Written by Kelsey W.
This year forgo the artificial plastic gifts that we’ll all forget about in a month. Instead, choose a beautiful plant for your loved one, coworker, friend, neighbor, or anyone else in your life who deserves a vibrant living gift.
Even though the temperatures get cold in the fall and winter in Southern California, plants remain a lovely gift, especially when they carry special meanings.
It may seem like you have as many choices for plant gifts as there are stars in the sky, so let’s narrow down the selection a bit and discuss some excellent gardening gifts to suit every temperament, relationship, and winter holiday.
Best Gardening Gift for a Significant Other
For special friends, dear relatives, and significant others, the Hoya heart plant is a beautiful gift with the bonus of easy care. Hoya heart plant leaves are shaped like hearts and are content to sit on a windowsill and receive infrequent watering throughout the year.
Hoya heart plants rarely need repotting and will stay the same size for years when given proper care. You’ll commonly find Hoya heart plants sold as a single leaf placed vertically in a small pot. The single leaf plant can live for years and only has a tiny chance of growing a new leaf (which you may propagate into a new plant if you wish).
Best Gardening Gift to Celebrate Christmas
For anyone who celebrates Christmas and is particularly attuned to the holiday’s religious significance, the Calathea beauty star is a lovely and meaningful gardening gift. The plant opens and closes every day, and when its leaves curl up at night, they look like hands praying.
A beautiful gift for those who celebrate Hanukkah is a blooming peace lily, which should display a vibrant white flower that will easily last throughout the eight days and nights of the Festival of Lights. With bright light and regular watering, the lily can last for years, providing beautiful blooms throughout its life.
Best Gardening Gift for a Busy Student
Ficus plants are an incredibly popular houseplant, and you’ll occasionally see them as towering trees that grow up to 60 feet tall under the right conditions. For a gardening gift, consider the Ficus Tineke, which is easy to grow and is excellent for a busy student.
Ficus plants don’t like direct sunlight and instead fare well just to the side of a bright window. The Ficus Tineke features yellow, green, and pink leaves, sure to dress up any dormitory. The plant is also a wonderful housewarming gift for a homeowner busy setting up their home.
Best Gardening Gift for a Pet Lover
Some plants are toxic to pets, and you may want to choose a bird’s nest fern for the pet lover in your life. These plants aren’t toxic to pets or people, so a curious dog who takes a few bites of the fern won’t get sick. The fern shouldn’t mind too much either, as their abundance of leaves means they can survive the occasional pruning.
The bright green leaves of the bird’s nest fern are a wonderful addition to any home, and they do exceptionally well when placed in a bathroom where they’ll soak up the humidity from the shower. They only need a new pot every few years, so they’re not too demanding or likely to take over a small bathroom.
Best Gardening Gift for an Enthusiastic New Plant Lover
The Pilea Peperomioides is also known as the UFO plant, pancake plant, or Chinese money plant. Its leaves look a lot like large green coins. If you have someone in your life who is quite enthusiastic about plants and adding to their collection, the Pilea Peperomioides is a fun option because it routinely creates pups, perfect for propagating and making new plants.
Pilea Peperomioides enjoys bright light but is best placed just outside the direct rays of the sun. The leaves can burn when given too much direct sunlight. As long as it’s not too dry out, the plant fares well with a weekly dose of water.
Best Gardening Gift for a Neighbor
If you walk down almost any neighborhood street in Southern California, you’re bound to see at least one jade plant in the ground or a pot on someone’s porch. Jade plants are a perfect gift for a neighbor or friend with some room outside for a new plant friend.
Jade plants are exceptionally forgiving regarding water and love the bright Southern California sun. They’re comfortable indoors, too, as long as they’re placed near a sunny window. Jade plants live for decades and represent one of the easiest plants to grow in a pot or garden.
Best Gardening Gift for the New Year
Not to be confused with the Pilea Peperomioides, which is often referred to as a money plant, the money tree, or Pachira Aquatica, is the ideal gardening gift for New Year’s celebrations. The tree is often sold as a bonsai or a potted houseplant and should only grow about a foot tall when housed inside.
Money trees are rumored to give their owners luck and prosperity, which is why they’re a wonderful gift for the new year. A money tree is also a wonderful gift for any fresh start in life, whether it’s a new job, new home, or new baby. The recipient will always think of your wish for their prosperity when they look at their money tree.
Best Gardening Gift for Your Home
Poinsettias represent an iconic part of post-Thanksgiving Day décor, and just as the fall chrysanthemums start to fade away, they’re replaced with Poinsettias on porches, windowsills, and coffee tables. They make a lovely gardening gift to yourself to beautify your home. Poinsettias are also a welcome sight at any winter work function, party, or gathering.
Did you know you can keep a poinsettia alive throughout the year? For any gardener or plant lover willing to put in a little extra effort, the poinsettia is capable of living throughout the year. Some lucky owners will enjoy a second round of blooms during the following winter holiday season.
Best Gardening Gift for Winter Backyard Gardeners
The growing season doesn’t end in California when we “fall back” with the clocks and start to experience cooler temperatures. For the backyard gardening enthusiast in your life, the gift of winter vegetables will help them enjoy continued harvests throughout the year. Winter is also the best time to plant certain vegetables for a spring or summer harvest the following year.
For example, garlic can go into the ground almost any time in the fall or winter for midsummer harvests next year. Cabbage will grow and offer edible heads throughout the winter. Kale is another vegetable that thrives in cooler temperatures and tastes best when harvested in cold weather.
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