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This holiday season is going to be a lot different than previous ones. Most of us are stuck at home and won’t be able to see the extended family we are used to seeing every year.
Throughout the pandemic, I’ve found that my plants have given me a sense of purpose more than they ever have. I feel less alone when I’m surrounded by living things. When I spend a Sunday afternoon on the couch, I feel less useless knowing that I have to get up and water my plants. Just looking at my plants brightens my day. And I know I’m not the only one with these feelings!
For reasons like these, I believe giving houseplants as gifts is going to be more popular than ever this year. The only problem is that giving a houseplant as a gift can sometimes give the receiving party an “oh-shoot-now-I-have-to-try-really-hard-to-NOT-kill-this-thing” feeling, instead of a happy, excited feeling. Luckily, I’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best houseplant gifts below.
These plants are seriously REALLY hard to kill. You can rest assured that giving one of these houseplants as a gift will make for a happy—and not so worried—giftee!
Spider plants are cool because they’re low maintenance and really easy to propagate. Spider plants are many people’s first houseplant because they require very little care other than bright to medium indirect light, and a good watering when the top two inches of the soil is dry.
Aglaonemas will thrive in bright, indirect light but really these guys do well in bright, medium, or low light. This plant is another one that’s difficult to kill and has beautiful variegated foliage. Water this plant when the top two inches of the soil is dry.
Cast Iron Plant
Cast iron plants are practically indestructible. They can live in any light levels (as long as it’s indirect light), and they like to remain somewhat moist, meaning they’re less prone to being overwatered. Water this plant when the top inch of the soil is dry.
Snake plants are another practically foolproof plant. They can grow well in low or bright, indirect light but prefer medium, indirect light the best. They like to almost completely dry out between waterings, so water your snake plant when the top two inches of the soil is dry. Just be careful not to overwater it if you have it in a low-light area. But regardless, it’s hard to kill a snake plant!
Arrowheads are my favorite plants of the moment. They have beautiful, delicate foliage and they’re great options for those who want vining plants but are tired of seeing pothos and philodendron everywhere (but if you’re NOT tired of those, don’t worry because they’re on this list too!). They can grow in bright, medium, or low indirect light. Water this plant when the top two inches of the soil is dry.
My favorite is the Syngonium white butterfly, but Etsy has a wide variety of syngoniums. Find the perfect one here!
Got a social-media-savvy friend? The pothos is the beautiful, bright-green vining plant you see all over Instagram. If your friend dreams of living in an indoor jungle, this is the plant to help them get started. These plants are crazy easy to care for and propagate, and they grow fast! Pothos does well in bright to medium indirect light. Water it when the top two inches of the soil is dry.
OK, so everything I just said for pothos goes for philodendron, too, except philodendron does a little bit better in lower light than the pothos does. These vining plants also grow very fast and propagate easily. They still do well in bright light, but they’re also great for the friend who wants to start their indoor jungle but doesn’t have as much light pouring in through the windows. Water it when the top two inches of the soil is dry.
Philodendrons come in vining and non-vining varieties. The kind I’m talking about here is heartleaf philodendron (a vining variety). Check out these beautiful choices on Etsy!
Air plants seem complicated, but they are actually extremely easy to care for. Tillandsia xerographica is one of the easiest air plants out there. You don’t even have to worry about planting it, these babies can be placed right on your windowsill! Tillandsia xerographica prefers bright to medium indirect light. Water it once a week for one to two hours by soaking it in a bowl of water. In very hot weather, increase that to twice a week.
Prayer Plant (Maranta)
Prayer plants are really cool because they move—like, a lot! Their leaves go from being pointed straight up to being folded down as if they were praying hands. If you want to amaze your friend with a really unique plant, get them a prayer plant. They prefer bright to medium indirect light but can definitely live in low light, too. They like to remain somewhat moist, so they are less prone to overwatering, but you’ll still have to be careful with that if they’re in a low-light area. Water them when the top inch of the soil is dry.
Last, but certainly not least, is the ZZ plant. ZZ plants prefer medium, indirect light but they are another excellent low-light candidate and will do well in that scenario, too. Another awesome thing about this plant is that they don’t need to be watered often because they store water in their leaves. Water them every two to three weeks, making sure the top two inches of the soil is dry. This is an excellent choice for first-time plant owners who might not have a good grasp on when to water their plants.
If you’re looking for more awesome gifts for plant lovers that aren’t necessarily plants, be sure to check out this other gift guide I wrote with more non-plant gift ideas!