Tammy Sons is the CEO of TN Nursery and an expert plant advisor who studied Horticulture. She enjoys her family, the outdoors and nature.
Employers often struggle with what type of gifts to offer their employees for the holidays. And after dealing with lockdowns, the closing of nonessential stores, record numbers of canceled sales and now supply chain issues potentially causing this year’s gifts to be in limited supply, that choice has become even more complicated.
One type of gift that is unique, still abundant and often overlooked is live plants. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started in early spring 2020, my business had a significant surge in people interested in nursery plants, and this mirrored a surge in people ordering from e-commerce websites across the nation for their burgeoning or established hobbies.
But after last year’s high revenues in e-commerce sales, many companies are worried about what this season will bring. But with fall historically being the busiest time for the plant industry besides spring, and since many nurseries operate and supply locally, there are still many unique gift-giving ideas in the realm of plants.
Giving the gift of a plant is something that not only can be treasured but can also enhance landscaping and offer the recipient or hobbyist of gardening many years of enjoyment. If you are considering a plant as an employee gift or office decoration, here are some tips on navigating that purchase.
1. Aromatherapy The Natural Way
Scents, including candles, sprays and essential oils alter moods and offer people an aroma to settle into a season. Many employees already utilize diffusers at home and in the office. Another option is to opt for live fragrance.
Many people associate smells with certain seasons — like pine trees with the winter holidays. When I was a child, my dad would load us four children up and go out and cut us a fresh cedar tree. There was no need for candles, aromatherapy products or even oils to make the smell of Christmas come alive.
Before bringing any plants into the office, make sure no one has a problem with them. For example, cedar and pine trees have been known to trigger allergies.
2. Decorations With Some Charm
Using old things from around the office or house is the perfect way to decorate for Christmas. Wire clothing hangers bent and formed in a circular pattern made the best Christmas wreaths.
When I was growing up, using fresh fan club moss found growing wild in the woods behind our back yard would make beautiful wreaths. Using zip ties, branches can be attached quickly, and you can always adorn them with red bows to accent.
Pine tree limbs and twigs are the perfect staples to use on areas such as mantles or along any surface. Placing smaller string lights in them gives them a glow, especially at night, and they can also be placed along fences or staircases. The reception and waiting areas of your office are excellent locations to put Christmas trees, wreaths, lighting and garland to create the perfect holiday atmosphere.
When choosing holiday plants for the office setting, evergreen trees like cedar and arborvitaes are perfect trees to bring inside. If the trees are balled, burlapped or containerized, they can be planted outdoors and used in landscaping schemes after the holidays. While inside, they will require a lot of water due to the heat and lights drying out the tree’s root system.
3. Best Choices In Plants For Gifting Employees
When looking at nursery gifts, you should look to spend between $5 to $25 per plant. And if you are getting plants shipped, bare-root plants have much more cost-effective shipping prices than standard containerized plants in pots.
Some plants to consider include the packaged deals nurseries offer like perennial gifting assortments, fern collections and live moss grab bags. These three collections can often be used in most types of landscaping. Choosing native varieties of plants can further help show your thoughtfulness.
And although not necessarily associated with the holiday season, any smaller containerized plants can be kept in an office as long as there is adequate sunlight, so bonsai and succulent plants are perfect choices. Other best plants for gifting are flower bulbs and perennials. They are smaller, can be wrapped easily and also do well during the winter season when stored in a cool, dry area.
I would not recommend American holly trees for an office setting since they have poisonous red berries. Another toxic plant associated with the holidays includes poinsettias.
Natural Environments Inside Office Space
With each season passing, there seem to be more companies wanting to enter into the sustainability revolution and go back to nature. This can mean going green for company napkins and toilet paper or using organic coffees and snacks in the breakroom. Other company activities like company gardens and sustainable vegetation are catching on in some major cities with adequate space.
Going along with this trend, and by following my advice, live plants can be an effective gift for your employees and the office setting during the holidays.