There's a houseplant for every kind of caretaker
Major offenders include plastic shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, and tossed gifts made from non-recyclable components. The unassuming houseplant offers a small solution to the massive waste problem around Christmas and other gift giving holidays. It’s biodegradable, pretty, and personable enough to gift to close friends, but also inoffensive enough for the auntie you never know what to give.
This year, I’ve compiled a list of 7 houseplants for gifting that even I can properly care for despite my killer reputation.
1. For the hot mess: Spider Plant
The houseplant itself started as a spiderette from a friend’s greenery, and has since prospered through at least three cities and four moves. She’s bounced back from the brink a few times now. It’s the houseplant I would give to people I’m not sure I’d trust to dog-sit.
Care: These are genuinely hard to kill. If the soil is dry the whole way down when you stick your finger into the knuckle, water it. Keep in indirect sunlight, like a bookshelf facing a window, or shelving on the west or east side of your home.
2. For the interior decorator: Swiss Cheese Plant
Despite the name, it’s not a cheesy gift. This houseplant looks super airy and adds a nice tropical touch to any room, perfect for anyone who’s got a flair for the dramatic. My swiss cheese plant had crazy growth, tripling its size in less than a year. It’s also super easy to propagate: just make a cutting at the node of the plant and leave it in some water in a mason jar until it roots.
Care: This little guy loves nooks and crannies in partial sunlight. Just leave his soil moist and you’ll notice long, viney tendrils grow as he reaches toward the sun.
3. For the beauty blogger: Aloe Vera
This houseplant is great for its use as a soothing topical gel. I harvest a bit every time I get a sunburn. Aloe is a great gift for the beauty queen in your life; enzymes in the gel gently exfoliate the face, and promote smooth, clear and healthy skin.
Care: I left my aloe plant to hang out by an artificial UV light in an apartment where sunlight was at a premium, and she still thrived. Aloe likes water more than you would think, so don’t be too cautious about hydration. Just make sure there’s proper drainage in the pot you’re gifting.
4. For the Insta baddie: Chinese Evergreen
Care: Keep it simple. Direct sun, and keep the soil moist. The only problem you may run into is the plant growing too much!
5. For the bookworm: Golden Pothos
Care: Super low maintenance. I’d water mine about once every two weeks.
6. For the brown-thumb: Snake plant
Care: This is one of the easiest plants to care for on this list. The snake plant is a succulent, so it likes sparse waterings and to be left alone. Just make sure there’s proper drainage on the pot. It’s also not likely to need to be repotted.
7. For the bohemian: Hanging Fern
Care: Water every other week. If the plant's leaves ever look crispy, move the fern a bit further away from the window.
8. For the foodie: Sage
If you’re invited to a dinner party, this holiday season and don’t know what to bring for the hosts, sage is always a safe bet. Oh, she grows!
Care: Sage loves a kitchen window and a tiny splash of water every time you cook dinner.
These indoor plants are easy to propagate, so next year’s gift giving is covered too! Don’t forget to ask your local plant shop for biodegradable planters if you’re purchasing. Looks like a green Christmas isn’t such a bad thing after all!