31 Beautiful Plants to Gift and Receive This Holiday Season

Looking for holiday gift ideas? Look no further than the garden! Share the season's joy with a meaningful gift of a living plant. In this article, gardening expert Katherine Rowe shares festive plants to give and receive this holiday season.

A close-up of the Holly plant featuring glossy, deep green leaves adorned with spiky edges. Among the leaves, there are vibrant red fruits, known for their festive appearance and traditional holiday significance.


Fall ushers in cooler weather, shorter days, and musings of the upcoming holiday season.  With a bit of planning, a plant from the garden (or garden center) makes a thoughtful gift for the special giftees on your list.  

Whether you have houseplants or garden selections in mind – or both – this list of beautiful plants to gift and receive this holiday season is sure to draw gift inspiration for all types of gardeners and nongardeners alike. 

A hand-selected plant makes a perfect exchange for any holiday occasion, like family visits, festive get-togethers, and office parties. A well-gifted plant makes a beloved gift for teachers, coworkers, friends, and family.


A close-up captures the stunning Amaryllis, showcasing its vibrant red flowers with delicate white linings. The protruding centers of the flowers are highlighted, adding depth and texture to their beauty. The slender stems elegantly support these exquisite blooms.
For a tailor-made gift that spans the weeks of the holiday season, consider gifting an amaryllis.
botanical-name botanical name Hippeastrum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to part shade
height height 18-24 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-10

Amaryllis makes a beautiful gift to span the weeks of the holiday season with large, bold blooms in various colors. For a tailor-made gift, plant a single amaryllis bulb in a pot slightly larger than the bulb, leaving the top half of the bulb exposed. Use sheet moss to cover exposed soil as a unique flourish, creating an elegant gift that will grow and bloom with the season. Amaryllis can take six to eight weeks to bloom, so it’s perfect to give in early November for flowers around the holidays.

The joy of amaryllis lasts beyond a single season. Plant them directly in the garden in warmer climates after the final frost. Store bulbs in a cool, dark, dry place in colder climates until repotting the following fall season. 

With so many beautiful amaryllis varieties, enjoy picking the perfect bulb for your recipient.  Amaryllis ‘Red Lion’ is bright red, ‘Apple Blossom’ is a lovely pink, ‘White Christmas’ is pure white, and ‘Candy Cane’ has striped petals of red and white – just to name a few!

Christmas Cactus

A close-up of a Christmas Cactus. The vibrant, unique pink flower takes center stage, its petals bursting with life. The surrounding leaves create a striking contrast with their deep green color and segmented structure, accentuating the flower's elegance.
The Christmas cactus is known for its simplicity in maintenance and propagation.
botanical-name botanical name Schlumbergera bridgesti
sun-requirements sun requirements Part shade
height height Up to 2 feet tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Christmas cactus is a popular houseplant that’s easy to care for and propagate – ideal for sharing and gifting!  Aptly named for its bloom time, Christmas cactus blooms for four to six weeks near the holidays. Buds emerge along branches in late fall and become billowy blooms in winter, ranging from white to red to purple.

Ready to create more cacti? Follow a few simple steps for propagating Christmas cactus in spring. These baby cacti will be set for gifting come holiday time.

Paperwhite narcissus

A close-up reveals the enchanting Paperwhite narcissus, featuring pure white flowers with sunny yellow centers. The delicate blossoms exude a sense of purity and grace, while the yellow centers draw the eye, adding a touch of warmth to the composition.
Planting a cluster of paperwhite bulbs in a shallow bowl filled with soil or pebbles makes a beautiful gift.
botanical-name botanical name Narcissus tazetta
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to part sun
height height 16-24 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

Paperwhites bring a bouquet of holiday cheer to the gift plant exchange. Quick-flowering bulbs bloom within four to six weeks of planting. ‘Ziva’ is a classic variety with crisp white blooms on tall stems (and a musky scent). For a lighter and sweeter fragrance, look for cultivars like ‘Inbel,’ ‘Ariel,’ and ‘Nir’ from your local nursery, or order directly from growers.  

Paperwhites are small bulbs that make the greatest impact planted in numbers. For a lovely gift, plant a bundle of bulbs in a shallow bowl filled with soil or pebbles. Place bulbs one inch apart or less – they handle crowding well and present many blooms.


A close-up of a Poinsettia showcases its dark pink flowers with vibrant yellow centers, creating a visually striking contrast. The lush, green leaves that envelop the flowers further enhance the plant's beauty, adding a rich backdrop to the captivating blooms.
Originally from Mexico, these plants can reach a height of 15 feet in the wild.
botanical-name botanical name Euphorbia pulcherrima
sun-requirements sun requirements Part sun
height height 2 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Poinsettias are traditionally associated with the holiday season around the globe. Wild specimens originate in Mexico, where they can grow to 15 feet tall. The colorful, compact plants we celebrate today are available in various colors and patterns, from bright red to white to pink to blotched, with merry names like ‘Jingle Bells,’ ‘Winter Rose,’ and ‘Plum Pudding.’

The poinsettia performs best indoors, in indirect light, out of drafts, and away from heater vents and fireplaces to avoid withering leaves.

Not ready to part with your poinsettia after the holidays? Extend the poinsettia’s life by pruning it back in March or April, place it on a sunny windowsill, and move it outside when temperatures warm. Await reblooming!


A close-up of Rosemary plants with vibrant green leaves gracefully adorning the branches and forming a dense canopy. The leaves are slender, needle-like, and green in color. Each branch carries the essence of freshness and culinary delight.
This versatile herb is hardy year-round in warmer zones and thrives indoors in a sunny spot.
botanical-name botanical name Salvia rosmarinus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3-6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-10

Rosemary brings form and fragrance to the holiday home, making it an ideal gift for the gardener or chef. Best of all, it can go right into the garden after the winter season. 

Gift a rosemary plant already pruned into conical or standard tree forms for a unique twist on the herb, or pot up a classic upright or trailing variety in a decorative pot. Rosemary ‘Barbecue’ has sturdy stems that can be used in grilling, ‘Arp’ is more cold hardy, and ‘Tuscan Blue’ cascades in a container or as a groundcover.

Rosemary grows indoors quite well, given a sunny location and well-drained soil. In warmer zones, rosemary is hardy year-round. Blue blooms cover stems of evergreen needles in early summer, attracting pollinators to the garden. Enjoy the lemony scent throughout the season, and add flavor to holiday dishes with fresh herb clippings.

Red Anthurium

A close-up of  the striking beauty of a Red Anthurium, with its vibrant red spathe in full bloom. The glossy, heart-shaped leaves provide a stunning contrast in rich green hues. The anthurium exudes an exotic charm that's both captivating and elegant.
A stately plant like an Anthurium is a perfect gift symbolizing hospitality.
botanical-name botanical name Anthurium scherzerianum
sun-requirements sun requirements Part shade
height height 18 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 11-12

Anthurium is associated with hospitality, so what better gift than a stately plant that can live indoors in almost any spot? Anthurium boasts vibrant spathes year-round for the home, office, or floral arrangement. Red anthurium features bold red spathes (colorful leaves) atop a base of heart-shaped deep green leaves, making it a festive choice for winter.

Share the hospitality of anthurium over and over by dividing the plant in spring. Remove any offsets from the mother plant and pot new shoots in small containers to grow and give.


A close-up of Cyclamen plants with clusters of delicate pink and red flowers. These flowers, resembling miniature butterflies, add a touch of whimsy and elegance. The green leaves complement the flowers, creating a harmonious natural display.
Cyclamen go through a summer dormancy period to save energy.
botanical-name botanical name Cyclamen persicum
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial shade
height height 6-16 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Speaking of heart-shaped leaves, cyclamen offer a sweet choice for the holiday season in white, pink, purple, red, or bicolor flowers. Cyclamen blooms from November through April, giving months of color and active growing until summer dormancy – when they thrive on neglect.

Because cyclamen originate in the Mediterranean – with cool, wet winters and warm, arid summers  – they experience summer dormancy to conserve energy. During this time, move cyclamen to a cool, dark spot (no need to water). Plants reemerge in the fall to begin actively growing and blooming once again.

Lemon Cypress

A close-up of Lemon Cypress reveals gracefully arching branches adorned with lush, needle-like leaves. The leaves are vibrant green and create a soothing visual contrast.
When kept indoors as a houseplant, lemon cypress thrives in bright light and morning sun.
botanical-name botanical name Hesperocyparis macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to part shade
height height 10 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Lemon cypress adds a pop to the holiday setting with its fine, bright yellow needles and conical form. A tidy evergreen with a tight, uniform habit, lemon cypress is available in dwarf varieties like ‘Gold Crest Wilma,’ well-suited for containers. Fresh, lemony-scented needles complement its striking color.

Use lemon cypress as a garden specimen or in a container to add vibrant color and fine texture against a backdrop of deeper greens. As a houseplant, lemon cypress needs bright light and morning sun (avoiding hot afternoon sun, which can damage the plant) and weekly watering so the soil doesn’t dry out. 

Camellia ‘Yuletide’

A close-up of Camellia ‘Yuletide' showcasing a mesmerizing red flower with yellow center. The intricate petals form a captivating pattern, while the lush green leaves in the background provide a calming backdrop. This composition is a delightful symphony of color and beauty.
Pollinators like bees and other insects are equally drawn to camellias.
botanical-name botanical name Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
sun-requirements sun requirements Part shade
height height 8-10 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

A gorgeous evergreen shrub, camellias bloom in fall and winter, depending on variety.  Camellia ‘Yuletide’ blooms throughout the holiday season, when bright red flowers contrast glossy, evergreen leaves. 

Camellia ‘Yuletide’ lends a lush look to the landscape year-round, and the striking winter blooms are a joy when little else is blooming. Pollinators agree!  Camellias attract bees and other insects as flowers provide a valuable food source.

Camellias grow best in the American South, preferring a partial or full shade location. The gift of a classic camellia brings years of enjoyment (and low maintenance) to the garden.


A close-up of a Hellebore plant featuring cream-colored flowers with delicate purple linings in the center. The green leaves provide a lush backdrop, creating a beautiful contrast in this botanical composition.
These four-season perennials have a clumping growth pattern and gradually spread.
botanical-name botanical name Helleborus orientalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Part to full shade
height height 18 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Hellebores, or Lenten Roses, feature large, cupped-shaped nodding blooms atop dark green palmate leaves. Perennials that bloom in late winter/early spring, hellebores grace the garden with evergreen or semi-evergreen leaves, depending on climate.

Heavily hybridized, hellebores bloom in various colors, from creamy white to soft pink to wine red, with single or double flowers. A four-season perennial, hellebores form a clumping habit and can slowly spread to naturalize a woodland garden.


A close-up of Orchids showcasing their striking light vibrant purple flowers. Their elegant leaves, with roots firmly planted in a brown pot, add a touch of natural grace to this stunning floral arrangement.
Phalaenopsis orchids are a perfect choice for adding a touch of elegance to your holiday decor.
botanical-name botanical name Orchidaceae
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to partial sun
height height 6-10 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-12

A classic addition to any interiorscape, orchids add an elegant flare to the holiday season.  Opt for a readily available, stunning Phalaenopsis variety for a reliable, easy-care orchid.  Phalaenopsis stems produce numbers of large, bright blooms at once.

Oncidium orchids, or Dancing Ladies Orchids, host blooms that resemble dresses with long skirts dancing on tall stems (cue the “eight ladies dancing” refrain).

These epiphytes can grow outdoors in warm climates, absorbing water and nutrients through exposed roots. Grow orchids indoors, at least during winter months, in colder climates.

Meyer Lemon

A close-up of Meyer Lemon fruits, displaying their vibrant yellow hue. Surrounding them are the luscious dark green leaves, which enhance the appeal of these citrus gems with their rich and healthy appearance
The Meyer lemon tree’s yellow-orange fruits are sweeter and less acidic than other varieties.
botanical-name botanical name Citrus x meyeri ‘Improved’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 8-10 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

Meyer lemon trees produce abundant sweet lemons, have rich green evergreen foliage, and bloom twice a year with deliciously sweet-smelling clusters of white blossoms. Best planted in late winter, Meyer lemon trees bring a showy, fragrant culinary plant to the garden.  

Meyer lemon trees are a hybrid between a lemon and a sweet orange or mandarin, making the yellow-orange fruits sweeter and less acidic than other varieties. The shrubby form of the Meyer lemon makes it easier to grow in containers and prune than other fruit trees.

Money Tree Plant

A close-up of a Money Tree Plant, with its lush green leaves. The plant's structure is characterized by its unique and captivating form, making it a captivating addition to any indoor garden or decor.
This adaptable houseplant thrives in diverse conditions, even low-light environments.

botanical-name botanical name Pachira aquatica
sun-requirements sun requirements Part to full shade
height height 6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10

The money tree plant is associated with prosperity, good fortune, and positive energy, making it a perfect gift for the new year. An adaptable houseplant, the money tree is well-suited to various conditions and not finicky, tolerating low light conditions. The money plant is often sold with multiple stems braided into a trunk. It has glossy palmate leaves, the houseplant form of a tropical tree.

As a tropical plant, the money tree prefers bright, indirect light and dries out a bit between thorough waterings. It will forgive occasional neglect and is an excellent choice for new and experienced plant parents.


A close-up of the branches of Lavender in full bloom, revealing their soothing lavender-colored flowers and delicate spikes. This enchanting botanical display embodies the calming and aromatic essence of this lovely herb.
These fragrant flowers can be harvested for indoor bouquets by taking clippings and drying them.
botanical-name botanical name Lavandula spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

Lavender brings an invigorating fragrance into the home any time of year, and its calming properties may be beneficial during busy holidays. Loved for its silvery foliage, purple bloom spikes, and many uses – from cleansing to relaxation to culinary – lavender is beautiful in the garden. Whether it’s one of the many varieties of English, French, Spanish, or Dutch lavender, blooms attract hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators.  

This sun-loving Mediterranean perennial thrives in arid, warm summers and cool winters.  It’s drought-tolerant and a great companion to rosemary and other dry-condition perennials.  Lavender is a gift that keeps on giving. Take clippings and dry them for fragrant bouquets indoors.

Zuzu Plant

A close-up of a Zuzu Plant with lush, vibrant green leaves. The leaves are arranged in a symmetrical pattern, forming a compact rosette. Each leaf glistens with moisture, reflecting the light.
These ZZ plants thrive in environments with low to bright, indirect light.
botanical-name botanical name Zamioculcas zamifolia
sun-requirements sun requirements Part to full shade
height height 2-3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

The Zuzu, or ZZ plant, is a popular houseplant due to its structural form of arching stems and low maintenance needs. Zuzu adds a touch of architectural greenery with solid stems and lush oval leaves. It requires little water and can improve air quality by filtering volatile compounds.

Zuzu is available in dark green, deep purple, and variegated varieties, adding interest to the indoor garden and making a unique gift option. ZZ plants tolerate low to bright, indirect light and grow well in fluorescent lighting – perfect for the home or office.


A close-up of potted Caladiums, showcasing their enchanting light pink leaves adorned with intricate green veins and delicate linings. The pink leaves have a delicate, almost ethereal quality.
Known as angel wings, caladiums are cherished for their ornamental foliage.
botanical-name botanical name Caladium spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Part to full shade
height height 18-24 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Caladiums, or angel wings, are prized for their decorative foliage and arrow-shaped leaves.  Striking colors dapple each leaf in veins and blotches, creating flags of color. 

Caladium ‘White Christmas’ features crisp white leaves lined in dark green veins and edges, brightening its spot in the garden or home. Extremely easy to grow (and gift!), purchase caladiums as potted plants or small bulbs. 

Caladiums are tropical and prefer warm climates, so treat them as annuals or houseplants in cold winter zones. They make a spectacular display in a mass or as a border planting under a tree canopy, but even a singular pot brings colorful interest to the houseplant collection.

Prayer Plant

A close-up of a potted Prayer Plant with green leaves featuring striking red linings. Each leaf has slender stalks, adding an elegant touch to their appearance. The plant is housed in a clean, white pot that complements its vivid foliage.
This plant is perfect for interior hanging baskets, low bowls, and dish gardens.
botanical-name botanical name Maranta leuconeura
sun-requirements sun requirements Part shade
height height 10-12 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 11-12

Prayer plant is a tropical plant with striking foliage and leaves that fold at night, resembling hands in prayer. Leaves of the prayer plant open by day with bold patterns in deep purple and green hues. Leaf undersides, evident when plants fold, are deep red or purple. 

Prayer plants make beautiful interior hanging baskets. They’re also ideal in low bowls and dish gardens and offer a thoughtful gift during the holidays.


A close-up of Flapjacks, revealing their distinctive paddle-shaped leaves stacked like pancakes. The leaves exhibit a captivating blend of lime green with deep red edges. In the background, other potted green plants provide a lush backdrop.
These striking plants thrive indoors in well-lit containers with minimal water.
botanical-name botanical name Kalanchoe luciae
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12-18 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-10

Not just for breakfast anymore, flapjacks are drought-tolerant succulents with a fabulous name and architectural structure to match, sure to be a talking point when exchanging gifts. Leaves are paddle-shaped and stacked like pancakes, in colors of lime green with deep red edges.  Flapjacks grow well in containers indoors in bright light, with little water, or outdoors in warm climates.

Succulents represent a vast world of exciting plants in all shapes, colors, and textures.  Mix and match them in a decorative pot for a fun, eclectic holiday gift. Tiny, adorable succulents in a small vessel also make a versatile gift in any exchange. With little care requirements, succulents can brighten any space.

Begonia ‘Angel Wing’

A close-up of Begonia 'Angel Wing' highlighting its remarkable leaves and blooms. The deep green leaves are embellished with silvery dots and have a unique wing-like shape. Clusters of pendulous red blooms dangle gracefully from arching stems, creating an elegant and vibrant display.
Angel wing begonias are ideal indoor houseplants with long-lasting blooms and striking foliage.
botanical-name botanical name Begonia coccinea
sun-requirements sun requirements Part shade
height height 12-30 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Cane-type begonia, or angel wings, are prized for their richly patterned foliage and frilly, colorful blooms. Silvery dots mark deep green, wing-shaped leaves with red underside.  Clusters of pendulous white, red, pink, or salmon blooms suspend from arching stems.  

Angel wing begonias make an excellent houseplant and can live indoors year-round, offering outstanding foliage plus a long bloom time. Lovely on a windowsill or interior hanging basket, many varieties have been bred for a more compact form, bolder leaf pattern, and longer bloom time – a truly unique gift!

Ornamental Pineapple

A close-up of an ornamental pineapple reveals a mini blue-violet pineapple nestled amidst spiky green leaves. The vibrant pineapple stands out with its unique colors and textures. This plant is a captivating blend of nature's beauty and artistry.
This ornamental version of the pineapple is famous for its attractive foliage and cute, small fruit.
botanical-name botanical name Ananas bracteatus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 11-12

Ornamental pineapples aren’t known for edible fruits but rather for striking foliage and adorable, miniature pineapples. The strappy leaves are colorful and rich in texture in white variegation and red, with red pineapple fruits. Fruits are produced as days get cooler and shorter, making it a sweet holiday gift.

Olive Tree

A close-up of an olive tree with green and purple fruits hanging gracefully from the branches. The juxtaposition of the richly colored fruits against the backdrop of lush green leaves is a visual treat. The olive tree showcases the harmony of life and abundance.
As a thoughtful and enduring gift, the olive tree is an elegant choice.
botanical-name botanical name Olea europaea
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 25 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

A symbol of peace and friendship, consider extending the olive branch (or tree) this holiday season. Olive trees boast a lovely form of evergreen leaves with a graceful habit.  Slender leaves are – you guessed it- olive green and have a silvery underside.

One of the oldest fruit trees, olives have a long history in the garden and the home. Tiny white blooms cover the trees in late spring and become ripened fruit from October through December. 

Fresh olives can be cured for eating, pressed for oils, or left for wildlife as a food source. An elegant plant with a rich cultural history, the evergreen olive tree makes a long-lasting gift.

Blue Star Fern

Positioned on the shiny wooden floor of a well-furnished white house, a potted Blue Star Fern displays its elegant green leaves. The plant exudes a sense of serenity and natural beauty, while its white pot complements the interior decor, creating a tranquil atmosphere.
With its deep lobes and silvery blue-gray fronds, the blue star fern earns its celestial moniker.
botanical-name botanical name Phlebodium aureum
sun-requirements sun requirements Part to full shade
height height 12 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-13

Blue star fern gets its stellar name from silvery blue-gray fronds with deep lobes. One of the easiest ferns to grow as a houseplant, its unique color, texture, and structural foliage bring a graceful and contemporary feel to the indoor garden. The blue star makes a lovely holiday gift that can shine in any home garden.

Relatively carefree as ferns go, blue stars need medium to bright, indirect light and should be watered when surface soil feels dry. Avoid watering the crown of the blue star, where epiphytic roots and stems are susceptible to rot if kept too wet. 

Norway Spruce

A close-up of a Norway Spruce highlights brown cone-like structures hanging from the branches. The Spruce's needle-like leaves form a dense and textured canopy, making it a classic and enduring addition to any natural landscape.
To manage its growth in Zone 7 or colder, consider planting it in a container outdoors.
botanical-name botanical name Picea abies
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 40-60 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-7

A classic Christmas tree-shaped evergreen, sometimes shaped into spirals or topiaries, Norway spruce makes a beautiful addition to the winter patio.

A hardy evergreen in zone 7 or colder, keep Norway spruce in a container outside to control growth (eventually, however, Norway spruce will outgrow a pot and need to be planted in the landscape). For rock gardens and smaller spaces, look for dwarf varieties.


Placed on a brown surface, a potted Monstera plant exhibits its striking leaves. The lush green foliage contrasts beautifully with the pristine white pot and background wall, creating a stunning visual composition that exudes elegance and minimalism.
The monstera deliciosa captivates indoor gardeners with its irresistibly large and lively appearance.
botanical-name botanical name Monstera deliciosa
sun-requirements sun requirements Part to full shade
height height 4-5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Unrivaled in the houseplant jungle, monstera makes a huge tropical statement with large, lush leaves with natural splits and hole patterns. Monstera deliciosa means “delicious monster,” and many indoor gardeners can’t resist its deliciously oversized and lively form. Suited well to container culture, monstera leaves reach a dramatic one to two feet long.

For a unique holiday gift, consider Monstera variegata – a cultivar that houses smaller leaves than deliciosa but with striking white and green variegation. Highly sought-after dramatic plants in the houseplant market add a stylistic container option to the home (think Phantom of the Opera in masked-leaf form).


In this garden, numerous Gardenia plants showcase a beautiful bed of white blooms, evoking a sense of purity and serenity. These delicate flowers contrast with the vibrant green leaves beneath, creating a striking visual harmony.
In colder regions, be sure to bring your gardenias inside for the winter.
botanical-name botanical name Gardenia jasminoides
sun-requirements sun requirements Part shade
height height 4-6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

If you catch the sweetest fragrance wafting from white blossoms on a shrub of dark green, glossy evergreen leaves, it’s notably a gardenia. Best suited for gardens in the American South, enjoy gifted gardenias in a patio container during the holiday season and later planted in the garden. In colder climates, bring gardenias indoors to overwinter.

Indoors, try a gardenia near a bright window. Gardenias can be finicky if conditions aren’t quite right, especially inside, so move the plant outdoors as temperatures warm.


A close-up reveals a robust Holly plant, featuring a sturdy wooden branch. Its deep green leaves exude a sense of strength and vitality, while bright red fruits add a pop of color and festive charm.
With numerous holly species available, the possibilities for landscaping are limitless.
botanical-name botanical name Ilex spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to part shade
height height 4-15 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-9

Hollies brighten the winter landscape with their glossy evergreen leaves and vibrant red berries that provide food for wildlife, winter interest, and enjoyment as festive decoration during the holiday season. With so many species of holly, landscape uses have no end.  At holiday time, the gift of ‘Christmas Jewel’ holly may provide a versatile and fitting option for the garden.  

‘Christmas Jewel’ is a dense, upright, and compact holly of pyramidal form requiring no cross-pollination to fruit. Discovered as a natural hybrid in South Carolina, ‘Christmas Jewel’ has large red berries in winter and tiny white flowers in spring, attracting birds and bees.

Ficus Bonsai

A close-up of a Ficus Bonsai showcases a cluster of lush green leaves, their glossy surfaces reflecting the ambient light. Each leaf appears meticulously sculpted, contributing to the bonsai's overall elegance and aesthetic appeal.
Bonsai presents an exciting gift option for both adults and children.
botanical-name botanical name Ficus retusa
sun-requirements sun requirements Part sun
height height Varies
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Bonsai is the art of growing ornamental plants in dwarf form by controlling growth with pruning techniques. Almost any tree or shrub can be bonsaied and can live for years in bonsai form with proper care and knowledge of specialized techniques. During the holidays, bonsai makes an exciting gift for adults and children alike, offering a connection to nature in a fun and novel way.

An easy indoor bonsai plant is the ficus tree. Available in a range of pot sizes, gift a full and well-shaped specimen. The recipient can enjoy the bonsai in its gifted form with optional attention, pruning as desired as the plant grows.  


A close-up of Eucalyptus featuring slender branches adorned with lance-shaped leaves. The silvery foliage shimmers under the sunlight, creating an ethereal quality. The unique combination of slender branches and silvery leaves defines the characteristic allure of the Eucalyptus tree.
The silver dollar gum boasts eye-catching, erect stems adorned with circular, silvery leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Eucalyptus cinerea 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 30 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-10

Eucalyptus, or gum tree, has a refreshing menthol fragrance, silver dollar foliage, and peeling bark. The ‘Silver Dollar’ gum is one of over 700 species of Eucalyptus, all native to the region of Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding islands. 

‘Silver Dollar’ produces showy, upright stems lined with silvery, round leaves and is excellent for flower arrangements and drying. Place a sprig in the shower for a refreshing aroma or in a decorative vase or wreath form.

Norfolk Island Pine

A close-up of a Norfolk Island Pine reveals its distinctive leaves, resembling delicate fronds or miniature Christmas trees. They are arranged in a spiral pattern, creating an exquisite natural symmetry. The vibrant green color of the leaves adds to the visual appeal, making it a captivating botanical wonder.
A tropical plant that looks like a cold-hardy tree, Norfolk pines make great holiday gifts when adorned with strings of small lights.
botanical-name botanical name Araucaria heterophylla
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to part shade
height height 3-200 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Norfolk Island pines feature fine, soft evergreen needles in a loose pyramidal shape for a lush look any time of year. Decorate with strands of tiny lights for a festive gift during the holiday season, useful as a tabletop tree.

Norfolk Island pine is not a pine at all but a native to the South Pacific. Norfolk Island pine thrives as a houseplant. You can move them outdoors during warmer months or grow them indoors year-round.

Pear Tree

A close-up of a Pear Tree showcases its sturdy branches, adorned with lush green leaves. Among the foliage, plump green pears with a hint of brownish color dangle, promising a bountiful harvest. The scene is a testament to nature's ability to bear both life and sustenance.
In spring, these pear branches burst with numerous white blossoms.
botanical-name botanical name Pyrus communis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 8-30 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-10

Pears have long been associated with the holiday season. December is National Pear Month, as many pear varieties ripen in the late fall, yielding the deliciously juicy fruit as a season’s specialty. Other varieties ripen throughout late summer/early fall, bringing flavor as the weather turns chilly.

The symbolism of the pear tree is varied and deeply rooted. It is associated with abundance and longevity. The pear has appeared throughout history, making the gift of a pear tree a beautiful plant with global origins.

Give pear trees grown in containers from dwarf rootstocks for a compact, shorter plant. They can grow in shrubby, tree, or espaliered forms along a trellis. Come spring, pear branches bear tons of white blossoms ready to greet pollinators.

Staghorn Fern

A potted Staghorn Fern is shown displaying its unique, antler-like leaves that spread gracefully in all directions. The stark white wall in the background accentuates the fern's natural beauty. The contrast highlights the plant's elegance and makes it a striking indoor display.
The broad, blue-green fronds of Staghorn ferns resemble the forked antlers of deer or elk.
botanical-name botanical name Platycerium bifurcatum
sun-requirements sun requirements Part to full shade
height height 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Staghorn fern fronds are blue-green, broad, and deeply lobed, resembling the forked antlers of deer or elk. Staghorns make a handsome gift potted in a container or mounted on a piece of wood or bark. Grow them indoors in colder months. 

Staghorns create coppery shields around basal frond clusters, and epiphytic roots absorb water and nutrients. These shields multiply and overlap as the fern grows and establishes more fronds in quite a striking habit.

Final Thoughts

As a gardener, there’s nothing more enjoyable than giving (or receiving!) a new plant for the home or garden. But you don’t have to enjoy gardening to relish a living plant, especially in winter. The gift of nature offers a connection beyond the material hustle and bustle of the holidays. Have fun choosing an inspired plant for the perfect recipient on your list, and maybe indulge in a happy plant gift for yourself!

Home plants in different pots


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