Top 12 Houseplants for a Housewarming Gift

A heart-leaf philodendron in a wicker basket makes a great housewarming gift plant.
My Garden Life
October 30, 2023
Table of Contents

It’s always nice to bring along a gift when you’re visiting someone’s home for the first time. Whether the invitation is for a meal, a cup of coffee, or to celebrate a move to a new home, a thoughtful housewarming gift is always a welcome surprise.

A plant is an especially appropriate housewarming gift when someone is moving into a new house or apartment. Houseplants bring life to a room and enhance just about any décor, but it’s important to select a plant that your recipient will be able to manage. After all of the work of moving the last thing anyone needs is the challenge of a high-maintenance houseplant, or the disappointment of a plant turning sickly or dying because they didn’t know how to take care of it.

A young lady is giving a young man a large houseplant as a housewarming gift for his livingroom.

If you’re giving a gift to someone who already has plants and some familiarity with their care then you could safely “think big” and perhaps give them a large floor plant or a more exotic potted plant. But if your recipient is new to plants or has limited window space to support a plant, it’s best to stick with a medium to small potted plant and a plant species that doesn’t require a lot of attention.

Best Plants for a Housewarming Gift

All of the following are plants that would be good choices for a housewarming gift. These plants typically only need watering once a week, do well near a window, and don’t grow super-fast so they won’t outgrow their pot or space too quickly.

Swiss Cheese Plant or Vine (Monstera adansonii)

Swiss Cheese Plant or Vine (Monstera adansonii)

Swiss cheese plant gets its funny name from holes that naturally develop in the plant’s leaves as they mature. The holes give the leaves the appearance of sliced Swiss cheese, but in nature they allow water and sunlight to flow through to lower parts of the plant.
African Milk Tree Indoors (Euphorbia trigona)

African Milk Tree Indoors (Euphorbia trigona)

As its common name suggests, the exotic African milk tree is native to West Africa, where it grows up to nine feet (2.7 meters tall) on the sun-beaten plains. This perennial succulent produces white blooms in spring and summer when grown outside in zones 9-10, though such displays are rare in the indoor plant. Varieties are available with green and white variegated stems or burgundy-red tinted stems and leaves. Strong vertical lines and spiny textures give this succulent a modern, sculptural appeal. Likes lots of sunlight. A south or west facing window is ideal. Can grow quite tall, so well suited for large pots placed on the floor.
Heart-Leaf Philodendron ‘Brasil’ (Philodendron hederaceum)

Heart-Leaf Philodendron ‘Brasil’ (Philodendron hederaceum)

‘Brasil’ offers a colorful twist on a plant that has been a houseplant favorite for generations. That’s because heart-leaf Philodendrons are some of the easiest tropical plants to grow indoors. They tolerate all kinds of neglect including low light, poor soil and inconsistent watering. This is a great first-time houseplant or gift plant.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema species)

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema species)

Aglaonema are easy care selections perfect for bringing the beauty and health benefits of living plants into the home! Most varieties have variegated foliage that brightens any setting with its contrast of white and green. Allowing soil to dry a bit before watering, especially in winter, will keep Aglaonema at its healthiest. Perfect for windowsills, desks and tabletops. Beautiful mixed with taller or vining houseplants in large floor containers.
Peperomia, Radiator Plant (Peperomia species)

Peperomia, Radiator Plant (Peperomia species)

Peperomia plants are so beautiful, easy to grow, and available in such a wide array of foliage colors, textures and sizes that it could be difficult to own just one! This is a great plant for anyone who isn’t experienced with houseplants or who simply wants a relatively care-free plant. Very decorative on a small table or in a hanging basket. Perfect for all kinds of containers. Potted Peperomia plants can be grown outdoors in the summer and brought back inside when temperatures are expected to fall below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C).
Spider Plant Indoors (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider Plant Indoors (Chlorophytum comosum)

One of the most carefree plants around! Spider plants easily adapt to indoor conditions and the soft, gently arched blades of foliage add a lush, relaxed feeling to any room. Looks great grown in containers and hanging baskets. Potted plants can be grown outdoors in the summer and brought back inside for the winter.
Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Snake Plant Indoors (Sansevieria species)

Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Snake Plant Indoors (Sansevieria species)

Sansevieria are wonderfully stress-free houseplants that seem to thrive on neglect! They do well in low light and with minimal watering and feed. Their stiffly vertical, variegated leaves bring a bit of natural art and architecture to any room. Wonderful for defining entryways or accenting empty corners. Adds life and a decorative touch to dull, low-light locations indoors. Easy to grow in just about any kind of container. Slow growing and easy to maintain.
ZZ Plant, Aroid Palm, Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ Plant, Aroid Palm, Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

An amazingly tough, yet attractive houseplant! The ZZ plant is perfectly at home in low light situations allowing for greenery and clean air benefits in any room! The dark green foliage complements any décor. Low-maintenance plant requires little attention. Perfect for all kinds of containers. Interesting plant form adds a decorator touch to any situation. May be displayed outdoors in a shady area during warmer weather. Makes a lovely gift!
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum hybrid)

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum hybrid)

Peace lilies are highly valued as houseplants for their ease of care. The leaves will begin to droop very obviously when the plant is thirsty, then quickly perk back up once it is watered. The smooth glossy leaves compliment any décor and they group well with other houseplants. Interesting, spoon-like white blooms add to the peace lily’s appeal. Perfect for all kinds of containers. Makes a breathtaking potted specimen plant. May be displayed outdoors in warmer weather. Makes a lovely gift!
Kalanchoe Indoors (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

Kalanchoe Indoors (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

Kalanchoe’s many species are popular indoors and out for their ease of care, low water requirements and attractive, succulent leaves. Locating them in a warm, brightly lit location will assure the added bonus of dainty blooms. Perfect for all kinds of containers. Makes a nice windowsill plant. Potted Kalanchoe can be grown outdoors in the summer and brought back inside when temperatures are expected to fall below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). Can be grown outdoors year-round in frost-free climates, in a pot or in the ground.
Aloe Indoors (Aloe vera)

Aloe Indoors (Aloe vera)

Aloe vera are known as Medicinal Aloe for the burn soothing gel within their fleshy leaves. Grown indoors or out, Aloe are an easy care plant and their narrow, water-holding leaves provide nice contrast to plants of broad or finely textured foliage. Plant them with other succulents for an attractive, low maintenance display. Grow in windowsills, succulent terrariums, dish gardens. Aloe plants can be grown outdoors in the summer and brought back inside when temperatures are expected to fall below 50°F (10°C). Can be grown outdoors year-round in frost-free climates, in a pot or in the ground.
African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha)

African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha)

A rosette of lush foliage supports a beautiful display of blooms throughout the year. Depending on the African violet variety, flower types vary from single to double and even ruffled, in a wide range of colors. Brighter, filtered light is best in winter months for continuous flowering. Looks great grown in containers and hanging baskets. May be displayed outdoors in warmer weather. Makes a lovely gift!

How to Wrap a Gift Plant

It’s generally best not to try to wrap a plant as if it’s a package. You can easily damage some plants by breaking off leaves or stems. Consider just presenting the plant as-is but put it in a decorative pot or unconventional container to give your gift a more personal touch. You can buy a decorative pot at a garden center or a visit to a thrift shop can turn up mugs, ceramic bowls, tin containers, kettles, baskets, wooden boxes or other items that would make fun and attractive vessels for a hiding a plain grower pot. Even the addition of a simple bow wrapped around the pot can spruce up a plant enough to make it gift worthy.

Philodendron Birkin in a teal and brown decorative glazed ceramic pot on a table.

Considerations when Selecting a Plant for a Housewarming Gift

Plants and Pets

If you’re gifting a plant to someone who has a cat or dog, you want to be sure it’s a plant that is safe for their pet to be around. You can check a plant’s safety by visiting the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) list of Poisonous Plants or pick from our list of Pet Friendly Houseplants to find the perfect gift plant for a cat or dog owner.

Before giving a houseplant as a housewarming gift you need to consider pet safety, such as this yellow and white tabby cat on a windowsill next to a potted monstera plant.

Information on How to Care for a Plant

It would be helpful for you to do a little research and print or write out care information on the plant you will be gifting. If it’s a plant that your recipient is unfamiliar with, or they’re new to houseplant care, this will help guide them on how to keep their new plant healthy by providing it with the proper light and water.

A young lady researches a potted foliage plant by taking a photo using a phone app.

Make Sure Houseplant Pots have Drainage Holes

Ideally every houseplant should have drainage holes in the pot. One of the most common mistakes a lot of new plant owners make is “killing a plant with kindness”. Overwatering a plant very often leads to root rot. Inevitably, as a plant sickens or dies, the recipient of your gift plant may experience disappointment and even guilt if they feel that they’ve killed the plant.

A sansevieria gift plant with a red bow and a red brick wall in the background.

Make sure the plant you are gifting is in a pot with drainage holes so that water is less likely to accumulate in the root zone. A pot with drainage holes will also require a saucer to capture excess water. If the plant you’re selecting doesn’t come with a saucer, you’ll want to purchase one large enough to fit the base of the pot with a little extra room to allow for overflow. Plastic pot saucers are inexpensive and essential to eliminate mess when watering.  

A Watering Can is Helpful for Houseplant Care

If someone is brand new to caring for plants, consider adding a small watering can with your gift plant so they have the right tool for the job and won’t have to resort to using a drinking glass, measuring cup, or holding the pot under a faucet to give it a drink.

A watering can with a sansevieria plant makes a good housewarming gift combination.

Flowering Potted Plants for a Housewarming Gift

A flowering gift plant such as an orchid, miniature rose, or potted lavender is sure to bring a smile. However, it’s important to know that even with the best care some flowering gift plants will never again achieve the lush flowering that commercial growers are able to accomplish in the greenhouse. Just like cut flower bouquets, many potted flowering plants are best treated as temporary décor, to be enjoyed for a while then disposed of when flowering is done.

Three pots of carnations in pink, red, and red and white bicolor on a table.

If your preference to give a flowering plant, have a look at our page, All About Flowering Holiday Plants. There you’ll find detailed care information on many of the most popular flowering potted plants found through the seasons to help you decide if a flowering plant or foliage plant is the better choice for your gift recipient.  

Transporting a Gift Plant

If you are transporting a plant during cold weather you will need to protect it from the elements. Find a box that will hold the plant and place some type of filler around the pot to hold it in place; things like packing peanuts, crumpled balls of paper, or towels will help insulate the plant from the cold and prevent it from tipping over. Ideally the box would be deep and wide enough to contain the entire plant, but if not, you could lightly cover the top of the plant with paper and attached it to the box with some tape. Warm up your car before bringing the plant outdoors, and minimize the amount of time that the plant spends going from indoors to outdoors.  

Tropical foliage plants in a cardboard box being prepared to be transported.

Other Occasions for Gifting a Plant

Similar to a move to a new home, a move to a new office space is often a reason to celebrate. Office plants boost your mood and productivity by bringing a touch of nature indoors. Check our list of 10 Indoor Plants for a Healthier Office for easy to grow plants to brighten up your office space or gift to a coworker.

An office desk with a laptop, clock, smart phone and potted ZZ plant.

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