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Top 10 Best Houseplants for a Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Updated: Jan 25

The gift giving season is upon us! If you've ever participated in a secret Santa gift exchange, you probably know just how hard it can be to find the perfect gift. Whether it is with friends, coworkers, or family, it's tough to predict what someone might like to receive - and there are only so many mugs and candles that a person needs!

Instead of buying a tacky gift set or settling for a gift card, try gifting a houseplant! Not only will a houseplant bring a smile to the recipients face, it is sure to cement your place as a unique and thoughtful gift giver. Houseplants add life to homes and offices, and provide tangible health benefits as well. Studies have shown that houseplants can help improve air quality and boost mental health, productive and general well-being. And if you're worried the recipient might kill the houseplant, put those worries aside. There are so many low maintenance, hard to kill houseplants that literally anyone can grow!

When choosing a houseplant for a gift, especially for someone new to caring for plants, we always recommend choosing an easy to care for plant! You want to set the recipient up for success as a plant parent and choose a plant that fits their lifestyle.

Here are our favorite houseplant to give as gifts during the holidays:

1. Norfolk Island Pine

Norfolk Pines are not only an iconic holiday houseplant, often used as a mini Christmas tree, but they are also easy going and low maintenance plants! These tropical pines love the warm temperatures of a home in the winter and aren't too picky about their sunlight. Just provide this little pine with some natural light throughout the day, and water when the soil is dry to the touch to keep it happy!

2. Frosty Fern

Another classic winter houseplant, Frosty Fern is named for the bright white tips of it's leaves, giving it the appearance of being touched by frost. Though it might look frosty, this fern does not like cold temperatures and does best in a warm and humid environment - perfect for a bathroom or kitchen! Like most ferns, Frosty Fern does well with a moderate amount of sunlight so place near a window but not in direct sunlight. Frosty Fern is also pet-safe!

3. ZZ Plant

ZZ plant is the unofficial queen of low maintenance houseplants! This sturdy, green leaved beauty is often used for interior landscaping, such as in office buildings, due to it's low care requirements. ZZ Plants can thrive in low light and need very little water! This is the ideal plant for a frequent traveler or busy plant parent.

4. Holiday Cactus

Its not the holidays without a holiday cactus! This popular houseplant is beloved for it's brightly colored blooms, which begin to emerge as the days get shorter in the fall and winter, but the plant itself thrives year round! A holiday cactus is a great option for a sunny windowsill, where the succulent leaves can soak up the light. This plant doesn't require much maintenance, however removing spent blooms will encourage new blooms! This is the perfect plant for brightening someone's winter!

5. Heartleaf Philodendron

Heartleaf Philodendron is a popular houseplant, frequently recommended to beginners due to it's easy care requirements! This fast growing, vining houseplant does well in an area where it can receive a moderate amount of light - any room with natural light will work! Heartleaf Philodendron plants display vibrant green, heart-shaped leaves which grow in a vining habit, making it a great option for hanging in a window or trailing down a shelf.

6. Butterfly Syngonium

Butterfly Syngonium is a great low-light plant option which thrives on neglect! This leafy beauty is also called arrowhead vine due to it's arrowhead shaped leaves and vining growth habit. Syngonium plants are fast growing plants which can adapt to nearly any lighting conditions. Place this plant in an area with lower light and watch as it grows and thrives!

7. Silver Bay Aglaonema

Also called Chinese Evergreen, Silver Bay Aglaonema is a statement plant which does well with low light and requires little water. Silver Bay Aglaonema displays large leaves with silver and green spotting. This is a great option to display in a dark corner of a home where it has room to spread it's large leaves as it grows!

8. Moonshine Snake Plant

Moonshine Snake Plant is a variety of snake plant which displays unique light-green coloration! This coloration can turn nearly white with bright sunlight, or stay a verdant light green when placed in lower light. Snake plants are the ultimate beginner houseplant - these plants can be forgotten about for months and still thrive! Placing a snake plant on a desk or shelf instantly adds life to the space.

9. Hoya Heart Gift Box

Hoya Kerrii, also called Hoya Heart or Sweetheart Plant is an adorable houseplant to give or receive as a gift! This compact plant is ideal for a small space, such as a college dorm or office cubicle. Hoya plants are easy going and do best with indirect bright light, but can also thrive in low light, making it a great gift for anyone!

10. Janet Craig Dracaena

Janet Craig Dracaena displays spiky dark green leaves which add a playful energy to any room! Just like all Dracaena plants, Janet Craig is a tough drought-tolerant plant, which can thrive in any light condition! It is virtually impossible to kill a Dracaena, making them a perfect gift for someone who doesn't have the best green thumb.

Bring a smile to your recipient's face by gifting them a houseplant this year!


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