12 Perfect Christmas Present Plants

Do you love indoor plants? If you have an indoor jungle in your home that you’re obsessed with, it’s natural to want to share that passion with your loved ones. But what if that person isn’t an experienced plant parent yet? What if they just don’t know where to start?

We’ve compiled a list of 12 plants that make perfect Christmas presents. These plants work in a variety of conditions, work well in lots of different styles of spaces, and will withstand the ebbs and flows that come with someone learning how to grow their green thumb.

We’ve all been there with our first plants. Give your friends the gift of indoor plant confidence this Christmas with these perfect Christmas present plants!  These beginner houseplants are a joy to see on Christmas morning!

snake plants sansevieria laurentii 12 christmas present plants

1. Snake Plant

Snake plants (Sansevieria) are available in a vast array of sizes and styles. Most of them share key qualities that make them great presents. First, they’re incredibly easy to care for because they prefer to be left alone more often than not. You can wait 2 weeks to a month between waterings, especially in the winter. Second, they fit into smaller spaces with their narrow, upright shape, so you don’t have to worry about how much space your giftee has available for plants. Thirdly, they will withstand a very wide level of light, anywhere from bright light to low light – this way you can gift a snake plant without knowing how much light your friend does or doesn’t have.

2. String of Hearts

String of hearts (Ceropegia woodii) are a perfect gift, especially for younger friends or family. They’re very trendy right now, showing up all over influencers’ feeds online. Many people new to plants may not realize how easy they are to care for. Since they’re similar to succulents, you can wait to water them until the leaves crinkle just the littlest bit. Once they’ve told you they’re thirsty, put their pot in a bowl and let them absorb as much water as they want. It’s really that simply. String of hearts are available in variegated varieties too, with little pink edges on the cute heart-shaped leaves.

string of hearts Ceropegia woodii 12 christmas present plants
Philodendron erubescens Pink Princess 12 days of christmas present plants

3. Philodendrons

Philodendrons cover a huge category of plants, with more shapes, sizes and colors than we can list in this blog! The great thing about all philodendrons, despite their vast and unique differences, is that they respond to the same simple care routine: they want lots of light, a little humidity if possible, and an even watering schedule. If you give them a moss pole to climb, many will reward you with big, dramatic leaves!

Even some of the more rare and popular styles are as easy to care for as the more accessible varieties. If you have a friend or family member on your Christmas list that has a specific kind of philodendron in mind, many of these unique varieties are available in smaller, affordable sizes. Our Philodendron Pink Princess plants in 2-inch pots are darling with their bubble-gum variegation, and they’re sure to bring a smile on Christmas morning!

4. Pothos & Scindapsus

Pothos plants and Scindapsus plants have very similar habits, and we consider them the most indestructible plants on our Christmas list. Seriously, we’ve seen pothos and scindapsus recover from the most extreme cases of neglect, stress or infection, and they bounce back like nothing happened. If worse comes to worse, they’re very easy to propagate too so you can always, always salvage a pothos! This makes this plant a perfect gift for someone who wants to learn how to care for plants: they can handle lower light, they respond to care by visibly perking up after being watered, and they’ll withstand a few bumps and mistakes along the way. The way they trail over shelves is an added bonus!

neon pothos Epipremnum aureum neon 12 christmas present plants
Christmas cactus Schlumbergera truncata 12 christmas present plants

5. Christmas Cacti

Christmas cacti (Schlumbergera truncata) are very popular in nurseries during the holiday season, even ours. But did you know these are the easiest holiday plants to have rebloom year after year? Once they’re in a situation they like, they are a great choice in Christmas foliage for anyone who wants to keep them and watch them bloom every holiday season. The older ones drape with huge, elegantly draping segmented stems, earning them the nickname Crab Cactus. For most of the year Christmas Cacti look like a modern sculpture, and then for a few months of the year they bloom with bright white, pink, red and salmon flowers.

In order to care for them through the year, they actually like environments that are, as one of our staff describes it, “cave-like.” They need less light than their succulent cousins, and they like humidity. Put them over a pebble tray in a bathroom or on a shelf further into the room, water once the soil has dried, and you’ll have a happily dormant Christmas cactus that’s ready to wake up and bloom for you every holiday season.

6. Ficus Triangularis

Triangle Figs (Ficus triangularis) can be easily identified in the nursery with their handsomely variegated triangle-shaped foliage. While most Ficus need a specific routine to be happy, these guys are the most easy-going ficus in the family. Simply keep their soil moist (similar to how you would a fern), and they’re good to go. This is one of the staff picks’ that made our Christmas list this year, we just can’t get enough of them!

Triangle Fig Ficus triangularis 12p plants for christmas presents
cacti desert cactus for home or office 12 christmas present plants

7. Desert Cacti

Do you have a friend who wants plants… but is probably not going to water them? Cactus it is! Most desert cacti simply need lots of light and a little bit of water every now and then. Forgetting to water these houseplants is better than fretting and overwatering them! There are more varieties of cacti than we can name, and we have a whole wall dedicated to them in our nursery. If you are gifting a cactus to a friend and you’re not sure of their light situation, add an office grow light bulb to the mix. They’re the same light and size as regular lightbulbs but they have the kind of light plants need to thrive.

8. Easy Care Hoya Varieties

If you’ve heard a true plantista talk about their plants, they have probably brought up their favorite hoyas. This family of indoor plants ranges from the adorable Hoya kerii (that looks like a valentine heart growing in soil), to epic trailing plants like a Hindu Rope Hoya. Similar to philodendrons, most hoyas love bright, indirect light and an even watering schedule that lets them dry out a little bit in between waterings. They come in an even wider variety of shapes, so there is certainly a hoya for everyone. This is a good choice for anyone who has a plant or two and they’re ready to branch out just a little bit.

Heart Hoya hoya kerii 12 christmas present plants
ZZ Plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia 12 plants for christmas presents

9. ZZ Plants

ZZ Plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) are another tried and true beginner-friendly plant. If you want to give someone a plant but you know nothing about their home situation or their skill level with plant, the ZZ plant can handle a variety of light levels, will complement a variety of homes, and will “thrive on neglect.” Native to Africa, they actually have a very similar kind of hardiness as snake plants, i.e. if you forget about them for a while they’ll tough it out; ZZ plants have a softer look and will blend into more styles of interior design than a snake plant always will.

10. Chinese Evergreens (Aglaonemas)

Chinese evergreens, aka Aglaonemas,  make awesome plant presents for the color they bring year-round. Their foliage is a festive red, white and green, and every variety sports a different balance of color. They have similar care needs to many of the plants mentioned earlier – water when the top few inches of soil has dried out, don’t let them sit in standing water, and they can thrive in low to medium light levels. Their durability makes them a great first plant, and their endless varieties of colors and variegation make them a wonderful bonus plant for the experienced plant parents on your list too.

Chinese Evergreen aglaonema 12 christmas present plants
Monstera deliciosa 12 Christmas Present Plants

11. Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera deliciosa plants have some of the most recognizable leaves, with their cutouts (called fenestrations) that deepen as the leaves age. Graphic designers especially have made this plant synonymous with indoor plant culture and indoor jungles.

Since Monstera deliciosas are so iconic as a tropical indoor plant, many uninitiated tend to believe that they are too difficult to care for – this could not be further from the truth. Monsteras can tolerate a wide range of light levels and they like to stay evenly moist if possible, but can handle drying out somewhat. They like humidity, so consider adding a pebble tray or misting bottle to the gift basket.

This is a very fun and trendy gift for someone who loves the idea of owning lots of plants, but they don’t have the time or resources to build biophilic rooms or living walls. Monsteras will bring that trendy indoor oasis vibe immediately and all on their own.

12. Begonias

Rounding out our list of perfect plant gifts is an option that is admittedly less beginner-friendly, but we had to mention this up-and-coming trend. Indoor Begonias bring some of the wildest and most vibrant colors to indoor plant collections, with bright pinks and reds and polka dots on their foliage. You need to get the watering routine dialed in since they love to be evenly moist but can’t stand in sitting water (they’re susceptible to root rot).  Trust us, the extra steps included in their care is worth it for the show they put on.

Begonia rex-cultorum indoor begonia 12 christmas present plants

Bonus Gift: Gift cards! A Patuxent Nursery Giftcard is a great option. Feel free to come in and bring your bestie shopping, so you can shop for your favorite plants together! Our plant experts will help you both find the perfect houseplant that is the best fit for you, your home, and the level of care you’re comfortable with.

infograph of great plants for christmas presents

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