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Giving a Pilea as a Christmas Gift? Here’s What to Do First

We’ll start this post with a confession. If it were up to us, everyone would be getting Pilea plants for Christmas. (Imagine the Oprah meme, but replace the “You get a car” announcement with “You get a Pilea. And you get a Pilea.”

We admit we’re biased because we spend our days growing these plants, taking care of them, and sharing tips with other Pilea lovers. We also think that Pilea is a perfect plant for a beginner and it’s very easy to propagate and share. So it’s no wonder Pilea is our #1 plant recommendation to anyone who’s decided to give a plant as a Christmas present.

However, before you order your plant gift, here are a few things to consider.

Giving a Pilea as a Christmas Gift? Here’s What To Do First

1. Consider the person you’re gifting the Pilea to.

Is your friend or family member a plant aficionado? Do they already have houseplants and love caring for them?

Then a Pilea would be the perfect addition to an already existing plant collection.

Or were they admiring your plants just to be polite? Do they even want a plant of their own? Or are they going to let the plant die and toss it as soon as the holidays are over?

In that case, it may be better to go for another gift.

2. Consider their lifestyle and life plans (if you’re privy to this info).

Even if your friend is an unabashed plant lover, maybe a Pilea wasn’t top of the list on their letter to Santa.

Let’s assume they really do love houseplants, but they have a big life event coming up. Maybe they want to move house or are having a baby, or they may even start traveling and working remotely. You can still give them a Pilea, of course, but don’t be surprised if the plant doesn’t make it too long. Something else to take care of may not be the best gift choice for someone overwhelmed with other life chores, such as raising kids, hectic work schedules or caring for elderly relatives.

If you’re still thinking of getting your friend a plant gift, you could opt for something more seasonal, such as a poinsettia or spring bulbs – hyacinths, crocuses, daffodils or snowdrops are a few good examples.

Or you could opt for botanical gifts that are not live houseplants. Click this way for a bit of extra inspiration for gifts for plant lovers. (

3. Consider the gift recipient’s indoor environment.

Ok, let’s say you’ve passed the first two hurdles: your friend would love to receive a houseplant and they have time in their busy schedule to care for one.

But do they live in the right environment? This should be easy to establish, especially if your friend already has a plant collection.

Pilea plants thrive in bright indirect light and medium humidity. Does your intended recipient’s house get enough light for them to keep houseplants? (Maybe they live in a basement apartment.) Do they have room next to the windows to place houseplants? Are they living in a place large enough to accommodate an extra plant?

If their home is too dark, consider gifting them other houseplants that do well in a low-light location, such as ZZ plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), snake plants (Sansevieria), spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum), arrowhead plants (Syngonium podophyllum) or English ivy (Hedera helix).

4. Consider the gift recipient’s tendencies.

Is your friend an anxious over-waterer, or are they more likely to forget to water a plant? In our experience, the over-waterers are the ones who find it infinitely harder to break that habit.

A gentle reminder that Pilea plants are prone to root rot if they’re being consistently overwatered.

If you’re dealing with an over-waterer, you can gift them plants that love humidity, such as orchids. And while you’re at it, get them a moisture meter for houseplants, and teach them how to use it.

If the recipient of your plant gift is an under-waterer, then a Pilea gift is perfect - up to a point.

Pilea are generally very sturdy plants that don’t mind a low-watering schedule. Low-water doesn’t translate to “never water them,” but it does mean they’re not thirsty plants that you have to constantly check.

5. Choose a healthy plant to gift.

Awesome, you’ve made it this far down the list and you still think Pilea is a good choice for a gift! This warms up our green hearts; it really does.

If you’re buying a Pilea from a nursery or a plant store, make sure you choose a healthy sturdy plant that will give the gift recipient a head start.

If you’re propagating Pilea babies to share with friends and family, don’t leave it until the last minute. If possible, get them started early enough to allow them some time to grow and get acclimated to life away from the mama plant.

If you’re ordering a plant online (either for personal delivery or to be delivered straight as a Christmas present), please pay attention to how low the temperatures are dipping. Some online plant shops offer the option of paying extra for a heat pack to keep the plant warm during shipping. (Some offer the heat pack for free in the winter.) The closer your weather gets to freezing, the more seriously you should consider springing for that option.

6. Write a care card.

We’re not talking about a Christmas card with customary wishes of joy and good cheer here. We’re talking about a care guide that helps the recipient of your Pilea gift take good care of their new plant baby.

Some useful information that you could add to the care card includes:

Of course, the most comprehensive Pilea care guide is this website, so you could add a link to to the care card. We’ll take it from there.

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