A blooming red bromeliad, pictured with Norfolk pine trees, would make a wonderful Christmas gift.
A blooming red bromeliad, pictured with Norfolk pine trees, would make a wonderful Christmas gift. iStock

Give a living gift this Christmas

I hope everyone gets at least one plant for Christmas this year. It's my firm belief that everyone, not just avid gardeners, will enjoy having at least one plant in their life. Of course, more would be better, but one is a great start.

So, here are some super-easy-to-grow plants that will make a great gift even for the complete novice.

Indoors, I like Zanzibar Gems, because they live for years, need hardly any water, and are slow growing so they don't keep out-growing their container. Their glossy green leaves are quite dramatic, and they can survive pretty much anywhere with the occasional drink.

I also like peace lilies, all the indoor figs including fiddle leaf figs, bromeliads, devil's ivy or pothos, phalaenopsis orchids, snake plant (sanseveria), anthuriums and monsteras. Though maybe not quite as easy as Zanzibar Gems, they are all still so forgiving that you can almost guarantee success.

For outside, fruit trees are a fantastic gift, rewarding a bit of care with bountiful produce year after year. Citrus are really easy to grow, even in pots. They take a couple of years to fruit but will then live for at least 20 years.

If you want something more decorative, there are plenty of plants in bloom at this time of the year, including frangipanis, dwarf eucalypts, hibiscus, gerberas, bougainvilleas, mandevillas and dipladenias. Even cheap and cheerful potted colour is blooming wonderfully now.

Wrap it up like a bunch of flowers or cram it into a pot for a simply lovely offering.

Kids have a wonderful affinity with plants and the whole growing process is a fantastic experience to share with a child. Try carnivorous plants, strawberries, blueberries, cactus, or even some seeds to sow and grow. Look for kid-sized gloves, trowels and watering cans to make caring for the plants easier to manage.

If you do buy some plants to give as gifts, check with the experts at the garden centre about the best way to care for them before sending them off to their new home. We want these babies to be looking their best when they meet their new family.


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