5 Easy-Care Houseplants for Your Chronic Pain Toolkit

Some of my fondest memories growing up were on my Grandparents’ farm. My “Grandma Vi” (short for Viola) would bring me outside with her in her gardens. She also had a plethora of houseplants hanging, standing, winding and peeking about everywhere I looked in the farmhouse. I learned a lot from her about plant propagation and care. Over the years I have gifted many cuttings of my “easy-care” houseplants to friends who swore they had a “black thumb”. To their surprise they have been successful at keeping them alive! About a year ago, I gave one to a dear pain camper friend. She found this very therapeutic and I explained how I use my houseplants and hobby of gardening as a tool for my Chronic Pain Toolkit.

Here are 5 of the easy-care houseplants that I’ve gifted from cuttings (which much success!):

Epipremnum aureum
Other names for this plant are Devil’s Ivy or Pothos. This plant is commonly mistaken for Philodendron. Pothos can survive low light but will not have much variegation as the one in the picture. They also tolerate when their owners forget to water them. They can also survive sitting in a plant vase being rooted for over a year (oops). They like to hang and wind so they’re great for a hanging basket, bookshelf or mantle.
Gynura aurantiaca
purple passion 2
Also known as the Purple Passion Vine or the Purple Velvet Plant, this beauty has dark green leaves with soft fuzzy purplish hair. The foliage looks and feels like velvet. They like humidity so putting the pot over a saucer of gravel that you keep damp is ideal. It needs more water in the summer than in the winter. They need bright indirect light and regular room temperature. They can produce flowers but I have never had one flower. If yours does, then remove the flower because apparently they’re stinky. Pinch it back as it grows to make it fuller until you’re ready to let it start trailing. Good for hanging and on a shelf.
Hoyahoya The Wax Plant is one of my favorites too! This cool plant will surprise you with some star shaped buds that open up into fuzzy stars with a shiny star shaped gem in the middle. They are worth the extra step in care for their flowers. Keep moist and fertilized in the summer and cut back on watering (no feeding) during the winter months. It likes bright light in a East or West facing window. Regular room temperature. No need to pinch it. Make sure you leave it in the same spot as it likes to wind and curl around things to support it’s flowering branches.
Spider Plant
Spider Plant! Don’t worry, this plant won’t grow legs. However, it will grow little plantlets that you can root and give to your friends! They appreciate bright indirect light. If it gets too little light, the leaves will become light colored and start to become flimsy and translucent. They like to be completely dried out before watering again. Occasional feeding and you’re ready to go! Great for hanging baskets, banisters or shelves.
Aloe Vera
Aloe Plant
You can use this plant medicinally and it is also easy to take care of! It likes to stay warm and dry. It thrives in the direct sunlight which would probably be a South facing window. In the winter time it only needs to be watered once every 3-4 weeks.

Pain Camp is a safe place to share your thoughts, experience, strength and hope.  Have you tried using plants as a tool in your Chronic Pain Toolkit? If so, what kind? Do you have any of these? 

Photo credit: Purple Passion by malubaduizms; Spider Plant by madaise; and Aloe Vera by veggiefrog on Flickr.com.

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