Indoor Plant Ideas

This Is the Best Plant To Give as a Gift—And How To Keep It From Becoming a Botanical Burden

Mary Grace Garis

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61
Giving a plant as a gift is a timeless and good-for-most-occasions move. It's appropriate for someone's birthday, someone's death day, someone's Mother's Day. So, pray tell, what's the best plant out there to give as a gift right now? According to Erin Marino, editorial lead and plant expert at The Sill, people can't get enough of the Pinterest-friendly Monstera. But why?

"I hypothesize the Monstera is a popular plant to gift because of its oversized, vibrant green leaves," says Marino. "It's a little unruly, a little wild—definitely a happy plant. I like to give them as gifts, even to non-plant people, because recipients get excited when they see new leaves unfurling and always share photos. It's a fun plant to bond over for years to come."

So cute! But then there's the flipside of getting a plant as a present: If you don't have a green thumb, the gift becomes a botanical burden. So whether you're looking to purchase a Monstera or you've recently received one on your doorstep, it could be helpful to know its needs. Don't worry, friend. The Monstera is super simple to care for, and there's really only three key things to keep in mind when it comes to tending to it.

How to keep the gift of a Monstera plant alive

When giving a plant as a gift, don't forget to include simple care instructions to keep it living its best life for years to come.

1. Make sure your plan is indirectly lit

"This plant will do best in bright indirect light in your home," Marino says. "If your space does not receive bright light, it'll fair in medium indirect, but you could also consider getting supplemental lightning to help it really thrive."

Marino recommends the Soltech Vita Grow Light Bulb ($75) if you need a luminous booster. "It can screw it into any traditional light fixture to use and even though it has a photosynthetic spectrum, it gives off a white ambient light," she says.

2. Don't supersoak your Monstera plant

"When it comes to watering, you'll want to be careful not to overwater your Monstera," Marino says. "Check the potting mix once every one to two weeks, and water when dry. The more light the plant receives, the more frequently you'll find yourself watering, especially during the spring and summer growing season."

3. Chill out if your plant arrives looking like Swiss cheese

It is distressing to receive a plant that's already in a state of decay. But if your Monstera looks positively moth-eaten when it arrives, no need to request a refund.

"The Monstera is famous for its quirky leaf holes," says Marino. "It's important to note these holes are natural, and that not all leaves will develop them. The holes are theorized to maximize sun fleck capture in the plant's native outdoor environment. Depending on the season and maturity of the plant, your Monstera could arrive have no holes just yet."

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