Gifts that grow are all the rage

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Melinda My­ers For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia Melinda My­ers is the au­thor of more than 20 gar­den­ing books and host of The Great Courses’ How to Grow Any­thing DVD se­ries. Her web­site, www.Melin­daMy­ers.com, of­fers gar­den­ing tips and videos.

Ev­ery win­dow is filled with dec­o­ra­tive green­ery. There is no doubt what to give this per­son for the hol­i­days.

It’s a jun­gle in there. Ev­ery win­dow, sur­face and brightly lit cor­ner is filled with dec­o­ra­tive or ed­i­ble green­ery. There is no doubt what to gift this per­son for the hol­i­days. More of the same.

A lack of out­door grow­ing space, lim­ited grow­ing sea­sons, and time con­straints have many peo­ple fill­ing their apart­ments and homes with fid­dle leaf figs, palms, suc­cu­lents, herbs and veg­eta­bles.

And you have prob­a­bly heard of the house­plant craze amongst mil­len­ni­als. Per­haps the need to de­stress after a long work day, con­cern for purer air, an in­ter­est in safe fresh food and a de­sire to be close to na­ture con­trib­ute to this craze. No mat­ter the rea­son, gift­ing a mil­len­nial a trendy house­plant is sure to be a hit.

No mat­ter your age, liv­ing in a green space and tend­ing plants has many ben­e­fits. It re­duces stress, im­proves one’s mood and pro­vides a sense of emo­tional well be­ing. Plant­ing seeds and watch­ing them grow gen­er­ates feel­ings of hope. It it’s ed­i­ble, even bet­ter. In­door herb and veg­etable gar­dens pro­vide fresh, nu­tri­tious food to har­vest and en­joy.

New­bies and those mak­ing the gar­den­ing tran­si­tion in­doors may find it chal­leng­ing. Lim­ited light, a dif­fer­ent pal­let of plants and vari­able wa­ter­ing regimes can be in­tim­i­dat­ing. Those who have killed philo­den­drons and suc­cu­lents in the past may have given up, but for­tu­nately there are so­lu­tions and easy-care op­tions for those look­ing to ex­pand their in­door green spa­ces.

Take the guess­work out of wa­ter­ing with hy­dro­pon­ics. Wa­ter and nu­tri­ents are avail­able and de­liv­ered via a wick or sim­i­lar sys­tem to the plants when needed. Color­ful Ma­son-type can­ning jar planters fit­ted with hy­dro­ponic grow kits are per­fect for start­ing seeds and grow­ing plants on win­dowsills or coun­ter­tops. Add a sleeker touch with a col­ored glass cylin­der like Mod­ern Sprout’s Hy­dro­ponic Tum­bler Grow Kit.

Give them all they need; seeds or plants, con­tainer and grow­ing me­dia. Make it your­self or buy a ready-made kit like the Wax Planter Grow Kit (mod­sprout.com). This gift is sure to pro­vide a sense of sat­is­fac­tion from plant­ing to har­vest­ing their first sprig of basil or dec­o­rat­ing the spruce tree they grew from a seed.

Brighten up grow­ing spa­ces with in­door lights. Sup­ple­ment­ing nat­u­ral light or pro­vid­ing light in a win­dow­less space can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween suc­cess and fail­ure. En­ergy ef­fi­cient LED grow lights pro­vide the light plants need, while sav­ing on en­ergy costs. At­trac­tive op­tions and space sav­ing sys­tems blend in nicely to any home. Com­plete light­ing sys­tems, like the Grow­house, are de­signed to fit small spa­ces and make wa­ter­ing easy while pro­tect­ing sur­round­ing sur­faces from wa­ter dam­age.

Match the plants to the light con­di­tions and the re­cip­i­ent’s gar­den­ing skills. Suc­cu­lents are trendy and per­fect for busy gar­den­ers with sunny win­dows or grow light set­ups. They thrive with be­nign ne­glect; as do snake plants, Chi­nese ev­er­greens, An­thuri­ums and ZZ plants in low light con­di­tions. Orchids and bon­sai make the per­fect gift for those ready to take their in­door gar­den­ing to the next level. For the most fool proof win­ter op­tion, gift an amaryl­lis or pa­per­white bulb kit.

No mat­ter the re­cip­i­ent’s age or ex­pe­ri­ence level, the gift of gar­den­ing will pro­vide im­me­di­ate and last­ing en­joy­ment.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Grow­house light­ing sys­tems pro­vide a green­house and grow light all in one unit.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

A hy­dro-tum­bler is an easy way to grow a plant in­doors.

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