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6 Popular houseplants symbolize luck, gratitude,

 These 6 popular houseplants symbolize luck, gratitude, and more

Houseplants often make welcome gifts because of or on special occasions. And just as any number of flowers can have specific meanings, some popular indoor plants can convey a symbolic message to the recipient. (Also, a flowering plant can last longer than flowers.) Some plants are said to bring good luck, while others symbolize gratitude or peace. The six houseplants below each have special characteristics and are easy to care for, making them the perfect choice for a thoughtful gift. Or if the meaning of a particular plant speaks to you, why not add it to your own collection?

1 Pilea Peperomioides: Prosperity

Pilea peperomia, also known as the coin plant or Chinese money plant, "symbolizes the desire for financial stability and wealth," says Magda Lindstedt, plant expert for horticulture. It grows slender stems that end in large, rounded leaves that look like green coins, and some folklore says that planting a coin in the soil alongside your plant can help attract wealth. This beautiful plant is easy to propagate and usually grows to less than 12 inches tall. Place in bright, indirect light and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. This pet-friendly houseplant tolerates medium indirect light.

2 Peace Lily: Sympathy and Peace

Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum wallisii) are a standard gift at funerals because they symbolize sympathy. But in the past few years, "it's changed its perception as a mourning plant, and is more associated with quiet spaces," says Gretchen Sword, a plant expert at the New York-based group Horticulture. Peace lilies are easy to care for and like to dry out a bit between waterings. They can reach three feet in height and grow best in bright, indirect light (they can also tolerate low light). Without much attention from you, a peace lily can brighten up your home with large white flowers and glossy, dark green leaves.

3 Aloe Vera: Healing and Protection

Unsurprisingly, aloe vera plants are commonly associated with healing and protection. These plants have been used worldwide for thousands of years, and their clear gel is still used today for sunburns and other skin conditions. Growing your own cactus plant is easy, as long as you have a bright, sunny window to put it in. Most types of cacti are less than three feet tall, thrive in bright, indirect light, and only need water in the top inch. The soil dries up.

4 Maranta (Prayer Plant): Gratitude

Also known as the prayer plant, Maranda varieties get their common name because their leaves curl up each night like praying hands. "This movement, common to Marantas, represents a reflective act of daily prayer of thanksgiving," says Lindstedt. If you want to give someone a "thank you" gift, a maranta can help symbolize your gratitude. Depending on the variety, marantas can grow in low, medium, or bright indirect light, and usually need watering before the soil starts to feel dry to the touch. Some marantas can grow up to 12 inches tall and have green leaves with shades of pink, red, and silver.

5 Oxalis: Good luck

Also commonly known as shamrock plant or false shamrock, Oxalis varieties are said to bring good luck. Sometimes sold as houseplants around St. Patrick's Day, oxalis plants have heart-shaped or triangular leaves that may be green or dark purple and small white or pink flowers. Usually, oxalis are less than 12 inches tall and thrive in bright, indirect light, watering only when the top inch of soil is dry.

6 Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise): Freedom

Although it is native to warmer regions such as South Africa, the bird of paradise (strelitzia) can be grown indoors as a houseplant. "Strelitzias produce incredibly striking flowers, resembling an exotic bird ready to take flight when in bloom," says Sword, which is why a bird of paradise plant is commonly associated with freedom. Strelitzia plants need bright light (including a few hours of direct light) to flower. Keep the soil consistently moist and mist daily to increase humidity. Under ideal conditions, the bird of paradise grows 5-6 feet tall, Make sure you have plenty of space.


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