Why Plants are Perfect Housewarming Gifts (and 5 Great Ones to Give!)

Houseplants boost mood, productivity, air quality and enliven the decor of a new home. Here's the best indoor plants to bring to a housewarming party.

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They’re Great Care-taking Practice

Millennials have helped drive a boom in the houseplant industry, according to the National Gardening Association. Giving them a houseplant can boost their confidence in greenery, which can extend to outdoor landscaping or vegetable gardening with their first home. Plants also offer a dip-your-toes-in taste of care-taking and nurturing that can expand to pets — and beyond.

Plant Pick: Herbs

Inspire a green thumb and a love of family traditions by pairing a few favorite recipes with a gift of herbs, such as chives, basil and oregano. You can also find a starter kit with seeds. Ensure any included pots can fit in a sunny-but-handy location, such as a kitchen window, for fresh-snipped flavors when cooking.

English ivy
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They Double As Colorful Decor

Houseplants are affordable and come in many sizes, making them a quick, fun way to add a splash of green and a variety of shades and textures. Deliver one in a brightly colored pot. You’re giving a bold design element that can fit modern, classic or retro styles. Be sure to look for options with drainage holes and a water-catching bottom. Change is as easy as swapping pots or adding surrounding plants, to create an indoor garden.

Plant Picks: English Ivy or Pothos

To soften and brighten a home office, windowsill or reading corner, look for cascading plants such as English ivy or Pothos (also called devil’s ivy). Both come in colors with yellow or white accents on dark or bright-green leaves that can coordinate with pots. The finely textured fronds of ferns can also soften the look of a room with minimal or modern décor.

Check out plant subscription boxes you’ll love to unbox.

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They’re Mood-Boosters

Like a walk in the park or a micro version of forest bathing, houseplants can improve emotional health. They can be calming, while lowering anxiety and aggression. They also can spark joy and conversations and fuel a fresh hobby of collecting houseplants.

Plant Pick: Christmas Cactus

Give a cheerful gift that keeps on giving with a Christmas cactus, designed to provide an annual show of vibrant pink, white or red blossoms to coincide with traditional family gathering times. Other great bloomers that can inspire full-blown houseplant passions include exotic orchids, with hundreds of shapes and colors, or the lush leaves and shimmery petals of African violets.

Spider plant
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They Improve Indoor Air

Plants don’t just look good. They also take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, and can add humidity in the winter months when heating systems leave air dry and full of static. Scientists are still debating whether houseplants effectively purify or detoxify indoor air, but one now-famous NASA study claimed that they filter pollutants through their root systems.

Plant Pick: Spider Plant

The dependable, lush and well-studied spider plant with its elongated green-and-white-striped leaves grows like a rounded explosion of fireworks. It also shoots out tendrils with offspring on them. Having baby spider plants makes this an ideal candidate for plant parenting — propagating new plants — for even better air quality in your house or to share with friends.

ghost plant succulent

They Improve Focus and Productivity

Numerous studies show that having plants in the workplace can enhance productivity, creativity and ability to focus. As more people work and study from home, having plants that mimic the energizing and calming effects of the outdoors can make it easier to get back to work and stay on task.

Plant Pick: Succulents

With intricate patterns and even mandala-like structures, it’s little wonder that succulents have exploded in popularity. They require little watering, and they’re perfect for a quick and refreshing visual break during work or studying. Group a trio such as hen-and-chicks, aloe vera and donkey’s tail for a blend of colors, textures and shapes.

Psst—dog owners should avoid these houseplants.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman