Christmas is just a couple of weeks away and if you are still looking for that perfect gift, how about making it a green one this year? Instead of ordering online and dreading the last-minute delivery or standing in long queues in a department store or, even worse, braving the crowds of the high street, how about paying a visit to your local garden centre or plant shop? Scroll down to get ideas for every kind of gardener in your life.

Why do plants make a great gift for everyone?

Whether your loved one is a seasoned gardener blessed with a green thumb or is a first-timer who is a self-proclaimed ‘plant killer’ (we’ve all been there!) there’s a perfect houseplant for everyone. You can choose from subscription boxes, edible plants or beautiful flowers – there’s truly something for everyone on our list.

Indoor plants make a gift that is thoughtful and keeps on growing and bringing joy for years to come. Plus, it’s a planet-friendlier way to do holiday gifting.

How to make plant gifting sustainable?

It seems like indoor gardening is sustainable by default. However, lush exotic plants often have to fly long miles from their origin country to make it to your windowsill. Most houseplants come to the UK from Holland and some of the beloved plant species like orchids could travel to your home all the way from Indonesia. A lot of exotic plants might look good when you purchase them but they are unable to adapt to cold and damp UK conditions. A good example of this is the ever-popular poinsettia a.k.a. Christmas flower, it is beautiful to look at but barely lasts past the Christmas season because it thrives in the Central American climate.

Luckily, you have plenty of options to choose from. Shops and gardeners that source their plants carefully, work on offsetting their footprint and as much as possible provide plants that are grown and sourced locally. Visit online shops like Plant Kind, Canopy Plants and your local garden centres.

Below are some recommended plants that we think are great as gifts for various types of personalities. 

Best For Plant Enthusiasts

If your loved one is a confident gardener and is not afraid of taking care of the more fussy and high-maintenance plant species, we have rounded up a few of our favourite houseplants for you to choose from.

  • Aphelanda squarrosa (Zebra plant)
  • Orchid
  • Rhododendron simsii (Azalea)
  • Stromanthe sanguinea ‘Tricolor
  • Croton
  • Alocasia (Elephant ear)
  • Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ (Banana plant)
  • Dionaea muscipula (Venus Flytrap)

Best For Beginner Gardeners

If you are after a low-maintenance green gift that’s not going to require a lot of attention or skill, succulents and cacti are always a safe and beautiful choice. Or if you are looking for something a bit more extraordinary, here are a few additional ideas for you:

  • Epipremnum aureum (Golden pothos)
  • Ceropegia woodii (String of hearts)
  • Chrysalidocarpus lutescens (Areca palm)
  • Epipremnum pictum (Satin photos)
  • Spathiphyllum (Peace lily)
  • Howea forsteriana (Kentia palm)
  • Sansevieria (Snake plant)
  • Dracaena
  • Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ plant)
  • Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant)
  • Chlorophytum (Spider plant)
  • Yucca
  • Beaucarnea (Ponytail palm)
  • Philodendron ‘Xanadu’
  • Ficus elastica

Best For Foodies

Do you have a friend who’s a wizard in the kitchen and loves to grow their own food? How about gifting a fruit tree, veg or microgreens?

  • Bay laurel tree
  • Oxalis triangularis
  • Aloe Vera
  • Stevia
  • Scented Pelargonium
  • Chili peppers
  • Ginger

Best For Small Flats

Londoners will know that looking after plants in their small dark flats is a challenge on its own regardless of how great you are with the plants. Here are a few houseplants that do not need much light or maintenance for that matter. So your friend can enjoy creating an urban jungle in their space without compromising the health of plants:

  • All varieties of Devil’s ivy
  • Sansevieria (Snake plant)
  • Zamioculcas zamifolia (ZZplant)
  • Pilea peperomioides (Chinese money plant)
  • Asparagus fern
  • Aspidistra (Cast iron plant)
  • Chlorophytum (Spider plant)

Whatever houseplant you end up choosing, pair it up with advice from the garden centre on how to look after the new green baby. How much better to give the gift of something living which can grow and live on for years to come, cleaning the air and responding to its owner, instead of just more ‘stuff’ being accumulated.

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