8 great gift plants
Look for 4- or 6-inch pots of Canada hemlock, false or Monterey cypress, and juniper.
After the holidays, move to a larger pot or plant in the ground.
In mild-winter areas, the lettuces can be transplanted into the garden after a few days on a sheltered patio; in cold climates, plant in wide pots on a frost-free porch.
Line with tissue paper, then slip in plant. Water sparingly; temperatures of 60° or so prolong flower life.
Guided by the depression in the can's lid, trace and cut out a paper label, write your message, and attach to lid with double-stick tape. Fill can halfway with sand.
Place two or three paperwhite or other narcissus bulbs (about $5 for a 10-pack) in the sand (roots down, points up).
On a paper slip, offer advice for the giftee: To force bulbs, set aside lid and add water until sand is just moist. Place in sunny spot and keep moist; blooms in about seven weeks.
Tuck instructions in can, and, covering lid with a dishcloth, gently tap into place with a hammer.
Bred to thrive indoors, it comes with snowflake-shaped flowers in a range of delicious colors, from Cassis (royal purple) to Pistachio, pictured here.
The vines are trained on circular frames in 6-inch containers and sold through December for about $20 each.
To keep the plant tidy, tuck new growth beneath existing stems. Display in bright, indirect light, and water regularly.
A houseplant in all but frost-free climates; give bright light. In summer can be moved outdoors to a partly shaded patio.
Their thick, waxy flowers last four to six weeks, often longer. Many orchids make good house or patio plants ― no steamy hothouse environment is necessary to keep them happy.
With reasonable care, they'll bloom again next winter and for years to come.
Sure, the plants just get bigger and better every year. They pump out masses of delicate jungle flowers in rosy red, white, orange, pink, and pale yellow, depending on the variety, just in time for the holidays.
And although they’re true cactus, their spines are so tiny and soft that you’ll scarcely notice them ― and never get pricked.