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Gift Guide: Cures for a Black Thumb

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Gift Guide: Cures for a Black Thumb

November 29, 2017

What to buy for the gardener with a black thumb? (We are using the term “gardener” loosely here, to describe the sort who, if not for a predilection for killing houseplants, would live happily in an indoor jungle.)

This holiday season, help a would-be gardener along. Remember: it is not kind to give anything you know a black thumb will end up killing (step away from the ferns). Instead, spread seasonal cheer with a tough-as-nails houseplant and simple tools and tips to keep it alive.

We’ve rounded up a few holiday gifts guaranteed to turn a black thumb green:

Can’t-Kill Houseplants

A ZZ Plant & August Planter (which comes in six colors including the handsome black one shown here) is $5loading=
Above: A ZZ Plant & August Planter (which comes in six colors including the handsome black one shown here) is $51 from The Sill.
New York-based The Sill has been one of our favorite purveyors of houseplants since 2012, when the fledging company began its door-to-door houseplant delivery service the same month we launched Gardenista. We feel like we’ve grown up together; nowadays The Sill ships nationwide and offers an entire collection of Plants for Beginners which in addition to the ZZ plant shown above includes a few other good choices to purchase for a black thumb.

Haworthia Zebra is a hard-to-hurt succulent ($29.50 in a pot, choice of six colors), and Pothos Jade is another plant with a strong survival instinct survivor ($44, including square Olmstead planter in choice of six colors).

Watering Can

A Black Iron Watering Can made of solid iron is £35 from Botany UK. (For US shoppers, House Doctor&#8
Above: A Black Iron Watering Can made of solid iron is £35 from Botany UK. (For US shoppers, House Doctor’s Plant Watering Can is available for $48 from Scandinavian Design Center.)
Perhaps the somber color of this stylish watering can will send a gentle reminder to a black thumb to avoid over-watering? See more favorites in 10 Easy Pieces: Black Watering Cans.

Plant Misters

A black Plant Mister has a faceted glass bottle and a brass sprayer; $loading=
Above: A black Plant Mister has a faceted glass bottle and a brass sprayer; $12.40 at Amazon.
A little humidity in the air won’t hurt anyone … especially if your black-thumb friend already is holding a fern or two hostage.

How Not to Kill Your Plants

Friendly, accessible, and non-guilt-provoking, How Not To Kill Your Plants &#8
Above: Friendly, accessible, and non-guilt-provoking, How Not To Kill Your Plants “is about taking the hocus-pocus out of plants and flowers and enabling you to understand a plant’s needs in order to know where to place and how to style them,” says author Nik Southern, founder of the London-based florist Grace & Thorn. It is $16.99 on Amazon.
For UK readers, How Not to Kill Your Plants is £11.89 on Amazon UK.

Glasshouse Terrariums

A peaked Glasshouse Terrarium (available in silver or copper) is £ apiece from Alfie&#8
Above: A peaked Glasshouse Terrarium (available in silver or copper) is £17 apiece from Alfie’s Studio.

A tiny glasshouse will showcase a low-maintenance tillandsia or two. How hard can it be to keep an air plant alive? (See: plant mister, above).

Air Plants

A tiny Tillandsia Ionantha air plant is 98 cents apiece at Air Plant Greenhouse via Etsy.
Above: A tiny Tillandsia Ionantha air plant is 98 cents apiece at Air Plant Greenhouse via Etsy.

At these prices, I would say: stock up on air plants. Buy your black-thumb friend a few backups…

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