Houseplant Starts Make Great Gifts

Use your green thumb to give gifts to your friends!  It is certainly easy to "snip snip" a few starts off a spider plant or sitck a trailing piece of pothos in a little bud vase.  It is nicer if you go ahead and root those starts yourself and pot them up in a cute flowerpot or plastic pot inside a nice container.  Houseplant starts from your plants make great housewarming gifts, get-well gifts, and "thinking of you" gifts.  To always have a supply of gifts on hand, start a little "houseplant farm."  If you become overrun, you can always just give them away.

Easy to Root Plants

Chlorophytum comosum:  Spider Plant

You can find these plants at almost every garden center and grocery store.  Spider plants love bright, indirect light.  They produce little plantlets on strong stems trailing out from the center of the plant.  Simply snip off the plantlets and stick them in a cup of water to root.  Once you see the roots soften and start to grow, the plant is ready to pot.

Epipremnum aureum: Golden Pothos

Pothos is one of those plants that interiorscapers love.  It can grow almost in the dark.  In the rainforest, it grows from the ground up into the trees, with the leaves getting larger the higher the plant grows.  (Most likely to take in more light.)  To root pothos, cut a section from the mother plant that is about 12 inches long.  Strip off the leaves on the lower six inches of the plant and place in water.  The plant will sprout roots at the "nodes" or places where the leaves used to be.  Once the plant has roots, transplant into moist potting soil.

Saintpaulia: African Violet

Once you start propagating these, you will lose your mind.  (Not literally, but they are so easy to propagate that you will soon have a houseful!)  Simply snip off leaves with at least 1 inch of petiole (that is the "stem" that connects the leaf to the rest of the plant).  Stick the petioles in moist soil and let them root.  Once new little leaves begin sprouting from the base of the leaf, you can pot up your baby plants.

The best part about giving houseplants for gifts (besides the fact that it is cheap!) is that you get to give your friend a piece of your garden.  Your friend can grow the plant to maturity and then, root cuttings for their friends.  I have a whole little houseplant garden of plants from friends.  This sounds kind of corny, but even though my friends are far away, in a way, I still have them with me!

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