Home Decor

The 7 Best Plant Gifts to Give a Friend. Any Friend.

From the whimsical to the (nearly) impossible to kill.

November 12, 2019
Photo by Jenny Huang

Ever give a plant to a friend only to find out it didn’t even make it through the month? Ever say to yourself, "I’m never doing that again?" Yeah, same. To be fair to all parties involved, though, the fault in this case lies neither with the intention of the gift nor the receiver—just perhaps the choice of plant.

Houseplants are, in fact, a great gift idea. They can help brighten up a room, purify the air in your home, and vastly improve your emotional well-being by improving focus, lowering anxiety, and increasing productivity. They can also, however, be tricky to give to someone. There's so much to consider—light in their home, gaps in their schedule for plant care, and personal taste.

Enter our friends, the plant experts at UrbanStems, who’ve made it their business to deliver happiness—one plant gift at a time. They give us the rundown on the best plants to give a friend. Any friend. Here are seven to consider.

1.The Kondo

The Kondo turns heads with its gorgeously patterned leaves and striking markings, and is perfect for a friend who loves a clean but bold aesthetic. Equally striking is the sleek plant stand in which it comes. Easy to care for, this calathea plant will immediately elevate a room—and the mood of the lucky recipient.

Photo by UrbanStems

2. The Azores

Bring some of the tropics inside your home this winter. The Azores is a stylish aloe plant known for its ability to reduce irritation from cuts and burns, and would make a thoughtful gift for the adventurous cook in your life. With its pops of blue and green, the Azores is also the fresh burst of color any kitchen would welcome.

Photo by UrbanStems

3. The Madonna

The Madonna features a dazzling white orchid, and would make a beautiful engagement gift for a friend. Its metallic planter also strikes the right festive notes for the season (or any time, really).

Photo by UrbanStems

4. The Thimble

The Thimble, with its bright, multicolored croton, makes an excellent congratulatory gift for a friend who has landed a new job or a well-deserved promotion, perhaps. It helps that this croton is low-maintenance and won’t make too many demands on their time! The Thimble’s brilliant leaves also bring in all the fall colors into your home, and that can only be a good thing.

Photo by UrbanStems

5. The Cathy

Within its lighthearted, feminine planter, The Cathy includes a burro tail succulent that needs very infrequent watering. This makes the Cathy a considerate choice for a busy new parent, but also a fun choice for a friend who’s looking for a quick pick-me-up.

Photo by UrbanStems

6. The Francis

The Francis features a rubber tree plant, which is known for being both sturdy and reliable. Watering is only required when the leaves begin to look droopy (no mind-reading required here), making the Francis a great housewarming option for a friend with a hectic schedule.

Photo by UrbanStems

7. The Morrison

The Morrison includes a low-maintenance air plant that gets much of its moisture and nutrients from the surrounding air. This air plant is housed inside a fun dinosaur-shaped container that’s perfect for a friend who enjoys a bit of whimsy in their home decor.

Photo by UrbanStems

This post contains products from which Food52 may earn an affiliate commission.

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Do you have a favorite plant to give as a gift? Tell us in the comments below!
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See what other Food52 readers are saying.


Written by: UrbanStems


M November 12, 2019
Wait.. what? "One of the easiest orchids" does not equal "no-fail plant." Orchids require specific food, soil, light, and temperature. General "room temperature" alone is not ideal for these plants. And if a brown thumb manages to keep it alive, getting it to bloom again is a whole other story.

And.. Did someone forget to put an ad tag on this?
Smaug November 13, 2019
I personally find this whole "article" rather horrifying, but the new Food52 is all about making a sale, it seems futile to complain. Perhaps better this than the usually badly misinformed plant care articles.
M November 13, 2019
Yeah.. Torn between this site having some of my favourite content, and some of the most aggravating. Doesn't help that a third of the content I'm curious about turn out to be ads, editorial written like ads, or have misleading headlines.