If you're as bummed about the end of the gardening season as I am, you may be thinking of ways to brighten up your indoor surroundings and nothing says springtime like some green. Live plants instantly lift the energy in your home and some can also bring specific magical energy into your space. And if you aren't lucky enough to have a plot of Earth to care for, houseplants can help you to feel that connection we gardeners long for.

African Violet
My mother loves African violets. It was always a safe bet to gift her with one. She has all sorts on her windowsill. They are easy care plants, requiring little sunlight and watering. Overwatering is a bigger danger to them. These Venus pants are said to protect against the mischief of faeries and to attract love.

Aloe
Every kitchen I've ever had has had an aloe plant next to the sink. Not only is it said to protect against kitchen accidents, like cuts and burns, but just in case an accident happens anyway, it contains within its plump and juicy leaves the best first aid ointment for minor cuts and burns. Aloe is a moon plant, feminine in nature and resonating with the element of water. It can be used to ward against negativity and attract healing energy.

Bamboo
Those little lucky bamboo plants are nearly indestructible and not likely bamboo. They are probably Dracaena (discussed below). As long as you keep them moist, they will thrive. Real bamboo can also be grown indoors. Real bamboo is a striking houseplant if you've got a spot with a high ceiling and plenty of light (like those huge entry ways all the new houses had during the boom). Bamboo is masculine in nature and protective and can be used to break hexes.

Orchids
Last spring, after a particularly grueling week when my husband and I barely saw each other, he surprised me with a tiny orchid. I thought for sure I'd kill it, but even though it never bloomed again, it is still thriving on my Aphrodite altar. It doesn't need a lot of sun and it only needs to be watered once a week, which I do as part of my Friday devotions. Orchids are feminine in nature and bring the energy of Venus into your space- love, sex, romance and creativity. It is associated with the element of Water and helps to enhance psychic powers.

Holy Basil
Ocimum sanctum or tulsi or tulasi is a sacred herb to the Hindu faith used in the worship of Vishnu and for death and initiation ceremonies. Tulsi may be used as an offering to the Gods and eaten for ceremonial purposes, but it is considered disrespectful to use it as a culinary seasoning among some traditions. Others use it extensively for both food and healing. One who provides daily care for Tulsi earns its blessings, even if he or she does on believe in it. Tulsi symbolizes the ideal of wifehood and motherhood. Like all basils, Tulsi likes well-drained soil and a sunny spot.

Cacti
Masculine plants with the energy of Mars and the element of fire, cacti are protective plants that defend your home from burglary. They like a nice, warm, bright spot out of direct sunlight and only need watering every few months.

Spider Plant
Another one from my mom's collection, spider plants look great dangling from the ceiling in front of a sunny window. Spider plants like a bright spot, but will scorch in too much direct sunlight. They like plenty of water as long as they don't get waterlogged. They produce dozens of offspring when they are happy and share their abundance with the home. They are also reportedly used for protection and healing.

Peace Lily or Spathyphyllum
Peace lilies tolerate low light conditions well, so you don't need a sunny window to grow them. In fact, too much sun will result in fewer blooms. Indirect light will do. Allow the soil to dry between soakings. The leaves should be wiped with a damp cloth weekly to keep it in top shape and they enjoy a nice misting on occasion. Keep a peace lily in your kitchen or living room or wherever your family gathers to promote familial love and harmony.

Palms
Palms carry the energy of the sun and are associated with Apollo, Artemis, Hecate and Isis. Palms do well in bright but indirect light and like lots of water. Planted near the door, they help prevent evil energies and people with evil intent from entering the home. But palms are sensitive to cold, so keep them out of the draft. Palms also encourage fertility and ward against hexes.

English Ivy
English ivy is a wonderful hanging plant sacred to Bacchus or Dionysus and ruled by the planet Saturn. It can easily be trained to grow on a trellis or other support. It enjoys bright indirect light and does well under fluorescent lights. It enjoys a cool environment and high humidity so an occasional spritz will be appreciated. Planted around entrances, it keeps unwanted spirits and unwanted corporeal visitors from entering a room or home. Often used to represent fidelity in wedding bouquets(I wore a crown of ivy at my wedding), English ivy can be planted near the marriage bed for the same purpose. English ivy is poisonous, so keep it in hanging baskets out of reach of children and pets.

Weeping Fig (or Ficus)
The ever popular ficus is a Jupiter plant that attracts lots of positive energy to the household and protects against hunger and poverty. If you break off a leaf and carry it with you, it will help protect you when you are traveling. Ficus like bright light, but can't handle direct sun. You'll need to keep it moist, but not wet, mist it occasionally and wipe the leaves with a damp cloth every few weeks to prevent dust buildup.

Rubber Tree
The rubber tree is a kind of ficus that produces sticky sap when it is cut. This sap can be used as a natural glue for any magical purpose. Rubber tree sap may trigger allergies to latex.

Ferns
Ferns are great additions to your houseplant collection as they enhance the magical energy of other houseplants. They carry the energy of mercury to bring good luck to your home. Break off a sprig and carry it with you when you go treasure hunting (metaphorically or literally). Ferns don't need a lot of light and look great in hanging baskets so you can grow them pretty much anywhere except a sunny window. Most ferns like moist (but not soggy) soil and appreciate frequent misting.

Dracaena
Dracaenas are powerfully protective as they resonate with the energy of the planet Mars. Some species of dracaena produce the resin known as "dragon's blood". Dracaena do well in bright, indirect light and should be watered as soon as the surface of their soil is dry. Dracaena appreciate an occasional mist and dusting as well.

Set aside time each week to give your houseplants a little one-on-one attention. As you water and care for them, thank them for their help in making your home as clean and healthy as it can be and visualize their positive magical influence emanating from them.

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