Easy houseplant gifts for busy Mom

Hi Judy, My wife loves plants but works & we have 2 young kids. I want to buy her a plant for Valentine’s Day. Can you recommend a houseplant that won’t die if she can’t give it a whole lot of attention and is safe to have around the kids. TY!! Bill

Hi Bill,

There are a couple of houseplants I can recommend that I think would be perfect for your busy wife. The first is a Hoya Hindu Rope Plant. It is a non- poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched, immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.  More poisonous houseplant information and pictures of common plants that are dangerous to children and pets can be found in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants succulent plantLearn the definition of a succulent plant and why they are called a "fat plant." that produces beautiful clusters of star-shaped waxy flowers. Hoya Plants thrive on neglect as long as they get lots of bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light..

Pink flowereed Hoya Hindu Rope Plant
Hoya Hindu Rope Plant

My second recommendation would be a Lipstick Plant. Lipstick Plants are very easy indoor flowering houseplants. When given the right amount of light and not too much water, Lipstick Plants produce numerous red or orange small tubular flowers throughout the year. Lipstick Plants are also non- poisonous houseplantsIn her new book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!, plant care professional Judy Feldstein shares information about twenty-five common houseplants, each with various levels of toxicity, and the possible consequences if your pet or child snacks on them..

Orange flowers on Lipstick Plant
Lipstick Plant

You can read more about both plants in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.