8 Plants That Actually Make Perfect Holiday Gifts

A gift that keeps on giving

poinsettia

Anna Ostanina / Getty Images

Houseplants make the best presents. They are truly a gift that keeps on giving, year after year, making them an excellent choice for the holiday season. Think about it: even after you give the gift, you’ll continue to make someone happy as the plants flourish and bloom, growing into bigger, more beautiful plants.

There are tons of beautiful holiday and Christmas plants out there that look great in the winter and some that even bloom. We rounded up a handful of plants that make perfect holiday gifts, no matter who is on your list this year. 

  • 01 of 08

    Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)

    rosemary Christmas tree

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    If you have a cook in your family or group of friends, give them a rosemary plant. It is a kitchen staple and can thrive both indoors and outdoors. Plus, it smells incredible and is an excellent addition to a ton of Christmas meal classics. They like bright light (the more light, the better) and prefer their soil to stay moist. 

    Fun Fact

    There are fun shapes of rosemary plants on offer for the holidays. Your local grocery store or nursery might have one in a festive Christmas tree shape.

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  • 02 of 08

    Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

    Poinsettias

    The Spruce / Margot Cavin

    Perhaps the Christmas classic, the Poinsettia is an obvious choice for a holiday gift. They have vibrant red blooms and velvety green leaves. This is an excellent gift for someone who is hosting Christmas at their home this year. It’ll be a great addition to their decor and help carry the Christmas spirit through the month of December.

    Some care tips: first, do not overwater these plants, They’ll start to drop their flowers if their soil is too wet, so only water when it is dry to the touch. And while these are beautiful plants, they can take some work to make rebloom. 

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  • 03 of 08

    Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)

    Christmas cactus

    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    Christmas cacti are really unique and beautiful plants. They can last for a long time and even bloom multiple times a year. The striking red and pink leaves look incredible against the greens of the cacti. This is a great gift for someone who loves a unique houseplant as well as a fun pop of color.

    Christmas cacti like to be placed in a bright window and watered every seven to ten days. They’re also an ideal option for people who forget to repot their plants, as they love being rootbound.

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  • 04 of 08

    Amaryllis (Amaryllis)

    Amaryllis flower with red trumpet-shaped petals in white pot

    The Spruce / Gyscha Rendy

    Amaryllis are beautiful plants that grow from a bulb. They have stunning red and white blooms that last for about four to six weeks after it has been planted. They’re a gorgeous option for a centerpiece, so if you have someone in your life who loves to entertain around the holidays, this is the plant for them.

    Make sure you place Amaryllis in bright light so the foliage and blooms stay strong, and be sure to keep the soil moist. Once the flowers drop, you can absolutely remove them and move the plant outside once it’s not too cold.

    As this is a bulbing plant, it’s important to let it go dormant for a time (usually in late summer/early fall). Remove any yellow leaves, stop watering it, place it in a dark and cool place, and then bring it back out in November when the growing cycle begins again.

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  • 05 of 08

    Orchid (Orchidaceae)

    orchids growing by the window

    The Spruce / Viktoriya Stoeva

    People love to receive orchids, and the holidays are a perfect time to gift them. If you know someone who loves flowers but doesn’t have a lot of time to care for them, this is a great choice. Orchids come in all different colors and varieties, so you’ll definitely be able to find one for your loved one.

    Orchids thrive in bright, indirect light and cooler temperatures (don’t keep this one near your heating vent). Water once a week except during the late summer when you want the plant to dry out a little bit so it starts budding again.  

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  • 06 of 08

    Paperwhite Narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus)

    Paperwhite narcissus planrt with white flowers and buds

    The Spruce / Heidi Kolsky

    These delicate flowers are so pretty. Grown from bulbs, paperwhites have super tall stems and soft, white petals. You can either give these in bulb form to someone who likes to garden, or you can give someone a bloomed plant to enjoy during the holiday season.

    Keep in mind that once they’re planted in a pot, they cannot be replanted outdoors. They like to be in a cool but bright location. Make sure to water regularly as they like moist soil, and use a pretty plant stake to keep them upright.

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  • 07 of 08

    Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)

    Norfolk Island Pine Indoors

    The Spruce / Kortney Gloska

    If you have a friend who has a tiny apartment, bring them one of these adorable, mini Christmas trees. The Norfolk Island Pine actually comes from the South Pacific, making it a tropical plant. Their branches are a bit delicate, so place a few lightweight fairy lights on them and you’ll be good to go for the festive season.

    Norfolk Island Pines like medium-bright light and only need water when they’re dry to the touch. If the branches dry up, they won’t regrow towards the bottom of the plant. Make sure to mist it regularly or place it by a humidifier as they love humid environments.

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  • 08 of 08

    Cyclamen (Cyclamen)

    potted cyclamen plants

    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    Though it is a tough plant to rebloom, the Cyclamen is absolutely stunning. They have gorgeous blooms that can come in a number of colors, including red or white, and last for around eight weeks if the conditions are correct. If you know someone who is up for a challenge, this is the holiday plant for them. 

    They don’t like super bright light or warm drafts, and they want to be watered from the base. If you can care for them correctly they’ll reward you with blooms again next winter.