Tis the season to put on the green. These house plant gift ideas are ideal for the gardener, foodie, or indoor decorator in your life.Best of all, they’re simple, inexpensive, and often homemade!
1. Forced Bulbs
Forced bulbs are the perfect inexpensive Christmas gift. They make a great gift for colleagues, teachers, coaches, and those who have everything – who doesn’t want a touch of spring in their house in the winter time? To force a bulb, you’ll need to begin about four weeks before Christmas. Set up your bulb in a small pot. Amaryllis and paperwhites (narcissus) are the easiest bulbs to force. They’re native to warm climates and don’t need to be cool before they begin to grow. Give your plant warm temperatures (50 degrees) and indirect light, and it will grow into beautiful blooms that will delight the recipient.
Remember that many bulbs are poisonous. Be cautious when giving forced bulbs to a family with young children.
2. Sprouting Kit
If you or your gardener friend has a practical bent, then a sprouting kit is a wonderful gift idea. A sprouting kit is rather simple. You’ll need a few packages of sprouting seeds that are specifically labelled as such, and you’ll need a sprouter. Some go for large plastic, stackable sprouters, while others go for a jar with a mesh lid or a sprouting bag. I prefer the simple sprouting bag myself: dip it in water a couple of times a day, and enjoy sprouts in a few days.
3. Warm Climate Herbs
If you live in a cool climate, you might pine for heat in the winter months. Maybe you can’t head off to warmer places, but you can grow warm climate herbs in a sunny kitchen. Choose a place that receives as much sunlight as possible, and place herbs close to but not directly pressing against a sunny window. Help out these herbs with artificial light if required. Herbs like basil and rosemary can grow indoors and often prefer it if you live in a fickle climate. Even larger plants like lemongrass can grow indoors, if you have the space.
4. House Plants for Shady Places
While house plants may not yield food, they bring the calm and beauty of nature indoors. Some houses are easier to equip with plants than others. In our dark, rainy climate, I find that many houseplants wither without the appropriate light. Some of my favorites are pothos and peace lilies. Both are plants that thrive on extreme neglect and loves dark corners of the house. Only give these plants to households that do not have young children or pets.
5. Healthful House Plants
House plants are also excellent at cleaning the air, and in the winter months when we’re stuck indoors a little more, this is a very useful characteristic. The useful aloe vera plant is great at cleaning your indoor air, and it’s also good for soothing burns. Pothos is also outstanding at cleaning indoor air, as are fig trees.
6. Child-Friendly House Plants
Children also like to play with and occasionally eat house plants as well, so if your friend has children, make sure that any plants you give are also child-safe. I love the sweet little African violet or the delicate maidenhair fern for families with children. Exciting plants like Venus fly traps and mimosa “sensitive” plants are fun gifts for children as well.
If the recipient of your gift has a cat, be aware that cats like to munch on plants. Either give your friend some equipment to hang the plant from the ceiling, or choose a house plant that’s officially cat-safe.
What are your Christmas plans this year? Are you planning to give the gift of green?