It’s a jungle in there. Every window, surface and brightly lit corner is filled with decorative or edible greenery. There is no doubt what to gift this person for the holidays. More of the same.
A lack of outdoor growing space, limited growing seasons, and time constraints have many people filling their apartments and homes with fiddle leaf figs, palms, succulents, herbs and vegetables.
And you have probably heard of the houseplant craze amongst millennials. Perhaps the need to destress after a long work day, concern for purer air, an interest in safe fresh food and a desire to be close to nature contribute to this craze. No matter the reason, gifting a millennial a trendy houseplant is sure to be a hit.
No matter your age, living in a green space and tending plants has many benefits. It reduces stress, improves one’s mood and provides a sense of emotional well being. Planting seeds and watching them grow generates feelings of hope. It it’s edible, even better. Indoor herb and vegetable gardens provide fresh, nutritious food to harvest and enjoy.
Newbies and those making the gardening transition indoors may find it challenging. Limited light, a different pallet of plants and variable watering regimes can be intimidating. Those who have killed philodendrons and succulents in the past may have given up, but fortunately there are solutions and easy-care options for those looking to expand their indoor green spaces.
Take the guesswork out of watering with hydroponics. Water and nutrients are available and delivered via a wick or similar system to the plants when needed. Colorful Mason-type canning jar planters fitted with hydroponic grow kits are perfect for starting seeds and growing plants on windowsills or countertops. Add a sleeker touch with a colored glass cylinder like Modern Sprout’s Hydroponic Tumbler Grow Kit.
Give them all they need; seeds or plants, container and growing media. Make it yourself or buy a ready-made kit like the Wax Planter Grow Kit (modsprout.com). This gift is sure to provide a sense of satisfaction from planting to harvesting their first sprig of basil or decorating the spruce tree they grew from a seed.
Brighten up growing spaces with indoor lights. Supplementing natural light or providing light in a windowless space can make the difference between success and failure. Energy efficient LED grow lights provide the light plants need, while saving on energy costs. Attractive options and space saving systems blend in nicely to any home. Complete lighting systems, like the Growhouse, are designed to fit small spaces and make watering easy while protecting surrounding surfaces from water damage.
Match the plants to the light conditions and the recipient’s gardening skills. Succulents are trendy and perfect for busy gardeners with sunny windows or grow light setups. They thrive with benign neglect; as do snake plants, Chinese evergreens, Anthuriums and ZZ plants in low light conditions. Orchids and bonsai make the perfect gift for those ready to take their indoor gardening to the next level. For the most fool proof winter option, gift an amaryllis or paperwhite bulb kit.
No matter the recipient’s age or experience level, the gift of gardening will provide immediate and lasting enjoyment.
Melinda Myers is the author of more than 20 gardening books and host of The Great Courses’ How to Grow Anything DVD series. Her website, www.MelindaMyers.com, offers gardening tips and videos.