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Why Does It Feel So Bad When a Money Plant Dies?

What is a Money Plant?

I was just visiting a friend of mine whose money plant is dying. He’s working on getting it healthy again. We talked about some solutions. But also we talked about how it feels so much worse when a money plant dies than when any other plant doesn’t survive. Why is that? Whether you call it superstition or psychology, certain plants have deep meanings and we get more affected by their survival (or lack thereof) as a result.

What is a Money Plant?

The term “money plant” can refer to a couple of different plant species. However, the Epipremnum aureum is the most common. Other names for this plant include the Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos.

The money plant is a popular choice for indoor decoration. Many people believe it brings good luck and prosperity, hence the name “money plant.”

Key Characteristics of the Money Plant

Here are some characteristics of the Epipremnum aureum (money plant):

  1. Money plants typically have heart-shaped leaves that are green with yellow or white variegation. They grow as trailing vines or as climbers, making them versatile for indoor settings.
  2. Money plants are hardy and adaptable. They can thrive in a variety of conditions. Moreover, they are relatively low-maintenance. They can tolerate low light but prefer bright, indirect sunlight.
  3. Money plants purify indoor air by removing toxins and pollutants.
  4. Money plants are easy to propagate. You can propagate them from cutting. These can be planted directly in soil or water. This makes it simple to share the plant with friends or create new plants from the original one.
  5. Money plants have a well-developed root system. In addition to the standard underground roots, they also produce aerial roots, which can grow from the stems and hang down to search for support and anchor the plant to various surfaces.

Beliefs about the Money Plant

In Feng Shui, the money plant is considered an auspicious and popular choice for enhancing positive energy and attracting wealth. In various cultures, the money plant is believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and fortune to the home.┬áThe common name “money plant” itself reflects the belief that the plant can attract wealth and financial luck.

Here are some additional beliefs/cultural ideas/ thoughts about the money plant:

  1. Gift for Prosperity: In some cultures, it is considered a thoughtful and auspicious gift to give a money plant to friends or family members who are starting a new venture, moving into a new home, or celebrating a significant life event.
  2. Business Success: Money plants are often placed in offices and businesses with the belief that they can help attract success and financial prosperity. Some business owners keep money plants near cash registers, entrances, or important areas to promote financial growth.
  3. Marital Bliss: In certain traditions, the money plant is associated with fostering a happy marriage. Couples may receive money plants as wedding gifts. Alternatively, they may keep them in their homes to strengthen their relationship.
  4. Propagation for Luck: The process of propagating money plants, especially through cuttings, is sometimes seen as a ritual to multiply one’s wealth and good fortune.
  5. Regular Pruning: Some individuals believe that regularly pruning or trimming a money plant can help stimulate financial growth. This act is seen as a way to cut away negative energy and encourage positive energy to flow.
  6. Positioning in the Home: The specific placement of the money plant within the home or office can vary depending on cultural beliefs. Some suggest hanging or positioning the plant near the entrance to invite good luck into the space, while others recommend placing it in the southeast (wealth) or northwest (helpful people and travel) corners for various forms of positive energy.
  7. Water and Prosperity: The practice of keeping a money plant in a clear glass jar or container with water is believed to enhance the symbolism of wealth and prosperity. Some believe that the presence of water amplifies the positive energy of the plant.

Why Does It Feel So Bad When a Money Plant Dies?

The emotional attachment to a money plant and the profound sense of disappointment when it withers or dies can surprise us, especially if we didn’t think that we particularly believed in the power of the money plant.

Money plants often occupy a unique place in our homes and lives. They’re more than just greenery; they symbolize financial well-being, good fortune, and growth. In many cultures, these beliefs have been passed down through generations, creating an emotional connection to the plant’s survival. The idea that a healthy money plant can bring wealth and happiness can make its decline feel like a harbinger of misfortune.

Psychologically, the attachment to money plants runs deep. After all, these plants are often gifted during significant life events, symbolizing goodwill and positive energy. As caretakers, we invest not just in their care but in the hopes and aspirations they represent. The responsibility to keep them thriving can evoke a sense of pride and accomplishment, and their presence can uplift the ambiance of a living space.

The loss of a money plant can be akin to the disappointment felt when cherished traditions are threatened or when dreams of prosperity seem elusive. It stirs emotions linked to the fear of financial instability and the desire for success. It’s a reminder that, in our unique way, we are all in search of growth and good fortune. So, when a money plant fades, it’s not just leaves that wither; it’s a piece of our aspirations that seems to dim as well.

Tip: Create a Ritual for Letting Go of a Dead Money Plant

My friend is going to keep trying to get his money plant to survive. It’s in the early stages of dying and there are many different things he can do for it – repotting, different light access, watering, soil changes, etc. However, if you ultimately do have to let a money plant go, then it might help to create a ritual around it.

Here’s one five-step process you might try:

Get a new money plant … or a different plant altogether. Make a ritual out of letting go of the money plant and inviting in this new plant:

  1. Reflect: Begin by sitting quietly and reflecting on your feelings about the money plant that has died. Acknowledge your disappointment, frustration, or any other emotions you may be experiencing. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself.
  2. Write a Farewell: On the piece of paper, write a brief farewell message to your money plant. Express your gratitude for the time you spent together and the symbolism it held for you. You can also write down any negative emotions you want to let go of.
  3. Prepare the New Plant: Fill the small container or pot with fresh soil. Plant the flower seeds or the small plant in this container. As you do this, think about new beginnings and growth. This new plant symbolizes resilience and the opportunity for a fresh start.
  4. Bury the Farewell Note: Fold the piece of paper with your farewell message and bury it in the soil of the new plant. As you do this, visualize letting go of the negative emotions and disappointment associated with the money plant that died.
  5. Water the New Plant: Water the new plant as a symbol of nurturing new growth and positive energy. As you do so, imagine you are watering your hopes and dreams for the future.

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