What are the best house plants to give as gifts? That is a question we get every holiday season as people attend holiday parties, visit friends and want to bring… “gift plants” to the party host.
When giving plants as a gift there are a few things to keep in mind.
Know the Person!
- Do they use flowers in their interior settings?
- Does this person currently have house plants indoors?
- If they do, are they successful with them?
- What kind of space do they have? Very open or tight upright space.
- What kind of interior lighting to they have? Bright or dark.
- Will they need anything extra to add to the plant? A basket or a decorative container.
Let’s try to give some answers to the above questions.
Do they use flowers in their interior settings?
- Bromeliads and Moth orchids look great at this time of year.
- Aechmea Fasciata – commonly called the “Silver Vase”, and assorted Guzmanias.
- Phalaenopsis orchids are beginning to spike up and will be starting to open around Christmas time.
- Don’t forget the holiday gardens that are out there, most come with very nice looking pottery.
Does this person currently have plants indoors?
If the host does not have plant indoors… start with a Bromeliad (air plant), an Aglaonema, or Spathiphyllum. Don’t rule out the tough but harder to find Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant) and indestructible Sanseviera.
If they do have plants, are they successful with them?
If they are successful and like the real tropical look the White Bird of Paradise or an Aralia (watch out for the cold), can be unique choices.
What kind of space do they have?
Very open or Tight upright space?
- For Very open areas – again the White Bird of Paradise or Howea Forsteriana Palm – (Kentia)
- Tight Upright Space – try the Chamaedorea (Bamboo Palm), Dracaena Marginata, Massengaena (Corn Plant), or Aralia.
What kind of interior lighting do they have?
Bright or dark.
The real rule is… if it is dark, stay with Aglaonemas, Aspidistra, bird-nest snake plant (Sanseviera), or Spathiphyllum. Otherwise depending on the space you can use any of the above mentioned plants.
Will they need anything extra to add to the plant?
- A basket or a decorative container.
- Make sure you provide a saucer for the basket or check out some of the sub-irrigation pots/planters in your garden centers.
- When all else fails check out getting a gift certificate at your local garden center. Giving plants at the holidays can be just the ticket someone needs for a pick me up.
For some additional reading check out the article on Low, Medium and High Light Plants