Even the best gift-giver can sometimes run out of inspiration, particularly during the holidays. So instead of just buying the same old “stuff”, why not give your loved ones plants this year?
A living plant in the depths of winter can be a much-needed boost of cheer reminding us of warmer days to come, as well as a great addition to holiday decor and displays. To make it easier to narrow down green-gift options, we’ve shortlisted a few of our faves below!
- Christmas Cactus: These festive-looking beauties bloom just in time for Christmas and the flowers usually last for several days. To keep them healthy put your cactus somewhere with good light (they tolerate some direct sun) and a consistent temperature. Around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal, but here’s a top tip: keeping them a little cooler when they begin to flower will extend the life of the flowers! The best part is you can re-pot your Christmas cactus every year once it has finished flowering, so it is a gift that keeps on giving!
- Amaryllis: These elegant flowers typically flower 4-6 weeks after planting the bulb. They need plenty of direct light and to make sure to rotate the pot or container regularly to ensure they grow upright. Don’t wait till it blooms to give this beauty away: plant the bulb in a pretty container and let the recipient experience the magic of it blooming!
- Poinsettia: This Christmas classic is a no-brainer as a gift this holiday season. It’s traditional festive colors and showy shape make it perfect for displays, gifts or centerpieces. See our recent post all about poinsettias for care and various types!
- Paperwhites: Check your local hardware stores: these plants are often sold in kits or loose with planting medium included. Paperwhites like cool, but sunny locations and will probably need a stake once they’re blooming to prevent them from falling over. These are gorgeous planted in a cute vintage glass, teacup or decorative vase as a hostess gift. Want more info on these little flowers? Click here for a Better Homes & Gardens article all about them!
- Rosemary: Think a herbaceous bush as a gift is a little odd? Think again! Rosemary has a great seasonal scent reminiscent of pine trees and can be pruned into a variety of forms – you could even make it resemble a Christmas tree! Plus, it’s functional: snip a bit off and add it to your holiday roast, or use as a garnish when serving! Rosemary is a Mediterranean plant and needs lots of light, so find a bright sunny area for it until the weather gets warmer and you can relocate it outdoors. It also needs plenty of water; check to ensure even moisture every few days and avoid underwatering, especially in warm houses.
- Cyclamen: Popular at this time of year due to their love of cooler temperatures, cyclamen will bloom for up to 8 weeks under the right conditions. Keep them in a cool area with indirect light, and for prolonged flowering make sure to water from the base, not the top, of the plant. They come in a variety of colors but are most commonly pink, white or red.