Plants are the perfect gift to make a new house or apartment feel like home. Help beginner plant parents keep their green friends growing with these gardening accessories.

A few years ago, my brother gave up sharing an apartment with his college friends and struck out on his own. Once he found a place, he set about doing those fun, first-apartment things one does: buying a shower curtain, looking for furniture, and collecting kitchen basics. Once outfitted, his new apartment was thoroughly habitable. But after some months of living in it, it still felt strangely un-lived-in.

It’s obvious to me now what was missing. He needed green things. He needed plants. Or at least a plant — something that would affirm his space as a space in which living things thrived.

There’s no reason a living space should be without plants. A pretty plant in a stylish pot makes a great gift for anyone moving into new digs, and there’s a plant out there to suit just about anyone’s thumb (green or otherwise). To truly support a newbie in keeping houseplants alive and thriving, here are a few more garden-centric gift ideas, courtesy of Annie Dornan-Smith’s book, House Jungle.

plant gift guide house jungle

Illustrations © Annie Dornan-Smith, excerpted from House Jungle

Hand Tools

A small spade and mini garden fork are great no matter how many plants you own. Inevitably, you’re going to want to repot what you’ve got or break up compacted soil after many waterings. Hand tools help to make these endeavors less messy (and wasteful), and offer some protection for your plants from clumsy human hands.

Gardening Gloves

Gloves for someone who owns one plant? Well, yes! Gloves protect skin from spiny plant parts and come in handy when you need to really dig in the dirt. (I speak from personal experience when I say that slipping on a pair of gardening gloves is a little like tying a superhero cape around your shoulders. Gloves have a way of making the wearer feel like a bona fide plant whisperer who could handle any gardening challenge.)

A Watering Can

This suggestion might seem obvious, but the value of a watering can for a first-time plant owner is too easily overlooked. Of course, if you only have a plant or two, you could always repurpose a bottle or a glass. But watering cans come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors — and they allow the waterer greater control over flow amount and speed. Keep your can plain and practical or get one with a more sophisticated look. Either way, plants and their people will thank you.

A Spray Bottle

A perfect add-on to a gifted houseplant, spray bottles are handy for watering bonsai, small plants, and moisture-loving plants like ferns and orchids. They also happen to be great if you’re giving someone a terrarium or terrarium-building kit. With options ranging from sturdy plastic to metals or delicate cut glass bottles, you can go for a look that’s as simple or as elegant as you want.

And of course, if you’re not convinced that the person you’re buying for is ready to commit to a real live plant just yet, a copy of House Jungle is a housewarming gift that’s bound to charm — no special care required!

Emily Spiegelman

As Storey’s digital features editor, Emily Spiegelman’s life often ends up imitating books. In addition to knitting, baking, and hosting an exciting array of birds in… See Bio

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House Jungle

by Annie Dornan-Smith

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