As well as being aesthetically pleasing, house plants have many beneficial properties and are a positive addition to any household whether magical or not. Plants can help to clean and purify the air in our homes as well as bring positive energy to even the smallest spaces. In addition, the leaves, flowers, seeds, and even roots of many plants can be used in magical work such as spell casting, incense blending, herbal remedies, and healing and for practical applications such as protection or to attract or dispel certain energies or associations.
Plant magic is a tradition that dates back to ancient times and has been used for many purposes including healing, self-empowerment, love spells, and purification. Each plant has its own beneficial properties and some are better suited to any given use than others in some cases, one plant may be preferable over another due to care requirements or dangers such as toxins or allergies. Because plants are living entities they possess their own energy which is harnessed to add strength to spells and another magical working. This along with the vast number of applications makes plant magic one of the most effective types of magic for users of all abilities.
Plant magic can be used in many ways including simply sprinkling dried herbs into the flame of a candle during spell casting, carrying a herb bag or small poppet stuffed with herbs or brewing your own herbal medicines and lotions. Every plant type has its own personal vibration which interacts with the vibrations of the environment and people around them. This ability can be utilized to correct any imbalance that is present: for example to heal illness or remove negative energy from a building. Although there are likely to be several plants that are suitable for the intended purpose in many cases people find that certain plants work well for them or it may be the case that others seem less effective or cannot be used due to allergies or other sensitivities. It is important to use your own intuition when working with plant magic rather than simply following information that is found in books and online. As you work more with plants in a magical sense and become familiar with their individual energies this will become easier and you may wish to begin creating your own spells and remedies.
Some Popular Choices of House Plants for Magickal Uses
African Violet: This popular blooming plant falls under the influence of the planet Venus. Its five petals make it a goddess flower and, as with most other purplish-blue flowers, it is sacred to Aphrodite/Venus. The violet is an excellent plant to add to faery charms and spells. The violet protects against faery mischief and promotes spirituality. Care tip: Always water your African violets from the bottom to help keep water off the leaves. If you fertilize your African violets with African violet fertilizer (this special type of fertilizer is typically high in phosphorus), they will bloom regularly. The African violet is nontoxic.
Aloe: The aloe vera or “burn plant” is a handy plant to have in the kitchen. The sap inside of the plant is great for soothing minor skin irritations such as insect bites, sunburn, and minor burns. This plant is aligned with the moon and is also used magickally for its protective properties. The aloe helps to ward the home from negativity and to help prevent accidents. This would be a great plant to work within healing and protective spells. The aloe plant is described as having low toxicity if eaten and, according to the friendly folks at the Poison Control Hotline, has an “unwanted laxative effect.” Also, some folks with extremely sensitive skin may develop contact dermatitis from the aloe gel (sap) inside the plant. This is usually mild and does not last long.
Cacti: These plants are ruled by Mars; they are protective and may be used to keep burglars out of your home. Keep these spiny plants well out of reach of pets and children. Care tip: These plants need high light intensities and are not suited for growing under artificial lights. Keep these babies exposed to direct sunlight and away from drafts and colder temperatures. Poison information will vary greatly, due to the vast array of cacti that are available.
Cyclamen: A popular blooming plant that is often given as a gift. The cyclamen corresponds to the planet of Venus and is sacred to the goddess Hecate. This plant may be worked into love and fertility spells. Placed in the bedroom, it encourages passion and fertility. Available in many colors, try the purple blooms for passion, the red for lust, and the white for fruitfulness. In the language of flowers, the cyclamen signifies voluptuousness. Care tip: Cyclamens will only bloom once. If you care to try and make it re-bloom, it needs to go through a long-dormant period—not unlike a poinsettia—before it will re-bloom. The cyclamen is toxic if large quantities of the plant are eaten.
Fern: This plant has been popular since Victorian times and is a staple on Southern covered porches. There is something old-fashioned about hanging potted ferns on porches. The fern is aligned with the planet Mercury and is a faery favorite. The fronds of the fern are protective and boost the magickal significance of any fresh flower they are arranged with. The seeds from the fern were believed to grant the power of invisibility, and when the fronds are burned on an outdoor fire they are supposed to draw rain. Adding potted ferns to your outdoor room will encourage protection, good luck, and health. Care tip: Ferns are durable houseplants that tolerate low light but will perform better in medium light. Keep ferns cool and moist. If the leaves become brown-edged, then your ferns are telling you that they need more humidity—which takes the mystery right out of why they thrive on covered porches in the South. Some types of perennial ferns that are grown in outdoor gardens are actually edible. However, there are dozens of fern varieties to choose from; typically they are listed as having low toxicity levels. But better safe than sorry—find out the botanical name of your fern and double-check.
Fig: The weeping fig (or, as it is more commonly known, the ficus tree) is a large and popular houseplant. Figs need filtered light and are happiest once they find a good growing spot to be left in that space. Turning them is important but moving a fig suddenly into a different light level will cause many of its leaves to drop. The fig was thought to guard against hunger and poverty and is associated with the planet Jupiter. The traditional fig tree is sacred to Isis, Juno, and Dionysus. This tree encourages fertility and safe travel.
Ivy: The protective ivy corresponds to the planet Saturn and is sacred to Dionysus and Bacchus. Care tip: The ivy is a good medium- to bright-light level houseplant. They need to stay well-watered and prefer cool places. In the language of flowers, the ivy signifies faithfulness and fertility. The berries of the common ivy Hedera helix (English ivy) are poisonous. The leaves are listed as toxic as well. This variety of ivy is typically grown outdoors. However, I would keep ivy leaves well away from curious, nibbling pets. A bite or two of an ivy leaf from a dog or cat shouldn’t be an issue, but if they eat a good amount I would contact the vet.
Orchids: Here’s a tropical and romantic blooming plant to try. The orchid is associated with the planet Venus and is used in love charms and sachets. The roots of the orchid were also used for love spells. In flower folklore, the orchid symbolizes luxury and love, refinement and nobility; the Phalaenopsis orchid symbolizes an enchanted evening. Orchids can be tough to grow in the average home environment. Care tip: Mature plants need bright light for best growth and flowering. Plan on investing in a grow light for orchids. A few species of orchids do perform better in a home setting than others, such as the Epidendrum, Paphiopedilum, Brassavola, and Phalaenopsis species.
Palms: The palm is a solar plant associated with the following deities: Apollo, Artemis, Hecate, and Isis. A fertility symbol, the palm—when grown as a houseplant—is thought to repel all unwanted astral nasties, spooks, and bad vibes. The palm is capable of putting off some very protective vibrations. Try placing one in a well-used room with medium-light for best results. Palms grow very slowly indoors. Again, this poison information will vary widely, depending on the species. Many common varieties are nontoxic and a few have low toxicity levels.
Peace Lily (spathiphyllum): The peace lily is a popular houseplant. Work with this plant to encourage loving, comforting, and harmonious vibrations in the home. These plants adapt well to low light but need medium light if you want them to flower. Care tip: Their white anthurium-looking flowers are long-lasting. Keep the peace lily well-watered and turn it to promote even growth. The peace lily is toxic if eaten, and if consumed in large quantities it can cause severe mouth pain and vomiting. Keep away from children and pets!
Spider Plant: This easy-to-grow plant promotes protection. Try striped varieties to encourage boundaries and solid green varieties to encourage protection and healing. Great for hanging baskets, consider moving one out onto your patio, deck, or porch this summer. Care tip: These plants tolerate low light but will do their best in medium-light situations. Keep these plants well-watered and away from pets who like chewing on the dangling shoots. They are just too tempting to resist. The good news is that this plant is considered nontoxic.
Firstly, I suggest getting to know your plants. Find out where they are originally from and accommodate them to that environment as much as possible. African Violets, a very popular houseplant, is a rain forest plant. It grows on low branches of trees where it is protected from direct sun. Therefore, you’ll want to keep your violets out of the direct sun. If you notice its leaves turning white or yellow and getting soft try moving it to a north-facing window or deeper into the house. They also like more water than most plants, being from the rainforest. Where most of your plants can go for a week or more without water your violet, though alive, won’t grow much.
Plants need more water in the warm summer months than in the winter. As the temperature drops outside, let it get a little cooler inside, this will clue your plants that it’s time to stop growing. I’m not saying expose your plants to frost, as this would kill them. Just let it get cool, as long as you’re comfortable, your plants should be as well.
Fertilizer, now I’m not a big fan of it. I’d rather mix my potting soil with a nice rich compost but in the springtime, right before my plants start their growth spurts I might put a couple of fertilizer sticks in their pots. They will drain the soil of nutrients and transplanting them is a shock.
Speaking of transplanting, have you noticed one or two of your plants needing more water than any of the other plants, maybe it’s starting to look sickly its leaves falling off, or instead of growing it’s shrinking? Take a butter knife and give the pot a few sharp whacks all the way around, turn the pot upside down placing your hand around the base of the plant.
If the plant doesn’t fall out take the knife and gently place it on the inside of the pot just where the soil meets the pot. Cut down through and slowly cut along the edge, pull gently and the plant should come out. When you get your plant outlook at its root formation. Can you see its roots? Are there just a couple or a whole freakin’ lot? If you can see a lot of the root mass your friend needs a new home. You’ll need a pot, preferably several sizes larger than the pot it lives in now. Take your potting soil, compost, or mix and fill the new pot until the plant, when sitting on the soil, is level with the rim of the new pot. Fill in the edges with soil, using your butter knife to make sure there are no air pockets, which can cause root rot and plant suffocation.