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8 low maintenance houseplants for everyone on your holiday list

There's a houseplant for every kind of caretaker
The average Canadian household produces up to 45 percent more garbage during the holiday season, generating close to 545,000 tonnes of waste in our landfills. 


Major offenders include plastic shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, and tossed gifts made from non-recyclable components. Low maintenance houseplants offer 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 eight low maintenance houseplants for gifting that even I can properly care for despite my killer reputation. 

1. For the hot mess: Spider Plant
House Plant 1
My spider plant has seen… some times. In the never-minced words of my partner, “that plant should be completely dead.” 

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
House Plant 2

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: This is one of of the most low maintenance houseplants out there. 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. Check out this gorgeous vintage planter

4. For the Insta baddie: Chinese Evergreen
The Chinese Evergreen is as pretty as it is pink. It’s a perfect gift for influencers who want cute plants in their backgrounds. I brought home this houseplant and Swiss Cheese together and they’ve both been growing at about the same rate. Think BIG. 

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
Vines aplenty! This little guy looks great on any bookshelf and loves low lighting. Also called devil’s ivy, Golden Pathos gussies up any bibliophiles collection with a touch of class. 

Care: Super low maintenance. I’d water mine about once every two weeks.

6. For the brown-thumb: Snake plant
My friend kept this plant alive in her bathroom. With no windows. Enough said. 

Care: This is one of the most low maintenance houseplants 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
House Plant 3
This houseplant is cuter than curtains and looks like it came straight out of the 70s with a macrame hanging planter. The fern is a total knockout in window spaces and always makes me feel a little hippie-dippie. Perfect for the friend who loves Farrah Fawcett and Janis Joplin. 

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!