Plants have captured the human imagination for centuries. Here is a list of 5 houseplants that have done an especially good job at doing so, inspiring all kinds of tales and speculation about their metaphysical properties. Put on your witch’s hat a take out your cauldron, let’s get ~witchy~
1. Aloe vera
We think of Aloe vera as a handy plant to have around for burns and breakouts, but Aloe vera is also believed by some to ward off misfortune. In the Key of Solomon, Aloe vera is used in incense offered to good spirits.
Sage is not only just a herb we use for cooking. Some believe that sage can be dried and burned in order to drive evil spirits out of spaces. It is also thought to bring luck. However, some say that it is bad luck to grow sage in your own garden, and you should find a stranger to do it for you.
It is perhaps no surprise that a fast-growing vining plant that can totally cover surfaces would be theorised in the past to protect homes from unwanted influences. Now before you plant ivy everywhere, note that allowing it to climb along wood and old brick walls can cause damage to the surface they’re clinging onto. Ivy has always fascinated me in this way: the thin aerial roots can actually seep into the tiny cracks in wood and any cracks in old masonry walls and cause them to slowly degrade. Fun fact: it was once believed that if ivy would not grow over a grave, it meant that the person buried beneath was unhappy in the afterlife.
Jasmine flowers smell absolutely divine. I’ve a pot of Arabian jasmine on the porch and when it’s in bloom, it gives off a delicate floral scent that is strangely reminiscent of green tea. I might just think that because my parents drank a lot of jasmine tea when I was younger, though. Jasmine was believed to bring on clairvoyance and attract love. Just as a side note to those who might be considering getting a jasmine plant: the flowers don’t last very long at all, and will fade away within 2 or 3 days of fully blooming, so when it does bloom, appreciate it.
5. African violets
In voodoo, African violets are used for protection. It is believed that drying African violet and putting it in a pillow case or hanging it on a bedpost will ward off nightmares and unwanted spirits, and carrying it on your person will ward off hexes and curses.