For years, I would tell people “I don’t have a green thumb–I can’t grow plants.” Yet, I do love flowers in my home. Lillies are my favorite, and I will buy them when in season every week! But green plants—”no way”, I’d say. I tried and killed more than my share. That was until I took a beautiful Peace Lily home from my Dad’s funeral in 2009. I wanted a living remembrance of him in my home.
So, I became determined to learn how to keep it alive and cultivate a green thumb. And Daddy’s Peace Lily has been growing for 12 years now. As you see below, I almost lost it for fear of re-potting it, but with a bit of research, I prevailed and have been able to keep it thriving!.
When my Mom passed, I brought another Peace Lily home from her memorial in 2019 with me. I’m proud to say that I have both my parents with me now. And truly, I feel I do.
I mist them every morning and greet them with a “Good Morning!” They seem to greet me back. When I water them, I can almost feel them saying “Mmm, that feels sooo good!” I believe because plants are living things, they can carry the spirits of others. It may seem impossible to some, but when I first brought my Mom’s plant home, I put it on one side of a large window, across from my Dad’s. He seemed to wilt almost immediately. I moved Mom’s plant next to his, and he perked right up the next day. Incredibly, the white flower that traditionally grows on Peace Lilies had stopped growing on my Dad’s plant for ten years.
Once I put my Mom’s plant next to his, within a few weeks, my Dad’s sprouted a white flower for the first time in a decade. He wanted to touch his girlfriend by his side. To me, I have proof that plants can spiritually bring gifts of joy, light, and good memories in grieving times. I get to enjoy my parents every day.
But plants bring so much more to a home environment.
From EcoWatch.com, here are 7 science-backed benefits of having plants at home:
1. They Help to Improve Mental Health. Plants make people think of open spaces, especially for those living in urban areas. Plants are also peaceful. No matter how crazy your day has been, plants are just there, growing. And that can be calming. The air quality benefits of plants releasing more oxygen into the air and taking out more carbon dioxide helps the brain function, and the releasing of the right kinds of hormones helps to support mental health. So, if you suffer from depression or anxiety, get some plants! But get ones that work for you—if you don’t want to water daily, get a cacti. If you like smells, get flowers to make you feel happy and relaxed, again releasing good chemicals from the brain.
2. Your Immune System Gets a Boost. When you are more relaxed and sleeping well, you can fight off colds and flu bugs easier because your immune system is working better. Plants also carry airborne chemicals like phytoncides which help reduce stress, again helping the immune system. Is it any wonder why hospitals encourage plants and flowers in patient’s rooms and also have plants nearby?