50 Christmas gift ideas for the gardener in your life

In today's "Growing Together" column, Don Kinzler offers suggestions to make the green thumbs happy this holiday season.

Amaryllis bulbs make great Christmas gifts such as these from Baker Garden & Gift in south Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

I learned a new word while investigating the latest Christmas gifts for gardeners. Martha Stewart recommends five essential tools for gardeners, and topping the list is a secateur.

Now don’t laugh, but I’ve never heard of a secateur. Could it be you need a secateur after your firsteur wears out? Lucky for me, Martha explains that a secateur is a pruning shears or hand pruner. Leave it to Martha to elevate a pruning shears to a new sophistication.

A pruning shears is definitely on the wish list of every gardener who doesn’t have a well-made version. The following are additional Christmas gift ideas for the gardener in your life.

Gardeners appreciate high-quality tools that can last a lifetime. David Samson / The Forum


Houseplant growers

  • Comprehensive houseplant books that list nearly all indoor plant varieties, their botanical names and care.
  • Clay pots in assorted sizes.
  • Drainage saucers. Different grades of plastic are available, so treat your gardener to the heavier-duty models in assorted sizes.
  • Fertilizers labeled specifically for African violets, cactuses or orchids, plus all-purpose types.
  • Rooting hormone to propagate plants from cuttings.
  • Systemic houseplant insecticide for long-lasting insect protection.
  • Insecticidal soap and neem oil for safe, effective knockdown of insect flare-ups.
  • Upstairs and downstairs watering cans for houseplants located on different home levels.
  • Terrarium kit.

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For lawn and landscape

  • Hand-held lawnmower blade sharpening tools for a crisp-cut lawn.
  • Heavy-duty sprinklers with metal, non-plastic parts for longer life.
  • A fertilizer spreader with adjustable settings for fertilizer and grass seed.
  • Fountains or water features for restful additions to landscapes.
  • Sundials or statuary to add interest to plantings.
  • Hose guides to steer water hose around edges of flower beds and landscapes.
  • Heavy-duty pruning loppers plus hand-held shears. Treat gardeners to quality tools, which perform better than bargain brands and can last a lifetime.
  • Dandelion digger for spot-removal of lawn weeds.
  • Hose-end sprayer for applying herbicides or insecticides.
  • Books with landscape ideas.

Vegetable gardeners

  • A ball of heavy twine, sturdy wooden stakes, and yardsticks for both ends of the row to measure and space vegetables, while keeping rows straight during planting.
  • Wooden or plastic stakes or markers to identify newly seeded rows.
  • Soaker hoses to prevent foliage diseases and conserve water.
  • Galvanized pails to harvest and wash vegetables.
  • A high-quality hoe with superior metal that will maintain a sharp cutting edge.
  • Pump sprayer to apply fungicides and insecticides to vegetables.
  • Raised bed construction kit.

Fruit tree growers

  • Pole pruners to reduce tree height.
  • An apple picker to reach upper fruits, which is a small wire basket with fingers located on a long pole.
  • Tree wraps to protect trunks from winter sunscald and animal injury.
  • Fruit tree spray to combat insects and diseases.

Seed-starting kits and plant lights are welcome gifts for gardeners. David Samson / The Forum

Flower gardeners

  • Watering wands with attached nozzles to reach hanging baskets and containers, or to hand-water flower beds. Choose high-quality metal types instead of plastic.
  • Plant lights to start bedding plants indoors from seed. Fluorescents, LEDs or special plant lights are all effective.
  • Seed-starting kits and germination heat mats.
  • Rain barrels to collect soft rainwater by downspouts.
  • Potting bench, which can be a simple wooden or metal workbench located outdoors along a garage wall.
  • Timed release fertilizers like Osmocote for season-long feeding of outdoor containers.
  • Metal or plastic labels for writing plant names to identify perennials.

Gardeners of all types

  • Amaryllis bulbs, with their huge, easy-to-grow flowers.
  • Gift certificates to locally owned garden centers.
  • A membership in a local garden club.
  • A gift membership in the North Dakota, South Dakota or Minnesota state horticultural societies. Membership information is available online.
  • A subscription to Northern Gardener, a premier magazine with information adapted to our Northern growing region, published by the Minnesota State Horticulture society.
  • Any gardening books.
  • Wind chimes.
  • Bench to sit in yard and enjoy yard and landscape.
  • Extra tools, rakes, shovels, cultivators, watering cans and gloves.
  • Rain gauge.
  • Twist-ties on a roll for attaching vines, flowers or plants to trellises or supports.
  • Rabbit and deer repellent.
  • Trellis for flowering vines.

Don Kinzler, a lifelong gardener, is the horticulturist with North Dakota State University Extension for Cass County. Readers can reach him at

Don Kinzler column mug.jpg
Don Kinzler, "Growing Together" and "Fielding Questions" columnist.

Don Kinzler column mug.jpg
Don Kinzler, "Growing Together" and "Fielding Questions" columnist.

Don Kinzler, a lifelong gardener, is the horticulturist with North Dakota State University Extension for Cass County. Readers can reach him at
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