When you're scrambling for gift ideas this holiday season, consider giving the gift of green: a live plant that will not only bring in a little bit of nature and improve indoor air quality, but also continue to grow and thrive throughout the year. Plants can be ideal gifts for the people on your list who may be difficult to shop for, especially when you put a little bit of thought into the plant you choose and how you present it.

Tailor the Plant to the Person

When possible, choose plants that meet the needs of the recipient's lifestyle. Select plants with low sunlight needs for friends who don't have a lot of window space, like spider plants, pothos vine, ferns and dracaena. Cacti and succulents can be virtually ignored, making them a great choice for people who travel a lot. Flower enthusiasts will love potted orchids, and terrariums are a fun customizable project for creative types.

Customize the Planter

The disposable nursery pots that most potted plants come with aren't the most attractive or durable way to present a plant as a gift. Choose a terra-cotta, ceramic, glass or metal container that matches the decor and tastes of the recipient, or repurpose an unexpected item like a baking pan, wash bucket, vintage tin or large coffee mug. You can even paint or decorate a pot yourself to add a personal touch.

When repotting plants, be sure to use high-quality potting soil like Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix. Choose specialty soil when needed for plants like cacti, African violets and orchids.

Include Care Instructions

Each variety of plant has its own individual needs for sunlight, watering, fertilizing and other care. If the plant you purchase comes with care instructions, tuck them into the pot. You can also look up plant needs on the internet and hand-write them on a card of your choice.

Plants as Party Favors

Instead of providing disposable party favors that will likely end up in a landfill, consider giving small potted plants that will still be alive and thriving months after the holiday season is over. They also double as table decor, providing a pop of green in the middle of winter. Paint miniature terra-cotta pots in the color of your choice and decorate them with ribbons. Some ideas for small plant favors include herbs, succulents and bulbs.

Holiday Gifts that Grow: Tips for Giving Live Plants
Live plants make a thoughtful and long-lasting gift, especially when chosen with care and customized with little touches that make them even more special.