As a witch, I have a confession to make. I have killed many, many plants.
I know. I know.
Your thinking, “how can that be? You are a witch. You are supposed to be good with plants.”
And it’s true, to some extent.
I am great in the kitchen, I make excellent teas, my baking is spectacular, and I am even intensely studying herbal remedies.
These realities have always been part of my existence. They came naturally to me.
What did not come naturally, was keeping plants alive.
I tried jasmine, I tried ivy, I tried a spider plant, and I even tried a succulent. I killed them all.
My husband started asking me how much money we were going to spend every season on new plants just for me to kill them.
For many years, it seemed as though nothing could survive me.
Until a lightbulb went on.
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Plants and Witches
Many, many years ago, I identified as a witch. I was very young girl, still in grade school, but I just knew I was a witch.
Then, life took over, I ran away from home when I was a teenager, and I went into sheer survival mode. I forgot all about my witchy tendencies, and then I grounded myself in the “real world.”
At 15, I started doing all the things you were supposed to do when you “grow up.”
I got a real job, I took the GED, I supported myself, finding small spaces to rent, and I took care of myself.
As an adult, I got a good job at the bank, climbed the corporate ladder, got married, and would have fit any description of average American white female.
I hate it.
Then, I exploded.
OK, not literally.
But there was some sort of internal combustion that took place.
I left my boring bank job, I left my boring husband, and I went a little crazy.
In other words, I woke up.
It was at that point, the ripe old age of 25, but I began to understand the difference between instinct and intuition.
Instinct is what is conditioned inside of our human bodies to react. Instinct is survival.
Intuition, on the other hand, is listening to the divine. It is working with nature, and following some small voice inside of yourself, that is really, your higher consciousness.
One of the first things I started doing, as I began to embrace my witchiness again, was to get out into nature. Yes, it would be another 15 years before I would figure out how to grow my own plants, but it didn’t matter.
I learned then what I’m here to tell you now. Witches and plants, have a close relationship, whether we can grow them, and maintain them, or not.
If you’ve read anything else I’ve written on the subject, you know that I define a witch as somebody who works with the energy of the universe, who works to stay in tune with nature.
Witches don’t have to have a specific relationship with plants, we just have a relationship with plants.
I walk in nature, and I feel alive.
I cook for my family with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, and I feel alive.
I make tea using herbs for specific reasons, and I feel alive.
I buy flowers at the market, and I come home, and lovingly put them in vases, and I feel alive.
And now, I think, even more ripe old age of 40 something, I can say that I keep indoor plants alive, and I feel even more alive.
But if you’re like me, and you struggle to keep indoor plants, alive, don’t lose faith.
You can build your relationship with plants and other ways, and many other ways, and you can still find your way to caring for indoor plants.
Plants and Your Attitude
I will say for everybody that I know that has struggled with maintaining indoor plants, it is all about attitude. The mental aspect of pretty much anything in witchcraft, or magic, or yes, even science, is critical. Belief is everything.
I never struggled with the herbal teas and tinctures, with cooking or baking, because I always knew that I would do amazing things in the kitchen. If I identify as any kind of specific witch, it is a kitchen witch.
I struggled with plants because I hadn’t learned their language yet. That came much later for me. And I think a large part of my attitude shift toward indoor plants had to do with moving to the Pacific Northwest where nature is so abundant.
As a California girl, my whole life, born and bred, I always thought I was surrounded by nature, because I was so close to the ocean, and we have trees everywhere.
But in the Pacific Northwest, here, where I live on the literal side of a mountain, I look out my window, and all I see is a Nature.
Yes, Nature with a capital N.
I can drive 15 minutes from my house, and I’m an open nature, wild, unadulterated, slightly terrifying.
Slowly, as I visited local nurseries, I began choosing plants with love in my heart. I began choosing local plants. I began paying close attention to their needs.
You see, with all the other plants that I work with, the focus is on my needs, on the needs of my family, or on the needs of somebody else I’m serving.
I rarely think about the needs of the plant.
Now, as I’m slowing down, I’m able to walk through my house, stick my fingers in the soil, spray this plant, add water to this one, move this one toward window, move this one away from my window.
I look at the plants now as my nature children. Like more pets.
And it really is all about striking the perfect balance. Because you also don’t want to over love your plants.
You don’t want to neglect them, but you also don’t want to drowned them.
The Benefits of Indoor Plants
It is worth learning to strike this balance, because the benefits of having indoor plants are numerous.
Most indoor plants will act as indoor air filters, cleaning toxins, right out of the air.
They also teach and encourage empathy and caretaking, aspects that give us bigger hearts and build a stronger immune systems.
Studies have shown that indoor plants can reduce your stress, improve your sense of well-being, support your cognitive health, improve your environmental wellness, and help you build symbiotic relationships.
Working with plants can be genuinely therapeutic. Researchers have used horticultural therapy to help people with depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental illnesses.
So you don’t have a green thumb.
You definitely have other qualities that are inherent.
But just because you weren’t born naturally good with indoor plants, or with a green thumb, does not mean that you can’t develop one, or at least start doing a passing good job of maintaining plants in your environment.
The best advice I can give you is to have patience, revisit your attitude, and pick both local and hard to kill plants.
Start there, and grow.
And hey, even if you just stay there, you’re winning.
5 Best Plants to Grown Indoors
This plant is the best place to start for anybody who kills plants. I have a friend who kept a snake plant in her dirty dry apartment for three years without watering it comment and it stayed alive.
It’s a miracle plant.
Check the soil once a week, spray it occasionally with your spray bottle, and put it in a nice corner of your bedroom.
Talk about only needing a spray bottle? The air plant literally survives on the nutrients from the air. Visit it regularly, and give it the occasional spritz. If you notice the soil start to dry out, soak the soil and then let it do its thing.
Yes. I know. I said I killed a spider plant.
But in my defense, I didn’t know it was supposed to be an indoor plant. I kept it outside. And it froze.
Spider plants can actually make great indoor plants in pretty much any space in your home, from low, lighting in a corner to direct exposure to the hot sun.
Like with any plant, dip your fingers in the soil on occasion and if you notice try, give it a quick soak.
Like a succulent, with added benefits. The aloe vera plant will thrive in virtually any circumstances. I haven’t even killed an aloe vera.
Water this plant once a month, maybe once every three weeks.
And when you’re feeling a bit dry, snap off a piece and apply the jelly to your face for a nice facial.
I’m not gonna lie, I was super proud of myself for keeping a Monstera alive. Only to find out that they’re actually pretty hard to kill.
But that’s kind of the fun of it because they look so big and hard to care for.
Just keep it out of direct light and water it every couple weeks, and make sure you show it off to every visitor you have.