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Hostess Gifts for Your Plant-loving Thanksgiving Host

With winter holidays just around the corner, we all have presents on our minds. But before we get engulfed in the frenzy of December, there’s another holiday to enjoy (for most of us, the best one): Thanksgiving.

And after careful consideration at the Pilea headquarters, we’ve decided to let you know that cut flowers and a bottle of wine are not the only gifts you can bring to your Thanksgiving host. Especially if we’re talking about a host who is also a plant lover. And just in case you’re thinking, “oh, then all I’m left with as an option is a potted orchid,” worry not. We’ve curated just this gift guide to come to the rescue.

Here’s what you can bring to Thanksgiving this year to thank your plant-loving hosts for their hospitality.

1. A terrarium

We’re partial to growing a Pilea in a terrarium (and we show you how you can build your own here), but there are so many other plants to display in a terrarium - from the humble pink fittonia to the low-maintenance air plants.

If you really want your present to be put to good use, you should make it as easy as possible to display it. That means either opting for a ready-built terrarium or getting a terrarium building kit. The latter option makes for a nice creative gift that can also count as gifting an experience. And if the Thanksgiving party is getting too dull, you might even be tempted to start assembling the kit on the spot.

2. A book on houseplants

We’re speaking from experience here: the more you learn about plants, the more you realize how much there is to learn. Some of us do our best learning by reading online articles (hello!) while others prefer watching YouTube videos. But there’s just something very hygge in settling down with a book after a long day.

There are so many books about houseplants that you can gift to your hostess, so we took the liberty to break them down into categories and give you an example for each:

  • Books that teach you how to care for houseplants: What's Wrong With My Plant? A Visual Guide to Easy Diagnosis and Organic Remedies by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth

  • Books that teach you how to decorate with houseplants: Houseplants for All: How to Fill Any Home with Happy Plants by Danae Horst

  • Topical books depending on what kind of plant your host is interested: House of Plants: Living with Succulents, Air Plants and Cacti by Caro Langton, Rose Ray and Erika Rax

  • Books about the history of houseplants: Potted History: How Houseplants Took Over Our Homes by Catherine Horwood

So many choices!

3. Spring bulbs

By the time Thanksgiving comes around, it may be too late to plant early spring bulbs. And in the lead-up to the winter holidays, life gets a bit too hectic to remember outdoor chores. But the beauty of spring bulbs is that they can be planted in February and March, and they’ll still bloom for a full season.

When we recommend buying spring bulbs, that doesn’t necessarily mean just tulips. Consider gifting hyacinths, narcissus, crocuses, muscari, daffodils, decorative alliums and poppy anemones.

The best part about bulbs is that they can also be planted in containers, either indoors or on a patio or balcony. They might not get as lush and rich as the ones planted straight into the garden, but they sure will brighten up a dull late-winter day.

4. A handmade pot or planter

You may not think of a planter as a special enough gift. And true, if you just pick one up from the shelf of your big box store, there’s nothing special about that.

But we guarantee that a plant lover will equally love a well-made unique pot. Nobody likes to look at ugly nursery plastic pots all day long. A beautiful glazed ceramic pot is a different story - it can act as a focal point for any room.

The trick here is knowing your hostess well enough to be able to match your gift to their preferred style. Luckily, you can find all sorts of unique pots for sale from small businesses, from the quirky ones made of repurposed materials (such as this one made out of a wine bottle) to the Scandinavian-inspired 3D-printed pots (such as these ones) to the whimsical handmade pottery (such as this one) for cottagecore fans.

5. A course on houseplants

No matter how much you know about houseplants, there’s always something new to learn. Luckily, there are so many interactive and entertaining ways to learn new things nowadays, and none of them involve sitting through endless boring lectures in a school building.

For a more personal experience, see if you can find classes organized by a local botanical garden, arboretum or plant store. For a remote learning opportunity, check out platforms such as Skillshare and Masterclass. And if you want to support a small business owner, look for classes taught by the instructors themselves on their own platforms - such as this course on succulents or this course on herbalism.

6. Indoor gardening tools

Not a lot of people think of gardening tools when they’re in gift-giving mode. True, not a lot of people associate digging in the dirt with a good wholesome gift. This couldn’t be further from the truth when the gift recipient is a plant aficionado. Even if your Thanksgiving hostess doesn’t have a garden of their own, gardening tools still come in handy.

We have a great guide on the best tools for indoor gardening. But in a nutshell, you can add these to your shopping list: gardening gloves (you can have them personalized), a hand trowel, a hori hori knife, a propagation station. Even a canvas drop cloth will come in handy for indoor repotting sessions.

7. Garden in a bag grow kit

This is the perfect gift for someone who doesn’t have an outdoor growing space. Most garden-in-a-bag kits come with everything you need to plant a garden: a growing medium, seeds, the container and exact instructions on how to plant everything. All the receiver will have to do is provide water and adequate light.

There are many to choose from - from zinnias to herbs to sunflowers and even strawberries. We recommend you start with the culinary herb mix that would be the perfect addition to a kitchen windowsill. And who knows, maybe next Thanksgiving, your gift will provide fresh herbs for the festive meal.

We hope these suggestions help you get the ball rolling on shopping for gifts this month. Luckily, plant people are really easy to shop for.

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