Gift ideas for plant lovers: what we wish you’d buy us
Buying presents is hard.
Especially for dads.
ESPECIALLY if your dad (like mine) doesn’t like sports, beer, or stuff. Any kind of stuff. He has what he needs.
If you have a plant lover in your life, I’ve compiled a list of things they’d love to receive. The great thing about this list is there isn’t anything on here that I wouldn’t freaking LOVE to have duplicates of. Except maybe 2 of the same book. But in general! A moisture metre upstairs and down so I don’t drip soil on the stairs would be great, but a bit princess-ish.
We don’t need a preamble, do we? There’s a wide variety of price points and they’re in no particular order:
1 – Moisture probe
I challenge you to find an article on this website that doesn’t suggest you get a moisture metre.
They’re incredible – they take all the guesswork out of whether to water and they stop you from having to stick your finger into your plant’s soil – not only is this gross, but it can also be dangerous, e.g. if you have cacti in weeny pots.
I know that there’s some disagreement among the plant community regarding how accurate they are, but we don’t need them to be spot on. It’s just an extra tool along with our fingers and, for really good plant parents, guessing soil moisture levels by weighing the pot.
I got this moisture meter from Amazon, for under a tenner and it’s never steered me wrong. And, like I said if your plant-loving friend already has one, they won’t turn their nose up at another, because they probably have multiple plant zones in their home.
2 – Humidifier
I don’t have a humidifier, but these are the ones that Kaylee Ellen recommends:
A small one – perhaps for someone fairly new to keeping plants
Or this fancy-pants one – you know, if it’s a close friend or you’re just generally pretty rich.
A humidifier is maybe a gift you should run by either the intended recipient or someone close to them – if their house is old, or they only have Sansevieria or cacti then a humidifier would be a bit useless.
3 – Humidity gauge
These are just little square boxes that can measure, oh, loads of things. Obvs humidity, but also light and temperature. V handy for keeping all your plant friends (ahem. I, of course, mean your friend’s plants) happy and healthy.
You can pick this one up from Amazon for £7.99. They’re small and compact enough to carry around, but no plant person would begrudge having more than one.
4 – Terracotta pots
I like receiving pots of any kind, but the ones I always seem to run out of are large terracotta ones. A lot of plant lovers like to use terracotta pots because of their moisture-wicking properties and they look pretty classic in terms of style too, especially the old, beat-up ones.
I’d recommend buying your pots from a local garden centre, because they’ll probably be cheapest. If you’re buying saucers to go with the pots see if the garden centre has glazed ones. Terracotta is porous and using a glazed saucer will help to stop water from your plants damaging any surfaces.
Garden centre terracotta pots also tend to be frost resistant, so the recipient can put the pot outside if they wish too.
5 – Biorb
If you have a close friend or family member that you really want to splash out on, go for the Biorb.
It’s basically a terrarium that’s heated and maintains constant humidity.
No, I don’t have £400 to drop on one, but the reviews are really good in the plant community, so if you really want to go all out, this would be a stellar gift idea.
6 – Plant subscription
There are few things that one can’t get on subscription nowadays. This is a great idea because there are various price points and companies so you can tailor what you want.
Now, I’ve never used a plant subscription service myself, but here are a few that I think look pretty cool:
Bloombox club – from £35, and you get a ceramic pot and plant care card too.
There are LOADS at Crate Joy, so here’s a link to the search page.
Sprout London – £45 for a month, but you can get it cheaper if you buy a block of months in advance.
7 – Watering can
I’m massively into reusing stuff because I’m a bit of a hippy (also the planet is dying) so my houseplant watering can of choice is an old teapot, which I’m pretty happy with. However, there are some beautiful, delicate, long-spouted watering cans available that would really pretty up your bookcase whilst also being functional.
Obvs there are lots online, but there are some gorgeous ones at TK Maxx (though check that it’s leak-proof – I bought one from there with a hole in the base of the spout, but I returned it and they refunded it).
Some garden centres do really nice copper and brass watering cans too, so they’re a good place to hunt.
8 – Plant stand/shelf
Because if your houseplant loving friends are anything like me, they’ll be struggling for plant real estate inside. I saw a beautiful plant stand on Pinterest that I’d love, if only my house was, er, like twice the size.
Here it is, but the link only leads to picture, not a shop. Probs just as well, because it’s a tad big to buy for a gift.
Wayfair do nice plant stands too, though.
I would stick to stands that can support multiple plants. I don’t have room for furniture that can only hold one plant.
9 – Terrarium
Etsy is the place to go for terrariums. I would personally love to receive a terrarium kit (with everything included, plants as well) and then create it myself, but you can buy them ready-done too.
If I were to receive a pre-done terrarium, I think a sealed bottle garden would be a really cool gift. If you prefer to buy in person, you’re best off going to a specialist houseplant shop BUT some garden centres sell terrarium kits.
Empty terrariums are great gifts too, and like I said, Etsy is best (these lightbulbs ones are insane), but Amazon and Wayfair do good ones too.
10 – Propagation station
My propagation station is a collection of clear, narrow-necked receptacles that I’ve upcycled from, er, anything. Method hand-soap containers, sweet-chilli sauce bottles…whatever.
If your friend is very environmentally friendly and loves to propagate plants, then simply keep a collection of suitable containers for them.
If you prefer to spend money on gifts, then there are loads of cute af propagation stations you can get. Again, Etsy is the best for slightly prettier and more unusual offerings, but Amazon does well too.
If you’re on a budget, Ikea do some really nice bud vases for a couple of quid.
11 – Books
This one can be tricky, because you don’t know what your friend already has, so maybe sneak a look at their bookshelves before committing.
Though a bit out-dated apparently this book by DG Hessayon is the best guide according to the Amazon reviews. A lot of houseplant books are targeted to absolute beginners, so may not be suited to a long time plant person.
***UPDATE***I got the Hessayon book for under £3 on eBay and I LOVE IT.
The book I personally would love to receive is this one by Leslie F. Halleck. It’s called Plant Parenting and is all about propagating plants of all kinds, both indoor and outdoor, and according the reviews is more suited to those of us gardening in a colder climate. Dat me.
12 – Moss pole
Yes, practical and boring, but a great gift. If you’re looking to spend more, then buy a few. Or some pots too.
Moss poles are useful, but not essential, so are often bought either as an afterthought or when your monstera has started attaching their aerial roots to your furniture. Getting a couple as gift would be great.
You can get them from garden centres, or Amazon.
13 – Mister
Misters are a bit controversial in the houseplant world, and there are three main camps, all positive that they’re correct.
Camp 1 – some plants need to be misted every day or they’ll die.
Camp 2 – misting does nothing to increase humidity, and people that think that it does are idiots.
Camp 3 – don’t know, don’t care, sometimes I mist my plants because it’s fun and maybe it’ll get rid of some of the dust
I’m in camp three.
There are some beautiful misters on the market, but please be aware that you get what you pay for. A cheap mister is likely to dribble when you mist it, which is no good.
I personally use these amber glass bottles from Amazon. They’re functional but stylish, and you can use them for cleaning products too, so it doesn’t matter if the recipient is in camp 2. I have 2: one for water and one for diluted Zoflora (if you’re interested in vegan/cruelty-free cleaning products, I wrote a whole post about it over on my other blog.
14 – Grow lights
Grow lights are a great Christmas gift (here in the northern hemisphere anyway) because in the middle of winter houseplants are getting a bit light deprived. You can get grow light bulbs that fit into lamps, ones that clip onto furniture, or strips. This one is getting a lot of love on Amazon, and it’s only £11, but there is a grow light for every budget.
Grow lights obviously function as regular lamps too, so you can’t really go wrong with this one. A couple of spare bulbs is a nice touch too.
15 – Plant hanger
Plz ensure that the recipient of your gift has somewhere to hang a plant hanger. Or can srew a hook in somewhere.
If you’re of the crafty persuasion, then get yourself over to Pinterest and find yourself a pattern for a macrame hanger. Here’s a tutorial for beginners. Maybe I’ll give it a go myself. Maybe.
Or you can head over to the internet and buy one. This one from Amazon looks really cool, and has the added bonus that no one will have to do any repotting – a plant can just be popped on the shelf. Swell.
16 – Large tray
Because who doesn’t want a large tray??
Seriously though, a large tray is invaluable for those of us that have a lot of plants to water. I put mine in the living room (where the majority of my plants are) and use it to catch the water from my teapot. It allows me to thoroughly water my plants without soaking the carpet. I also use it to bottom-water my plants.
There are a few available, but I’ve discovered that what you search for matters. For example, if you search for a litter tray (ok, my large tray was originally a litter tray for my bunny) you’ll pay twice the price for what is essentially the same thing as if you searched for a potting tray.
I use one of these for my herbs – one of the sides is very low so it’s good for bottom watering large plants without damaging the leaves.
Oh, and a top tip re. herbs: buy the £1 supermarket ones, leave them alone for a week then repot each but separate each plant into four parts. You now have four times the pots. I remove any tiny seedlings and nip off the new tips. In a couple of weeks, you’ll have herbs galore. I’ve found that parsley, basil, and coriander like to sit for a long time (a few days) in water, and then left to dry out before sitting again. Seems weird, but now I have 12massive herb plants for £3. The basil actually needs repotting.
This tray would be great for indoor watering as all four sides are the same height.
I know it’s weird, but seriously, it would be a great gift for any kind of plant lover or gardener. Or bunny parent.
17 – Bulb vases
I mentioned these briefly before – they’re suuuuper cheap from Ikea and great for propagating plants in.
I do appreciate though that there isn’t an Ikea around every corner though so if you factor in that one:
- You’ll probably have to drive to Ikea. For me, that means a trip to Newcastle. We’ll drop into the Metrocentre and grab some lunch, and probably hit a few garden centres on the way home. Suddenly the bulb vases aren’t so cheap.
- Whoever went into Ikea and came out with only what they went in for? A £1.50 bulb vase requires you to walk all the way around the store – they’re right at the end – resisting the urge to buy a million other bits.
So. You can also pick them up from florists, hardware shops, homeware shops…
And obvs Etsy, which has some super cute ones. These light bulb ones are cool af.
18 – Plantable light fixture
These are incredible but rather pricey, so skip this one if you’re on a budget.
Click through to this article if this is something you’re interested in (it’s a light fixture that you can put plants in if you hadn’t guessed).
This is also a bit of a cheeky one, because most plantable light fixtures are only in the beta testing stage, so are preorder only. Still, if you’re rich and have a friend that’s houseplant and technology mad, then get your name down on this list.
I, personally, would never drop £300 on something that brings water so close to electricity. No ta.
19 – Monstera phone case
Because what’s a gift list without a phone case. Get yourself to Etsy (I swear this article isn’t sponsored and there are no affiliate links) and look at this list to find one your friend might like.
20 – Plants
Don’t worry if you’re not sure which plants your friend already has – I love multiples of plants because they’re pleasing from a design point of view (plus you can always trade it with a friend).
If you’re seriously on a budget, save up £2 a few months before your friend’s birthday (or whatever) and buy an avocado. Eat the avocado, wash the stone, wrap it on damp kitchen towel put it on the windowsill in a plastic sip-loc bag.
When it’s roots emerge, put it in a bulb vase/repurposed clear receptacle so that it’s half-submerged in water. A rooted avocado stone is an incredible adorable gift if you’re low on funds. If you can, buy a few avocados just in case one doesn’t want to grow.
You can balance it using toothpicks if you like (ask for ’em at a restaurant), but it’s a bit of a faff IMO.
Bonus – Herbot
Ok, Herbot is still in the Kickstarter stage but it looks AMAZING. It seems to be on hold at the moment though, so I couldn’t really include it in the gift list. There are updates available, but only to backers, and er, I don’t have the money atm to back what is, in essence, a way to have plants inside without needing to look after them. Still cool though.
It’s basically an indoor automatic garden. How fucking cool!
Ok, so there you have it, twenty gift ideas for plant lovers without a fridge magnet or sticker in sight (although I snuck in a phone case).
If you’re a plant lover and you see something missing off the list, then please feel free to leave a comment below (or alternatively give a scathing critique detailing how shit it would be to receive a moss pole for Christmas. Or a Large Tray).