When you give a plant, you give the gift of love! Plants take time to grow and nurture, so it shows the recipient that you’ve thought about them well in advance. Here are a couple of gift ideas that are cheap and easy, and make wonderful presents all year round.
Propagating your own plants might sound scary if you haven’t done it before, but it’s really rewarding.
Succulents are available really widely at reasonable prices, but if you’ve already got a succulent family of your own it’s very easy to propagate them yourself. Given the right conditions, succulents can ‘pup’ – or grow little babies from the same root system. Just use a sharp knife to cut the small plant off the stem, and re-pot in some potting compost. Allow it to take root in a small pot or jar, before transferring into another container for gifting. You can even grow a new succulent straight from a carefully-removed leaf, as explained in this wonderful tutorial. I love the look of succulents planted in mugs, teacups or even beer cans! You can tie some patterned ribbon or raffia around for a finishing touch.
Trailing types of philodendron and zebrina are really easy to propagate, and they look stunning trailing from a shelf or from a woven macrame hanger. Take a cutting from a healthy plant at a point just where the leaf grows from the stem. You’ll be able to see a little ‘node’ at the base of the leaf – this is where the new root will grow from. Place the cutting in a jar of water, making sure that the base of the stem and the node are fully submerged, and leave it in a warm, bright spot away from direct sunlight. Leave it for around 4-6
weeks, changing the water regularly, and pot on in potting compost when the root is long and healthy. Keep well watered, and voila! – a whole brand new plant for your friends to enjoy.
Make a mini terrarium
We’ve already spoken about propagating succulents, and the tiny baby ones are the perfect addition to a miniature terrarium. Use anything you like that fits the purpose: a clean, sterilised jar, a purpose-bought container, or even a glass teapot. I’ve written a detailed article on creating your own mini terrarium as a fun DIY weekend project, so follow the steps in this article. Once your terrarium is finished, add your chosen ribbon or raffia to pull the look together. Perfect!
Rather than splash out on a big bouquet of blooms that’ll last just a week or so, why not create your own miniature bouquet out of dried plants and herbs? Gather together stalks of fresh bay leaves, rosemary, heather, lavender, thyme, sage and even some dried flowers (these can sometimes be found at gift shops). Arrange the sprigs together and secure with an elastic band, then cover the band with some pretty paper, fabric or even tin foil so it resembles a tiny bouquet of flowers. Secure with your choice of natural string, ribbon, or even a wooden clothes peg like this beautiful example.
These are a lovely thank-you gift to a host, or a lovely finishing touch to your table decorations if you’re throwing a festive dinner party. Your guests can take them home and keep hold of them as a reminder of a fabulous time.