If you’re struggling to think of a gift idea for your mum, dad, sister, brother, partner, or colleague, a plant could be just the ticket! However, not all plant gifts are suited to everyone, which is why it’s important to do a little research.
You should consider both the individual you’re gifting and how much care the plant requires, as well as the environment and climate it will be living in.
With this in mind, it’s vital to take several factors into consideration when it comes to planting gifting etiquette. The most important of these is the ability of the receiver to care for the plant, the size of the plant (especially when it matures as there is no use gifting a monster of a plant to those who live in a tiny apartment), as well as possible allergies and whether the plant is toxic to pets and children.
Certain plants, shrubs, and blooms can be a nightmare to look after, especially if they do not have the right conditions and care. And of course, we want the recipient to watch their plant thrive, not die! Here we’ve listed some of the top things to consider before purchasing plant gifts, so you don’t end up giving a present you’re going to regret.
Are all plants good presents?
Plants make a fantastic gift as they’re an item that is suited to almost any occasion – be it to mark a birthday, as a congratulatory present, a housewarming gift, for a graduation, as a sympathy gift, or even to celebrate an anniversary. Plants are appreciated all year round and come in all shapes and sizes, which also makes them a versatile option to give to nearest and dearest.
When looking for the perfect plant gift, choose wisely, as you don’t want to give someone a burden. Certain plants could also be a hindrance to some people, especially if they’re allergic to particular shrubs, or have animals that may be allergic to the specie in question.
Even a green-fingered connoisseur might struggle with certain species of plants, especially if they’re unable to give it the care it requires. For example, if the plant in question grows higher than most average ceilings, yet can’t be placed outdoors, it will quickly suffer and become a nuisance for the person trying to care for it.
Think about the recipient
With this in mind, it’s important to know your audience. Either that or choose a low maintenance generic plant. It’s also very important to know where the plant will be living and how big it will grow. All it takes to learn the answers to these questions is a little research.
You can also ask your local or online florist, or someone close to you that knows a lot about plants and gardening. It’s also wise to pick a plant that is not notorious for getting attacked by pests or one which requires a great deal of sunlight (especially if the recipient lives in a cooler area).
Is a plant gift suitable?
One of the main considerations is where the plant will reside. For example, if you’re gifting a get well gift to someone who is in the hospital, he or she may not be allowed to accept the plant, as certain plants could be harmful to other patients.
If they are allowed to accept plants, choose something smaller that will be easy for them to carry home when they are discharged.
What needs does your plant gift have?
Houseplant needs must also be taken into consideration. Giving someone a cactus that lives in a very damp home is almost like hanging them an empty container, as the cactus is unlikely to last for very long. Similarly, sending the likes of a dwarf citrus to someone who lives in a home that has limited light is a little like sentencing this plant to an early death.
Plant gifts should bring joy not anger and disappointment, which is why it’s a must you choose shrubs and flowers that will slot into the home environment successfully.
How big could the plant get/is there space for it?
One of the biggest and main considerations is size. Research the plant in question as although it may be small when you buy it, it could quickly take over. It could also be harmful to other plants, making them dwindle by thriving on their space and light.
For best results, check on the plant’s mature size and ensure it will fit comfortably into the home (or perhaps garden) that it is going into.
Can the plant be properly cared for?
Care is another major issue. If you are gifting a plant to a novice, or someone who is often away from their home, it’s imperative you choose plant gifts that are easy to grow and relatively low maintenance. This should help you to ensure the recipient’s first growing experience is not a negative one.
Some good options include cacti and succulents, as well as Ivy, Pothos and the Snake plant. Asides from being easy to care for, these plants also add colour to the home, while helping to purify the air. Try to assess the light and humidity of the individual’s home before choosing which plant to gift them.
What colours could your plant gift be?
If you are giving a plant that flowers, try to avoid hues that are too garish or a colour you know the recipient isn’t the biggest fan of. Again, this could mean a little research is required, as not all plants are in bloom when purchased. In addition to this, avoid pungent aromas, especially if the recipient may suffer from hay fever.
It’s also important to select a pet and child-friendly plants that are non-toxic, such as African violet, Christmas cactus, Air plants or friendship plants.
Can plant gifts be practical?
For those who adore cooking, a potted arrangement of herbs makes for a great plant gift and one that will keep on giving if cared for correctly. You may also be lucky enough to sample the plant if you pop round to theirs for dinner!
By taking a few of these factors into consideration, we hope you’ll be able to find the perfect plant gifts for any occasion and any environment!
Sources: gardeningknowhow.com, rhs.org.uk