With Christmas right around the corner, you may be looking for something different to give this year. Why not consider a gift that keeps on giving all year round – the houseplant?
There are an abundance of houseplants from which to choose, so deciding on the right plant can be overwhelming. Some plants may make a beautiful display, but are high maintenance, while others may be easy to grow, but are uninteresting or too conventional. Regardless of what you’re looking for in a houseplant, ease of care should be at the top of your list of requirements, particularly when buying it as a gift. If you’re looking for easy-to-grow houseplants, that are both beautiful and unique, consider adding the following to your Christmas list:
Zebra Haworthia (Haworthia Fasciata)
The Zebra Haworthia is named because its dark green leaves are covered with raised white stripes. The leaves are rounded, pointy, and grow up and out. It doesn’t require much water, and in fact, prefers drier soil. If it becomes loose at its base, which is the first sign that your Haworthia is getting too much water, carefully remove the plant from the too-wet soil, remove the decayed roots, replant it in new soil, and let it dry out for a several weeks.
This unique plant is a perfect gift because it is virtually maintenance-free, it is easy to propagate, and it will last for years. My Haworthia is now 10″ tall, and resembles a Christmas tree with white tinsel. Just for fun, I decorate it with miniature ornaments for the holidays.
Mini Ponytail Palm
The Ponytail Palm, which reminds me of good times at The Beach, is a slow-growing succulent that prefers, but does not require, high light. Its base is shaped like an elephant’s foot, and its leaves are long, thin, and curly. It requires infrequent watering, particularly in the winter months.
This houseplant is unusual, makes an attractive display, and it is low maintenance.
The Coral Cactus is two plants, joined by a process called grafting. It is actually a succulent, although it looks like a cactus. It prefers bright light, but doesn’t require it. This houseplant is happiest when its soil is dry instead of wet.
The fan-shaped crested branches of the Coral Cactus, which forms a snaky ridge, can change shape depending on the amount of water it receives. Watering in the summer, which is its active season, encourages new growth. This new growth may affect the symmetry of the plant, so if you’re happy with the shape of your Coral Cactus, consider reducing the amount of water during the summer months.
If you like unique, unusual plants, you won’t be able to resist the Coral Cactus.
Earth Star or Starfish Plant (Cryptanthus bivittatus)
Earth Star or Starfish Plants are in the bromeliad family, and are named for their star or starfish shape. The striped leaves are slightly stiff and curve under at the tips. The depth of color of the leaves depend on the amount of light the plant receives – the brighter the light, the deeper the color. These houseplants require medium water, so keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
This colorful plant, with its uniquely shaped leaves, and ease of care, make it a great gift choice. It is also easy to propagate – an excellent example of the gift that keeps on giving.