking for something to make their office or home a little cozier or a little luckier, a jade plant ticks all the boxes. Friends and family who are looking to freshen up their home or add some good vibes will love to add an easy-to-care-for jade plant.
Pothos are beautiful trailing plants, perfect for giving to your friend or family member who is a devoted bookworm or extensive collector of finer trinkets and bobbles. Because this plant grows down and can be easily manipulated around things, they can add some nature to their collection. Pothos care and propogation are easy as pie.
If you have a plant parent who is also a pet parent on your gift list, a spider plant is a great option. Not only is a spider plant not toxic to pets, but it's gorgeously easy to care for this sprawling, quick-growing plant. You can easily snip the offshoots it produces for planting and propagation, too. If you have a spider plant, consider propagating yours, establishing it, and gifting it.
Unique and Unusual Houseplants to Give
If the person you're giving a gift to has some experience with plants, wants to grow their skill level, or loves a green gift that's a little quirky but still from the heart, this is your shopping list.
Herbs all have different care levels, but if you know that someone loves to cook and have fresh herbs on hand, then giving them a fully-grown herb plant will absolutely hit the spot. Rosemary, sage, mint, basil, and thyme are all great options to start with, but rosemary and mint tend to be the easiest to maintain. And you can never have enough thyme.
Indoor Lemon Tree
My sister-in-law was given a lemon tree when she left her company with a note that they were "sour over her leaving." And this is in the Netherlands, where the climate isn't exactly tropical. While it does require a bit of pruning and occasional care, this small plant is rewarding with blossoms and a refreshing lemony scent.
String of Pearls
There's a whole series of string succulents (yes, those are a thing!) that make excellent gifts, but a string of pearls is easily the most noticeable. Although they can sometimes be a little finicky, they're an easy-to-read plant when they need water or could use a little less. Give the gift of jewelry without the price tag.
Just like we could all use a little more thyme, sorry — time, few of us would scowl at the idea of a little more money. Even if it's a money tree, and yes, you can even suggest a little feng shui placement to possibly help your recipient get a little extra cash, too. Maybe slip them a $5.00 to get them started.
Gifting a basket garden is a great way to give a friend or family member a touch of green that doesn't fade away after a week. A kind neighbor, who does have an inconceivably mind-boggling green thumb, gifted me one, and I was so worried I was going to send it to an early death. But here's the secret: these are low-maintenance plants to begin with!
However, they will require repotting and more pruning and maintenance than if they were on their own. Since these are designed to cohabitate, they'll enjoy a similar amount of water and sunlight. But it's best to know how to care for each plant individually.
Sometimes called the Swiss cheese plant because of its holey leaves, the monstera plant is not difficult to care for, but it does require more than just watering and sunlight: it also needs dusting! You might think the monstera isn't for someone who throws housework to the wayside, but I know many people with dusty houses and perfect plants. A passion and knowledge of plants is all your recipient needs. Give this one to someone who has a bit more space for plants.
Plants That Need a Green Thumb
Some plants are a challenge. These plants tend to err on the side of being a little more demanding than others, but they're all-the-more rewarding for the friend with a green thumb.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
A fiddle leaf fig was my first "difficult" plant, and we had a great relationship. But one day, I played the wrong song, maybe opened the window a centimeter too wide. The fiddle leaf fig isn't to be given to those who aren't up for a good mystery or new to loving plants. However, these stunners and their giant, deep green, leafy offshoots are breathtaking. This is a beautiful plant for a plant parent who likes a challenge.
Black Bat Flower
If you love to give unusual (or even slightly creepy) plants, then the black bat flower is the only plant you need to give. It can be a more challenging plant to care for successfully (RIP to my sweet Battsy). These are best for friends who have mastered finicky plants, like the fiddle leaf figs. It's also the perfect gift for a friend whose favorite holiday movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas.
While some areas of the world have lavender running wild and free without problem, colder climates aren't as forgiving to this violet beauty. Even as an indoor plant, the lavender plant, in all its stunning purple glory, is an excellent and unusual addition to any plant lover's collection. If you've got a friend who loves aromatherapy or has a romantic heart, this is a great gift.
We're talking about the zebra plant, not the zebra cactus. The zebra plant is leafy with a stunning striped pattern. But it demands lots of humidity, so your recipient is sure to get a little misty-eyed upon receiving this plant. Give this to experienced plant parents who love a sense of drama and aren't afraid to spend some time each day with a spray bottle in hand.
This might be a little odd, since most people think air plants are low-maintenance. I have cared for greenery from snake plants to fiddle leaf figs and to be honest, air plants have always eluded me. Which is a total bummer, because I love how they look. But others, and your recipient, might have better luck. They're a great plant for offices, homes, and bathrooms — but they don't like to be neglected.
Few houseplants have such a simple and beautiful look as an orchid. Are they temperamental? They sure are. But those blossoms, with the proper care and pruning, will yield a stunning plant. It does require patience, skill, and a whisper of luck, however. So make sure your recipient has that combination in their wheelhouse. If they do, this is the perfect plant for your friend who loves beautiful things.
Tips for Giving Plants as Gifts
When giving a plant, it's essential to keep these parameters in mind. No matter how good your intention, giving a gift that's a source of a headache rather than joy won't have the desired effect. So, if a plant doesn't seem like the right gift, a plant accessory is always a safe bet.
If your recipient has pets, steer clear of plants that are poisonous or toxic. Instead, opt for a pet friendly house plant that also matches their skill level.
Speaking of skill level, if the person you're giving a plant to is just starting their plant journey or doesn't have a naturally green thumb, pick a plant that is hardy and doesn't need much to thrive.
Choose a plant that matches their personality or their vibe and aesthetic. For a friend who lives in a studio, an indoor lemon tree may not be the best choice. But a small terrarium with plants? Perfection.
Consider the lifestyle of the person receiving the plant. Do they travel often, or are they homebodies? Are they the type to forget to water? Try to find a plant that aligns with their time commitment.
Last, take a moment to think about if they've mentioned how they do want to go outside their comfort zone with plants. You can help them achieve their plant parent dreams!
Plants, the Gift That Keeps on Giving
When you gift a plant, you give the gift of life. A living gift is a dynamic way to say "you matter to me" to anyone on your gift list.