Gifts For Your Friend Who Has Way Too Many Goddamn Plants

Gifts For Your Friend Who Has Way Too Many Goddamn Plants

And if you're using this gift guide to shop for yourself, here's an excuse to buy a new planter.

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RHS Wisley Giant Houseplant Takeover exhibition
RHS Wisley Giant Houseplant Takeover exhibition
Image: Steve Parsons/PA Wire (AP)

My New York City apartment is currently home to approximately 50 plants, a prospect I couldn’t have fathomed when a friend of mine took me to my first plant store back in 2016. It was a slow start, resulting in far more dead plants than living thanks to a complete misunderstanding of how to take care of them beyond “water” and “sun.” After all, it takes time to learn how much water an Alocasia needs, how much sun a Jade Plant needs, and that you can’t just put a plant where you think it looks good in your home.

This isn’t to say that plant obsessives gradually become infallible plant experts. Sure, you get better at it: you learn that some succulents get scorched in your sunny south-facing window, you learn that watering on a schedule can do more harm for your plants than good, you eventually learn that mosquito bits get rid of a fungus gnat infestation better than neem oil ever could (and if you didn’t know that already, you’re welcome). You buy some plant clippers (I like these), a trusty watering can, and those little velcro plant ties to help stop your monstera from flopping under its own weight. But the passage of time doesn’t guarantee zero fuck-ups. Just last week, I flubbed my weeks-long progress on propagating a spider plant, and daily I’m dolefully eyeing a rhaphidophora tetrasperma (a mini monstera) that just doesn’t seem interested in growing. But the struggles are part of the adventure and the fun of plants; every day brings a new discovery that teaches you how to fuck up a little bit less in the future.

So whether you or someone in your life is a bit too emotionally invested in their plant collection, what better time to satisfy that obsession than when plants need more TLC than ever: wintertime. From humidifiers to planters that just look really damn good, here are some gifts that every plant parent would love to receive for the holidays.

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A Perfect Way To Gather All Those Little Succulents

A Perfect Way To Gather All Those Little Succulents

While I have a large cactus, a pretty substantial jade plant, and a couple of sizable aloes, a lot of my succulents are pretty tiny. Instead of keeping them all in a bunch of different pots, why not group them together in a cute little arrangement? With this in mind, I’m so intrigued by the Squiggle Planter for Succulent Arrangement ($30) sold by ObjectLover over at Etsy. I already have one of their larger planters, but I’ve got my eye on this one next. The layout is as eye-catching as the color options, and it has drainage! Plus, you’re helping out a queer/trans-owned business.

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Plant Stands For Displaying Your Faves

Plant Stands For Displaying Your Faves

Whether for convenience or pure aesthetics—or, ideally, both—you can’t go wrong with a solid plant stand. This Rattan Plant Stand ($150, pictured) from Urban Outfitters has been one of the most consistently well-reviewed pieces of home decor on their site for well over a year now, and it’s easy to see why: The rattan look remains popular, the stand holds three plants, and it folds up for easy stowaway. A bit of a splurge, yes, but it’s an eye-catching and practical addition for those who have a lot of horizontalf space to work with. For a more minimalist look (and a smaller price tag), the Iron Plant Stand (starting at $35) from Terrain is another great option. Its slender silhouette is also ideal for those of you trying to fit plants in narrower spaces who don’t want them to take up too much floor space.

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Fancy Soil For The Most Discerning of Plant Parents

Fancy Soil For The Most Discerning of Plant Parents

Fellow plant lover and Jezebel reporter Caitlin Cruz wears by this expertly crafted soil-free potting mix called The Chonk, even if the name is a little silly.

“It’s a blend of wood bark, pumice, and peat to help keep your plants draining well and reduce water retention that can lead to root rot,” Caitlin said. “House plant maintenance is all about keeping your plants’ water levels at the right level for that species. The mixture helps facilitate drainage while the pumice part will give the weight for the roots normally made by heavy soil.”

It’s definitely pricier than most soil, but it’s worth trying if you’re feeling indifferent about what you’re using currently.

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Propagation Setup for When You Run Out Of Jars

Propagation Setup for When You Run Out Of Jars

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Image: Sage & Sill | Bloomscape

Honestly, most of my smaller plants have been propagating in little mezcal bottles, which... works, but it isn’t always the most organized-looking approach. Luckily, for the plant parent who is tired of finding random jars, there are a ton of propagation setups on the market. You want to make sure you get one that isn’t too tapered at the top, however, or else the roots can break off when the plant is finally moved to its new medium. The Glass Propagation Vase With Vertical Wooden Stand (starting at $22, left) from Sage and Sill is a very solid option. It looks tidy and sturdy, and while the glass vessel does taper a bit, it’s not too bad, and the bulbous bottom gives the roots ample room to grow. If you’re willing to spend a little more money, consider this Multi-Tube Propagation Kit ($45, right) from Bloomscape. It comes in a cute terrazzo holder and takes up very little space; plus, the glass tube doesn’t taper, which means you’ll likely be able to remove your plant with ease.

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Cute Tabletop Planters For The Home Deco Freaks

Cute Tabletop Planters For The Home Deco Freaks

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Image: Jungalow

Were planters always as ubiquitous as they are now, or is this a result of the houseplant boom? Either way, you can find a cute planter damn near anywhere now (even at H&M!), but here are a few solid options. Believe it or not, West Elm sells plenty of planters that won’t break the bank, including the very simple Cyn Planter (starting at $25) which comes in a ton of colors, and the Sketchbook Indoor/Outdoor Planters ($31), which I’ve owned (in yellow!) for years and can absolutely vouch for. The Kaya 2-Piece Ceramic Bowl Planter by Justina Blakeney ($69, pictured) has been on my own list for ages and comes in a variety of bold colors. If the industrial look is more your speed, the TORTUGA Platform Planter ($60) is made of concrete and comes in a couple different colors. And there are some great Etsy options as well: SunnysShopLA sells these Short Ceramic Plant Pots with Saucer ($27), which are perfect for plants with shallow roots like succulents (though they sell a tall version as well for $52); if you want a more whimsical, these little planters ($54) from SunSprinklesShop offer a lot of texture and pastel to your indoor garden; and words cannot describe how cool this Japanese “PAGODA” Planter ($25.60) from MorseStudio is.

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A Big Ol’ Planter For A Big Ol’ Plant

A Big Ol’ Planter For A Big Ol’ Plant

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Image: West Elm

Larger planters aren’t cheap, but they’re the only way to go for anyone who is looking into larger plants, like a bird of paradise, bamboo palm, or a massive monstera that is growing out of control. This one I can vouch for: The Mid-Century Turned Wood Leg Planter ($126) from West Elm. I’ve owned the white and gold one for years and it is sturdy, easy to clean, and looks really striking in a living room or bedroom, ideal for a large investment plant.

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A Customizable Moss Pole That Will Help Your Plants Climb

A Customizable Moss Pole That Will Help Your Plants Climb

Every plant addict probably knows about the benefits of moss poles by now: They can help support top-heavy plants, encourage climbing in vining ones, and provide nutrients along the way. But they’re most effective when they’re moist, and frankly, spraying those things all the time is a hassle. So my colleague Cruz suggests this Self-Watering Plant Totem (starting at $9) from OrchidBoxInc on Etsy. Just add moss of your choice and a water source and you’re golden. There’s also a Leca Version for my fellow leca-heads.

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Humidifier For That Collection of Tropical Plants

Humidifier For That Collection of Tropical Plants

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Image: Amazon

Most tropical plants are content in an environment of at least 50 percent humidity. Depending on where you live, your house might already maintain an indoor humidity in that range or higher, especially in the summer, but probably not all year round. Humidity levels in my New York City apartment in the winter can drop as low as the 20s, which is shitty for both my lungs and my plants. That’s changed ever since I bought a humidifier, a product every plant obsessive should acquire at some point. There are hundreds on the market: big and small, cool mist and warm mist. You’ll need to do some research first to find out what is best for you—and your propensity for cleaning the damn thing—but for plant obsessives just beginning their humidifier journey, I’d recommend the Levoit Classic 200S Smart Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier ($60) or the Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier ($70). They both offer the benefits of a cool-mist humidifier as well as the ability to control the humidifier through an app and voice control (Alexa and Google Assistant compatible). You can also use them as an oil diffuser. The key differences are that the 300S edition boasts a top fill design which makes it easier to refill, holds more water than the 200S (6 liters versus 4), and also monitors the humidity of the room, so you can potentially automate the humidifier to turn on or off when the ambient humidity hits a certain level. If space isn’t an issue and you want all the bells and whistles, go with the 300S. If you want a humidifier that does the job but is a touch more compact, go with the 200S.

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Self-Watering Pots For Plant Obsessives Who Still Suck At Watering

Self-Watering Pots For Plant Obsessives Who Still Suck At Watering

We’ve all had watering woes, but help is available in the form of self-watering pots. It’s easy to find one at Amazon or (preferably) your local plant store, but the options might be limited and a little, well, bland. Instead, check out this sleek Self-Watering Wet Pot (starting at $34), which offers four size options and is great for those who want to actually see how much water is left in the pot. For a more minimalist option (with a few more colors to choose from), consider the Greenery Unlimited Franklin Self Watering Planter ($29).

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A Grow Light To Help Your Plants During the Winter

A Grow Light To Help Your Plants During the Winter

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Image: Bloomscape

Some plants need a little more help, especially during the winter when they’re getting less light, or if you’re simply growing a plant in a dark part of your home. You can always order a cheap clamp light along with a GE Grow Light ($12). But if you’re looking for something a little easier on the eyes, consider the Soltech Solutions Aspect™ LED Growlight (starting at $150 at Soltech, Amazon, and Bloomscape, pictured). It comes with hanging materials so you can set it up wherever is best for your plant setup.

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Wall Planters For When You Run Out Of Space Everywhere Else

Wall Planters For When You Run Out Of Space Everywhere Else

Hanging your plants on the wall is not only a great space saver—it also doubles as wall art. For a practical and cost-effective gift, I highly recommend this 6 Inch Matte Black Hoop Model Metal Wall Planter with Terracotta Pot ($23). It comes in a pack of two, is easy to mount, and makes for a fun painting project if you find plain ol’ terracotta is a little boring; I painted mine and I love the result! If you’re looking for a compact but bold choice, I love the Sheet Metal Planter ($28, pictured) by Newmade LA. It can hold a four-inch pot, which is perfect for small succulents and cacti, and comes in a variety of colors.

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A Cute Hanging Planter To Help Show Off Your Plants In Style

A Cute Hanging Planter To Help Show Off Your Plants In Style

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Image: Wayfair

I’m a big believer in hanging plants, especially in homes with high ceilings (prime real estate for plants, baby). For someone whose taste leans a bit boho, you can’t go wrong with a good ol’ macrame hanger: this Double Macrame Hanger ($40) from Bloomscape holds two hanging plants in one. For those who can’t stand macrame (I get it!), Wayfair has a variety of nice hanging planters for sale, like the Criss Ceramic Hanging Planter ($32.99, pictured).

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A Simple Window Shelving Unit For Those Who Have Completely Run Out Of Space To House Their Plants

A Simple Window Shelving Unit For Those Who Have Completely Run Out Of Space To House Their Plants

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Image: Amazon

For apartment dwellers, space is at a premium. Having as much available floor space as possible is important to me, so when it comes to new homes for my plants, I’ve had to start looking up... literally, up, like, up my walls, my windows, etc. For example: SupremeTech Hanging Acrylic Shelves for Windows (starting at $58). What I love about this is that it comes in a variety of sizes so you can choose the one that is best for your space. Plus, the clear acrylic shelving doesn’t obscure much sunlight. I bought a 22-inch wide, three-shelf version for one of my south-facing windows, and I’m always getting compliments on it. The entire unit can hold a maximum of 50 lbs too, so you don’t have to worry much about those heavier pots.

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Cool Plant Stake For The Plant Parent Who Has Everything

Cool Plant Stake For The Plant Parent Who Has Everything

If you’re looking for a gift for a plant obsessive who has all the basics—and the more advanced gear, too—consider a cool-looking plant stake. There are some really inventive-looking ones nowadays, like Flo ($40, left) by Aussie shop Secateur Me Baby. Plant people can attest that there’s always a use for a stake somewhere, and a lot of them can be boring or distracting to look at. At least Flo is distracting in a pleasant way. And if you really want to splurge, there’s Flo’s larger cousin, BOA II ($108, right), and it’s absolutely beautiful.

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Books About Plants For The Book Lovers Who Love Plants

Books About Plants For The Book Lovers Who Love Plants

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Image: Amazon

There are obviously countless books about houseplants, but some of the most rewarding ones combine solid information and an alluring aesthetic. Author Emma Sibley is pretty much the queen of that. Her book Little Book of House Plants and Other Greenery ($13) is a simple yet beautiful book that makes a great gift for plant beginners and experts alike. She’s also written Little Book, Big Plants: Bring the Outside in with 45 Friendly Giants ($12), a fine resource for anyone interested in introducing larger plants into their home (or keeping the big plants they already have alive). And for the succulent obsessives, check out The Little Book of Cacti and Other Succulents ($15, pictured), a book that looks as cute as it is helpful.










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