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by Jules Kendall

Jules Kendall shares the sweet and savory at her blog, Pancakes and French Fries. She almost never writes about food. Instead, she focuses on her improving her health, decluttering and simplifying her home, and life with two loud boys and one quiet husband. She is the creator of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that encourages people to have nothing in their home they do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

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  • A house full of plants immediately becomes a home. There isn't a featured room in a design magazine that doesn't have a plant or two, and real estate agents encourage their sellers to buy plants before open houses. There's a reason plants are the standard housewarming gifts.
     
    For these reasons and many more, plants are the ideal gift for Mom on Mother's Day. Plants are beautiful, and if well-maintained, they will keep growing for years. Here are my top five plants to give any mom (whether she has a green thumb or not!) this year.
  • Photo: ImageShack
  • 1. Ric-Rac Cactus


    This isn't a plant I've owned before, but it's my latest obsession, Selenicereus anthonyanus—the ric-rac cactus (aka fishbone orchid, zig-zag cactus, or St. Anthony's rik-rak). It's a night blooming plant, so Mom can still see the pretty pink flower when she gets home from work! I hear they are easy to care for, too.
  • Photo: Gardenista
  • 2. Pencil Cactus


    I love the thin, sturdy pencil cactus. It thrives well in full sun, which means it would do well on my tabletop garden (plants on credenza) in my west facing family room. Hint, hint!
  • 3. Silver Vase Bromeliad


    The silver vase bromeliad is one of those plants I killed during my black-thumbed youth. I now know they like humidity, or at least more humidity than we normally see my arid part of Southern California. If you live in an arid place too, opt for a spot in your home that has indirect light and is humid, like a bathroom.
  • 4. Bird's Nest Fern


    I've wanted a bird's nest fern for years, but they don't grow well in my area. You can spot this beauty in planted in the, er, bird's nest in the middle of the above photo. They need lots of humidity, so for you folks down south, this might just be the ideal plant to gift your mama.
  • Photo: Unknown
  • 5. Donkey Tail Plant


    Though the donkey tail plant looks a little rough-and-tumble/"Howdy Partner!" You'll have to trust me when I say they look so elegant swaying in a gentle breeze. They also have a comforting weight to them, and if you get the chance, run your fingers through them gently. They do well in greenhouses, easterners!
     
    Five plants, five wishes. I'm hoping I get at least one for Mother's Day!
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