12 Best Houseplants to Give as Gifts

These easy-care plants make for thoughtful and long-lasting presents.

From housewarmings to anniversaries, holidays to dinner parties, houseplants make the perfect gift to celebrate life’s milestones. Many houseplants hold symbolic meanings, representing friendship, love, or prosperity. Others simply bring joy and beauty to the home. Houseplants also have staying power, lasting much longer than a bouquet of roses or a bottle of wine.


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When it comes to gift giving, look for houseplants that are easy to care for and consider how much space the plant will require as it grows. And for the pet parents in your life, be aware that some houseplants are toxic to cats and dogs, so make sure to select a pet-safe option (we've specified these below). For an extra special touch, pot the plant up in a decorative container that matches the recipient's home decor.

Below, find 12 of the best houseplants to give as gifts.

Monstera deliciosa

monstera deliciousa

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This houseplant is a favorite due to its ease of care and unique foliage. Nicknamed the Swiss cheese plant, monstera is known for the natural, irregular holes marking its enormous leaves. These plants can grow quite large, maturing to 3 feet tall and wide, so make sure the recipient has enough space to accommodate the growth. Monstera represents honor, respect, and longevity, making a wonderful gift to elders and other cherished people in your life. Given their popularity, you can’t go wrong with a monstera as a housewarming gift.

Snake Plant

snake plant

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The almost indestructible snake plant (Sansevieria species), is perfect for beginner houseplant owners or people who do not have a lot of light in their home or office. The snake plant is an architectural gem, with thick, sword-like foliage that create strong vertical lines. Several varieties are available, with varying leaf shapes and patterns, and each matures to a different size. The plant is also said to bring good luck and represent determination. What better gift is there for someone starting a new job? 

Jade Plant

jade plant

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A slow-growing member of the succulent family, the jade plant (Crassula ovata) is interchangeably called money plant, lucky plant, or friendship tree, which gives you an idea of the plant’s symbolism. Representing growth, prosperity, and renewal, jade plants are a great all-around gift for housewarmings, birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations. Jade plants are easy to care for because they like the warm, dry conditions found in most homes. They are also quite tolerant of neglect, making jade plant a good selection for the busy plant parents on your gift list. Jade plants develop a woody trunk over time and can be very long-lived, surviving for decades with the right care.

ZZ Plant

zz plant

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ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is another excellent low-maintenance plant for beginners or someone who travels a lot. They also make a great plant for the office, as they tolerate low light conditions. ZZ plants thrive on neglect—they only need water every 2 to 3 weeks and are not picky about humidity. All that, and they still look great, with thick, dark green leaves held at a sharp angle to the stems. Sometimes called eternity plant or fortune tree, the ZZ plant is said to bring good fortune and luck. 

Rubber Tree

rubber plant

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The rubber tree is a classic houseplant, with bold foliage and strong upright stems. The dark foliage of burgundy rubber tree (Ficus decora ‘Burgundy’) contrasts with the more common green-hued foliage of most houseplants. For a tri-colored version, consider Ficus robusta ‘Tieneke,’ which has pink, green, and yellow leaves. Rubber plants represent abundance, happiness, and wealth. 

Peace Lily

peace lily

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One of the few plants that will flower in low light, peace lilies (Spathiphyllum species) are beloved for their showy ivory-white blooms and glossy foliage. Symbols of peace, hope, comfort, and sympathy, peace lilies are often given to someone who has lost a loved one. Because they are enduring, peace lilies continue to provide comfort throughout the healing process. They also make a thoughtful gift for someone struggling in their own life, providing a reminder of peace and comfort.

Pet Safe Houseplants to Give as a Gift

While the plants listed above all make beautiful gifts, they aren't the best choice for pet owners. The following plants, on the other hand, are all considered pet friendly. If you're unsure about the safety of a particular plant, check out this helpful database from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®.

Prayer Plant

prayer plant

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Here’s a plant to say, “thank you.” Representing gratitude, the prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura) has gorgeous foliage with chartreuse variegation and pink veins set against a dark green background. This hardy houseplant is slow growing and easy to maintain. The common name comes from the leaves’ tendency to fold together at night, like hands in prayer. This symbolism makes the plant a thoughtful gift for someone needing comfort. 

‘Triostar’ Stromanthe

triostar stromanthe

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With stunning, multi-colored tropical foliage, Stromanthe sanguinea ‘Triostar’, makes a huge statement. The large oblong leaves are irregularly variegated in hues of cream, pink, and green on the upper surface. The underside is even more dramatic, with either a solid pink to burgundy color throughout, or pink variegation atop a maroon base. Though this variety is properly named ‘Triostar,’ plants are sometimes labelled as ‘Tricolor’ Stromanthe. While this specific plant isn't tied to any symbolism, it's a member of the prayer plant family, and it will certainly make a great first impression.

Chinese Money Plant


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Coin-shaped leaves give Chinese money plant its name. The plant has long been believed to bring good luck and good fortune to its owner, making it a great plant for anyone starting a new chapter in life. Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides) is also sometimes called friendship plant, because they produce “pups” (offshoots) around the base of the mother plant, which can be potted up and passed along to friends.  


calathea plant

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There are many gorgeous varieties and species of calathea to choose from, all of which have visually striking leaf patterns. Though Calathea require a little more TLC than a snake plant or jade plant, they aren't too challenging to care for. Among the easiest species in this group is the rattlesnake plant (Calathea lancifolia) which has long, narrow leaves with a rippled edge. The bright green surface of the foliage is spotted with dark markings that move in an alternating pattern down the length of the leaf, and the underside is a rich purple color. Calathea symbolize new beginnings, making a wonderful gift for someone starting a new job, moving into a new home, or making any of life’s many fresh starts.  


orchid plant

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Orchids are known as a symbol of beauty and purity, but their specific meaning can vary with flower color. White orchids represent innocence, while red symbolize a burning love. Yellow orchids are a symbol of friendship or new beginnings, and purple orchids represent admiration and respect. Regardless of the occasion, you can’t go wrong with a gift of orchids. While they have a reputation for being fussy, many orchids are quite easy to care for, especially the common Phalaenopsis or moth orchids. Orchids retain their flowers for several weeks to months. Some people treat them like a long-lasting bouquet, tossing them after the last flowers fade, but for those who like a challenge, it isn't too difficult to encourage reblooming. When selecting an orchid, choose one that has not yet opened all of its blooms to ensure a longer display.

Zebra Plant

zebra haworthia

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This last selection may seem a bit odd, but it's compact, easy to care for, pet-friendly, and adorable. Zebra plant (Haworthia attenuata) is also one of the easiest succulents for beginners. They can go weeks without watering and tolerate relatively low light for a succulent, making them great for offices or home settings. Zebra plants have thick, fleshy leaves bearing bands of white bumps that give the plant its common name. Their dramatic foliage and upright architecture pair perfectly with stylish containers.

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