If your mom’s home has a working radiator, she’ll want to keep this plant away from it and any other dry areas. If she starts noticing the leaf edges browning, that means it needs to be moved to a slightly more humid spot.
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
This beautiful leafy plant will add an instant tropical flair to any space. “Its dark green fronds create a bushy, lush plant perfect for tabletops, desks, and shelves,” says Mast. An all-around crowd-pleaser, Parlor Palms are non-toxic and adaptable. This plant is a simple, easy gift for just about anyone.
Though the parlor palm may grow quite slowly, it can get pretty big (about four to six feet). So if the mom you’re sending it to has limited space, this might not be the right pick.
This species of houseplant can be watered once a week to every other week, depending on how much sunlight it soaks up. Hancock says the first inch or two should be dry, unless it’s in a bigger pot, in which case it should be dry a little further down into the soil. To figure out how often it needs to be watered, simply allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Though Parlor Palms do best in medium to bright light, this plant can adapt to lower-level light, as well. However, it should never be in intense, direct sunlight as the leaves will start to brown and burn.
As a result of its weak root system, this plant shouldn’t be repotted unless absolutely necessary. A simple top dressing of fresh soil should be enough to keep it healthy and happy.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Thanks to the colorful hue of the leaves, Hancock says the Chinese Evergreen is “just as cheery as a bouquet of flowers, but will continue to grow for years.” He continues, “Bearing leaves artfully decorated with streaks, stripes, or splashes of purple, red, pink, chartreuse, cream, and white, there’s a variety for every look.” Chinese Evergreens are sturdy, resilient, non-toxic, and incredibly beautiful.
This houseplant needs a thorough watering once a week. However, Hancock notes that it can survive a few weeks between waterings if, say, you’re away from home. Prevent root rot, which Chinese Evergreens are prone to, by allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
Warwick says that this plant thrives in bright, indirect light, however, it can adapt to everything from low to bright light. To maintain its vibrant hues, though, medium light is best. Rotate the plant every so often to ensure even growth on all sides. If it’s housed in a lower light area, the leaves will need to be dusted off to photosynthesize efficiently.
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And now, check out the cutest video of Jhene Aiko and her daughter trying new things: