To make a good gift, we believe a plant has to be one or all of these things: 1) easy to care for, 2) useful, 3) beautiful. Almost all plants fit the "useful" bill, since they absorb carbon dioxide and help to purify indoor air. As for a few "beautiful" and "easy to care for" selections, we've got you covered...
The Amaryllis is a traditional holiday gift, since this winter bulb blooms through the New Year. Pair it with a glass vase or jar to water the roots, and you're all set.
Succulents are easy to care for since they don't require much water, and they come in a wide range of shapes and colors. Fill a planter with a few varieties for a striking holiday gift.
Lucky Bamboo is technically a member of the lily family. It grows in water, not soil, and will thrive as long as it has some sunlight and a constant supply of water. As its name implies, it's also said to be a lucky plant, often used in Feng Shui.
Herbs are great gifts for home cooks. In winter, a potted indoor herb garden can keep someone supplied with fresh herbs until it's warm enough to transfer them to the porch.
Aloe plants are members of the succulent family and require minimal watering. They're also great to have around to treat burns and surface wounds. Just crack open a leaf and apply the inner lining directly to the skin.
The scent of lavender is said to relieve stress and induce calm. Dried lavender can also be used to cook with or make sachets.
Air Plants don't need soil or constant watering; they can live almost anywhere you put them and require only regular misting or soaking to survive. They also look great clustered in a bowl or used in a centerpiece.
This list is just the beginning. Add your suggestions for the best gift plants below...we know you've got 'em!
Photos: Amaryllis via Morguefile, Bamboo via Morguefile, Chamomile via Morgeufile, Aloe via Morguefile, Lavender via eHow, Air Plants via estmsk (cc license)