Holiday Gardening: Caring and Gifting Holiday Plants
The holidays are just around the corner and you know what that means: time to think about what presents to give to loved ones! Giving away holiday plants as a gift is always a great idea especially if you have taken up gardening as a hobby. Think about it, growing holiday plants successfully takes a lot of hard work and commitment, which makes these gifts even more special. Whether given as a thank you gift or as a Christmas present, here are some of our favorite holiday plants that are sure to make this holiday season even more meaningful for you and your loved ones:
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5 Christmas Plants to Give as Gifts
As quintessential winter holiday plants, poinsettias are known for their gorgeous green, blue, and white blooms! These long-lasting blooms make the perfect gift because poinsettias look so good on their own or when surrounded by beautiful holiday decors. As part of a display, poinsettia blooms will last for a long time, about a month or two! Poinsettias can be planted outdoors in the garden or indoors in a pot.
Gardening Tips for Poinsettias
Caring for poinsettias is easy although it takes a little effort to get the plant to bloom a second time. This holiday plant loves the full sun but it will also thrive in partly shady environments. We highly recommend growing the poinsettias after the holidays so they’ll bloom just in time for the next holiday season. You can also buy young poinsettia plants at your local nursery just to speed things up and then give them as gifts once the plants mature. If you are buying poinsettias, choose those with deep green foliage. Avoid poinsettias with low or discolored leaves as these are signs of poor handling, root problems, or dehydration.
Poinsettias love bright, sunny spots and well-draining soil. If you are planting poinsettias in your garden, you have to protect the plants from the cold. Try wrapping or covering the plants when the temperature drops and then unwrap as soon as the climate warms up.
Poinsettias have to be watered regularly but they hate standing water. If the plants are still in their pots, make sure the bottom of the pots has draining holes to keep standing water at bay. If the poinsettias’ leaves are starting to turn yellow, you might be overwatering the plants. If you are planning on a getaway and you want to ensure that your poinsettias are well hydrated while you’re on vacation, try using a root stick. A root stick allows enough water to be absorbed into the plant roots.
Rosemary is not exactly a flowering plant but this fragrant herb makes for a lovely holiday present too. And a useful one at that! From Thanksgiving dinners to Christmas feasts, rosemary can be used to season a variety of holiday dishes. Gifting a pot or two before the holiday season is a terrific way to spice up any meal. Rosemary happens to be a symbol of the Christmas season too. That’s because the herb’s foliage is quite similar to that of a Christmas tree. Since rosemary plants do not grow too big, you can plant these in giftable containers such as mason jars, vintage tin cans, etc. Now all you need is a cheery bow and this edible plant is ready for gift giving!
Gardening Tips for Rosemary
Rosemary is best grown before the last spring frost. You can either grow rosemary from seeds or use plant cuttings. Rosemary is best planted outdoors in the garden although it does quite well when planted in a small pot and then put on display by the window.
If you are growing rosemary indoors, be sure to keep the soil nice and moist, never soggy or wet. This herb hates standing water and overwatering! As with most herbs, rosemary loves the full sun so set a pot (or ten) in a sunny location where the air circulates freely. If say, you want to plant rosemary outdoors in the garden, give each herb enough room to grow. Prune the rosemary gently and frequently to promote new growths.
Although rosemary is quite easy to grow, it’s best to print a care instruction guide on a card if you are sending one as a gift. Tie the care instruction card with a pretty ribbon to make your present even lovelier to look at.
Norfolk Island Pine
The Norfolk Island pine is a tropical plant that looks like pine but is not a true pine at all. This holiday plant is an ornamental evergreen timber and ornamental conifer that's native to, you guessed right, Norfolk Island.
Just like traditional Christmas trees, the Norfolk Island pine is often sold before Christmas season rolls in, which make this plant the perfect gift for the holidays! The best thing about gifting Norfolk Island pine is that this plant makes the best houseplant. It’s easy to grow and its soft, beautiful foliage is sure to make any room in the home look alive!
Gardening Tips for Norfolk Island Pine
Since Norfolk Island pine is a tropical plant, it thrives in warm, humid environments. This isn't the kind of plant that could survive the extreme cold so it's best to plant Norfolk Island pine in large pots so you can take it indoors once the season transitions to the colder months. Norfolk Island pine loves direct bright light although it can tolerate indirect full bright light too. This plant is best grown in well-draining soil.
When it comes to applying the fertilizers, do it during the spring and summer season. It's best to apply a small amount of fertilizers so you don't end up over fertilizing the plant. Water only when the top soil feels dry.
If the bottom foliage of the Norfolk Island pine looks a little brown, that’s fine as long as the browning isn’t spreading upwards to the topmost branches. If browning starts developing to the topmost branches, this is a sign that you are either overwatering the plant or the growing environment is not humid enough.
Lavender is a popular herb known for its soothing and relaxing fragrance. This plant makes the best gift for the holiday season because of its lovely foliage and blooms. This bushy perennial plant stays evergreen all year round and its violet blooms bathe the air with a delightfully soothing scent. As an herb, lavender pairs well with savory dishes and light desserts!
When it comes to gifting lavender, you can give it as a plant, harvest the blooms and dry them to make potpourris or use the dried blooms to make an essential oil. You can also create a lavender-themed gift basket complete with bath essentials with the plant.
Gardening Tips for Lavender
Lavender is best planted in the spring season just as the soil is warming up. This plant loves moderately fertile soil and hates moistness as well as standing water. Water your lavender plants once or twice per week as they mature. Once the lavender plants mature, water the plants every two to three weeks until the buds are starting to form. Once the lavender plants produce flowers, limit the watering to once or twice weekly until harvest.
This is the kind of plant that needs enough room to grow. If you are planning to grow several lavender plants, give each one at least 2 to 3 feet of growing space. Lavender is prone to root rot and fungal disease so never overwater the plant nor grow the lavender in a moist, compact soil.
Pruning helps keep the lavender's foliage under control so trim gently during the early spring season or at harvest time. Harvest the blooms just as they are starting to show color.
Holiday Star Amaryllis
Holiday Star Amaryllis is a flowering houseplant that blooms during the winter months. It makes the perfect holiday gift because it compliments Christmas decors with its festive flowers! In fact, Holiday Star Amaryllis is known to produce a lifetime of gorgeous blooms. The best thing about gifting Holiday Star Amaryllis? This plant is so easy to grow, anyone can do it. This isn’t a fussy flowering plant that needs a lot of attention to thrive.
Gardening Tips for Holiday Star Amaryllis
Holiday Star Amaryllis loves well-draining soil and it does not need regular watering at all. This houseplant has over 600 varieties but the most popular ones are those that produce red, pink, orange, and white flowers. The Holiday Star Amaryllis' bulbs could be planted in pots and grown indoors or planted outdoors in zones 8b to 10. When stored properly, Amaryllis' bulbs could last for over 70 years!
Amaryllis is best grown in a spot that gets bright, indirect light. Water the Amaryllis sparingly until new growths start to form. As the plant matures, water regularly. Holiday Star Amaryllis is known for producing a riot of blooms. To make each plant produce more flowers, keep them away from direct sunlight.
The holiday season is a special time that should be spent with loved ones so why not delights your family and friends with holiday plants as gifts? These plants add life, beauty, and warmth to any home and we’re sure that your loved ones will be happy receiving holiday plants as presents.