Healing Energy Houseplants
My husband and I have a problem.
And it’s embarrassing.
We can’t seem to keep any of our houseplants alive. Sure, the sturdier stuff outside, like our perennials and bushes, seem to be doing alright. And we have these mysterious tropical-looking flowery things in the backyard. They’re glorious. We are also succeeding in nurturing our young apple tree into adulthood. But when it comes to our indoor plants it doesn’t take long before they bite the dust.
We are two reasonably intelligent people. And our home doesn’t inevitably spell doom for every living thing that shares a home with us. Our well fed and very spoiled rotten dogs love it here and pretty much run the show. So what’s the deal?
Growing up, I remember my mom always growing beautiful plants inside. And I always appreciated the feeling the lovely greens added to our home. Everything seemed so much prettier and healthier. My mom was so good at growing houseplants, several she began growing in Hawaii survived our family move to California, and they continued to thrive for decades under her care in a new climate and home. To this day her house is filled with gorgeous plants. I don’t know her secret, but I would love to get in on it.
I love Whole Living magazine. On the day it comes in the mail I have my ritual. After making a pot of herbal tea, I pour a cup, curl up in my big chair and read the issue from cover to cover. Husband knows not to disturb me. The dogs haven’t quite figured that out.
It can take me hours. There are that many good things to read. The photography is always beautiful and the message is always inspiring. I was really happy when the March issue arrived. It was nice and thick, the cover was beautiful and the headlines splashed across it were right up my alley: pesto recipes, healthy skin secrets from around the world, and natural beauty tips. And then one other headline on the left of the cover caught my eye. Power Plants: Breathe Health Into Every Room. Exactly the information I was looking for. Perfect timing, the arrival of my favorite magazine, and my houseplant dilemma. It was kismet.
The six page article went on to talk about three different categories of plants: those that give off soothing and mild fragrances known to reduce stress and promote happiness (think jasmine and orchids), plants known to purify the air (such as ficus, ferns and bamboo palm), and plants that restore and provide healing energy. My favorite feature? How the author explained the maintenance level of each plant and the water and light requirements they called for.
The Whole Living article got me thinking all over again, and reminded me of our failures. I think to a point it has to do with ignorance on our part. We aren’t aware of what’s temperamental and what isn’t. My husband will be at Lowe’s or the grocery store or whatever, he will buy something because it’s pretty and he thinks I will like it, but then throws away the little instruction manual it comes with. Then we have no clue as to how much water it needs or how much sunlight it prefers. Our other problem? We don’t communicate on watering schedules, and end up drowning them. I know. No excuses. Like I said, we are reasonably intelligent people. With the internet and other resources out there, we have the power to educate ourselves. There isn’t a reason in the world why we can’t be successful houseplant “parents.”
After reading the Whole Living piece, I was particularly interested in the houseplants that are known to promote good and healthy energy. And I was really excited to see that one of the featured superstars was the succulent jade plant. It is interesting and low maintenance, just what I need. And the good news? My mom grows jade very well, and has an abundance of it. All I had to do was head over to her house, snip a few small branches off her healthy plants, pot my new little friends with fortified soil, and take good care of them.
I went online to get a quick tutorial on what it required of me to be a good jade plant mom. Very little water and good light. If I move my plants from darkness to light, I must allow the plant to acclimate and give it the environment it needs. And to get it to bloom, if I feel so inspired, I need to keep it in darkness for one month and then move it into light gradually.
The principles of feng shui suggest the jade plant nurtures abundance, opportunity, prosperity, and good luck. It is thought to usher healing energy into its environment. It is also known to neutralize unhealthy magnetic fields. In order to maximize its power, these types of healing energy plants should be placed in the wealth center of the room. This would be the far left corner.
I have had my jade for about two weeks now, and so far, so good. And the best news for us? Low maintenance! If we fail at this, there may be no hope for us. But I am confident we will do great. My two plants are very happy. My husband doesn’t really buy into the feng shui-good energy thing, he thinks it’s all a bit ridiculous and humorous. I for one believe in keeping an open mind. I also believe in stacking the deck. My jade has found a cozy spot in the far left corner of our family room. I enjoy looking at it, a beautiful living touch of green in our home. And I can’t wait to see it thrive.
Photo Source (Green Shoe): From my own book Blahnik by Boman