9 Popular Live Plants and Greens for Holiday and Christmas Gift Giving

Take the guesswork out of holiday gift giving. Because who doesn’t appreciate flowers and greenery in winter?

Have you wondered how poinsettias came to be so popular at the holidays, or why amaryllis is a favorite gift to give and receive? Read on to learn more about how these plants became cherished and traditional holiday gifts.

tabletop decorated miniature tree

  1. Tabletop Decorated Trees

  2. Queen Victoria is said to have popularized the tradition of decorated Christmas trees among the British in 1848. And while decorated trees as holiday décor were used in the United States as early as the 1800s, they weren’t well-known here until the influential magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book published an illustration of the British royals around their decorated tree in 1850.

    Today, with an emphasis on preserving natural resources and reforestation, the popularity of tabletop decorated trees continues to grow. In fact, our decorated trees can be planted in the landscape in spring, depending on your growing zone and when given proper care.

    Reduce, reuse, and give sustainably this holiday season with live miniature trees that have all the fun and little of the work of their mature siblings. They smell great, too. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, you can still join the fun with secularly decorated trees. Browse the collection, but don’t delay. They sell fast. (Shop our annual assortment. Collections change each year, see what's new!)

    Tabletop Trees make ideal gifts for grandparents, college students, and condo and apartment dwellers.


    holiday wreath

  3. Evergreen Wreaths and Swags

  4. “The Christmas tree gave birth to the wreath,” says Ace Collins, author of Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. Born out of thrift, in the 16th century, boughs trimmed from Christmas trees were woven into wreaths. In ancient Greece and Rome, the wreath was an emblem of victory and power. Using evergreen boughs to form wreaths has further symbolism in the historic appreciation of these trees that can survive harsh winters.

    Decorating with wreaths and swags at the holidays continues to have widespread popularity. Give wreaths as holiday gifts to symbolize power, resilience, and hope.

    Wreaths make the best gifts for daughters-in-law, new neighbors, and a special treat for friends in temperate climates.

    amaryllis gifts

  5. Amaryllis Bulb Gifts

  6. Why are amaryllis bulbs such popular gifts during the holidays? Their huge blooms are easy to encourage, and they put on a showy display that is simply unmatched, with each stem typically producing two to four blooms, and some having as many as six. And in the depths of winter, colorful flowers are a welcome escape. With white ruffles, pink stripes, or even candy cane colors, the flowers unfurl from designer containers and grow with little help from your gift recipients – or with no help when you give waxed amaryllis gifts, which require not a single thing to bloom. Some amaryllis bulbs will have as many as six flowers per stem, and typically two to four. (Shop our annual assortment. Containers and bulbs change each year, see what's new!)

    Gardeners, nature lovers, and even children enjoy amaryllis bulb gifts, but seniors may appreciate them most of all.


  7. Poinsettias

  8. Euphorbia pulcherrima

    The most popular flowering symbol of the Christmas holiday season, poinsettias are native to Mexico and Guatemala. Mayans and Aztecs cultivated the plants for a variety of uses, from adornment to medicinal. A founder of the Smithsonian Institution and the first American ambassador to Mexico, Joel Robert Poinsett, first brought poinsettias to the United States in 1827. The colorful red braces and cheerfully upright green leaves keep the popularity of poinsettia holiday plant gifts growing every year.

    Keep plants away from pets.

    Poinsettias are the best gifts for corporate gifts, neighbors, teachers, and clergy.

    Feeling inspired? Shop early for the best assortment of living gifts. Reserve now, pick your shipping date, we don’t process your payment until your gifts ship.

  9. Christmas Cactus

  10. Schlumbergera / Zygocactus

    Give a generational heirloom plant gift. These annually flowering houseplants can thrive for several decades when cared for properly. What we in the Northern Hemisphere call a Christmas Cactus has been kept as a holiday plant since the 1800s. With dark green, plump stems in tooth edges and a veritable annual bloom festival just as winter takes hold, this holiday gift plant is a warm reminder of your thoughtfulness. Our zygocactus begins blooming as early as October with flowers that delight until well after the Christmas holiday, giving this beautiful houseplant its common name.

    Christmas Cactus makes the best gift for your dog walker, housekeeper, or handyman.

  11. Paperwhites

  12. Narcissus papyraceus

    The showy, delicate white florets of paperwhites complement décor for Hanukkah, Christmas, and every winter holiday. These easy blooming bulbs, in the narcissus family, develop tall, bright green, spiky spires with mini daffodil-looking sprays of dazzling white flowers. Popular for the holidays, paperwhite bulbs contain everything they need to thrive, just add water. Paperwhite gifts will perfume homes and their quick growth is a joy for kids to watch, too.

    Keep bulbs away from pets.

    Paperwhites are the best gifts for your grandmother, in-laws, or hairdresser.


  13. Rosemary

  14. Salvia rosmarinus

    Your indoor/outdoor herb station doubles as a beautifully organic and culinarily useful holiday tree. A sign of love and remembrance, our versatile, live rosemary plant makes a great holiday gift. Your gift recipients enjoy pruning the delightful tree to shape as they pinch sprigs to flavor their signature holiday dishes. Superbly fragrant and eco-friendly, our potted rosemary delivers a message of holiday goodwill and grows year-round as a houseplant, and when the weather warms, it can be taken on a summer vacation to the patio.

    Rosemary plants are the best gifts for caretakers, chefs, and hosts.

  15. Gardenia

  16. Gardenia jasminoides

    Potted gardenia plant gifts send just the right message at the holidays. Why? The gardenia flower symbolizes trust, clarity, hope, and renewal. Equally as compelling for gift giving, gardenias exceptional signature fragrance is accompanied by glossy evergreen foliage and marvelous double white flowers. Gardenias are well suited as houseplants and for container growing. The lovely designer pot makes it easy to transition indoors from out when temperatures fall below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. They thrive with several hours of direct sun.

    Gardenias make the best gifts for dinner guests, dog groomer, and new friends.

  17. Cyclamen

  18. Flowers for the holidays are a welcome surprise. Cyclamen is an exotic and popular holiday gift idea since its blooms persist for months, peaking when the weather turns cool and damp. The heart-shaped petals form unique shapes atop straight stems. Encourage abundant blooming by pinching off spent blooms close to the base of the plant. The cheerful, long-lasting plant arrives potted and ready to bloom.

    Cyclamen flowers make great gifts for co-workers, gardeners, and grandparents.

You’re sure to find treasured living gifts, thoughtfully selected, and conveniently delivered at JacksonandPerkins.com.


Sources: Britannica.com, Time.com, Missouri.edu, Gardeningknowhow.com, UGA.edu, Illinois.edu, petalrepublic.com, jacksonandperkins.com