Cat lover? New plant parent? Fortune seeker? Traveler? We've got the perfect plant for all.
If you are struggling with ideas for gifts that are both sustainable and promise joy for the recipient, consider a houseplant. They are charming, offer a bevy of benefits, and at the end of their life will not end up in the landfill for centuries to come. They may be the perfect "anti-stuff" gift. That said, not all indoor plants are for everyone – so with that in mind, we have picked certain plants to go along with certain personalities for a truly green gift guide. Consider the following:
1. For the new plant parent: ZZ plant
2. For the insomniac: Lavender8 bedroom plants to improve your sleep" – and in fact, it is probably one of the best known plants for helping to coax calm nerves and slumber. Among other research, single-blind randomized studies investigating the effectiveness of lavender aroma on quality of sleep show that lavender improved sleep quality in a wide array of participants.
3. For the dog lover: Ponytail palmBeaucarnea recurvata can be found in the ASPCA's list of "Plants Non-Toxic to Dogs." This fun and whimsical houseplant is also very easy to care for, making it a great gift for someone who travels a lot ... or would rather spend more time playing with their pup than taking care of a plant. As a member of the agave family, it likes bright indirect to bright light.
4. For the cat lover: Parlor palmChamaedorea elegans is also known as a miniature fishtail dwarf palm, good luck palm, tabletop palm, and bella palm. Don't you think it would look great in a home with cats? The ASPCA gives it its blessing as non-toxic to cats. It will do best in bright, filtered light, but will adapt to low light as well – and otherwise requires very little care.
5. For the sun worshipper: Aloe vera
6. For the chef: Windowsill herbsedible flowers, like nasturtium or pansies. Some shops offer grow-your-own kits, or you could put together your own selection of potted herbs.
7. For the friend or the fortune seeker: Pilea peperomioidesThis plant, ohhh, this plant. Also known as the Chinese money plant, pancake plant, UFO plant, and friendship plant, it is easily one of the most charming plants around. Legend has it that if you bury a coin in the soil, good fortune will come to you. But even better, as Summer Rayne Oakes explains in the video above, it is called the friendship plant because it is so easily propagated and shared with friends.
8. For the hedonist: OrchidRePotme notes, "With proper care an orchid can be in bloom for months each year and can live indefinitely ... A well cared for and varied orchid collection can provide continuous bloom every day of the year." How luxurious is that?
9. For the Type-A personality: Jade plant
10. For the mad scientist: Venus flytrapBetter Homes & Gardens explains that they can go a month or two without food, they will eventually require a live insect – for that reason, they recommend keeping flytraps in closed terrariums where feeding is easier. It's kind of starting to sound Victorian...
11. For the detail-oriented: Bonsai treeBonsai need attention; they need proper placement and watering, and pinching and trimming, among other things – but what a wonderful gift for the right person.
12. For the bathing beauty: A collections of fernsFern Friends Collection.
See more plant ideas in the related stories below.