Plants that lift spirits. Suggestions?

blankpagesOctober 4, 2010

Hey all,

I have a somewhat theoretical question for you. Without getting too much into the personal story, I have a close family member who was recently diagnosed with cancer and will begin about a year of chemotherapy. Considering my own love for plants, I'd like to bring her a plant that wouldn't require too much care, but that would be something really nice to look at. She lives in the greater Phoenix area so sunlight will not be a problem. My general inclination was towards a large jade but I'm sure there's a lot out there that I'm simply not acquainted with. I'd love to hear some suggestions.

Many thanks.

Jose

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gobluedjm

I would suggest a jade also. I say that because no stress for her in caring for it. Almost anything that flowers is gonna need more care. I wouldn't want to give a plant and then have it die...thats the last thing she needs.
There are other cacti that do flower and very pretty flowers also.

A ZZ plant doesn't require much care, water or light. They do flower but nothing very pretty. Same with peace lily flowers but they are too fussy and need to much care IMO.

Mums are everywhere in garden centers. Perhaps you could put it in her garden for her and let nature take care of it. If it needs water and no rain, I am sure there are people visiting that would do that for her. I think they would grow there.

There are lots of colorful houseplants that need good light I am just not familiar with them so perhaps someone will come on here and let you know.

Best wishes to her, I hope she gets thru this.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 12:44PM
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blankpages

Thanks so much for the suggestions and the good wishes. I like the looks of the zz plant, but like I said I'm still considering the jade. I'll keep looking. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 3:14PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I am sorry to hear your family member is going through such a tough illness.

I am going to go another step further than the plant. Think of the planter also..... I think that can be as uplifing as the plant.

If the person is a religious person...
-Prayer plant in praying hands planter
- Cross with a aloe plant

If the person loves odd humor like me...
- Ant with a aloe or Jade. (He got high hopes he got high apple pie in the sky hopes) It might be hard to find but you can go to the Discover store, childrens store and buy a toy and drill a hole in the pot.

I am just thnking uplifing and inspirational can come in the thought of the plant and the vehicle the plant comes to you.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 5:08PM
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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

I would recommend a dwarf english lavender. It can be grown indoor by the window sill, a practically careless plant. The lavender scent is soothing, has been known to help reduce stress, anxiety and insomnia.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 6:36PM
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blankpages

Thanks to you both. Kemistry, I like lavender a lot. It's a great idea. And Marquest, I think it's a really good suggestion to think a little more about the pot.
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 9:57PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Is your family member a plant lover? You don't want to burden someone with the care of a living plant if they might not be interested, devoted, or inclined to want to care for something when they are ill. Something to think about...and that I learned about the hard way from my own family member.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 10:39PM
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blankpages

Thanks rhizo, that's a good point and she's certainly not as big of a plant lover as I am. But there is a nice variety of plants in the house so I don't think something like a jade would be too much of a chore. Hopefully others could help out if the task becomes too burdensome though.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 8:40PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Hi Blankpages..I am so sorry to hear about your predicament..I wish that person well and happiness..

One plant my sick sister loves is a Jade..
This is no ordinary green Jade..It is a humble sunset Jade..She loves it because it is constantly changing colors and is one that performs better if ignored watering and fertilizer wise..
They come as cuttings or even bigger, easy to carry..It is always an interesting plant and very colorful, able to trim, and keep any size you want. Great looking Bonsai specimens..I have to say this plant never bores you..Not your ordinary plant for sure..

I wish you and your family member well...

A couple of pictures of the same plants changing colors within just weeks of time..Fun to have..Sorry I didn't take pictures of my larger ones..This is to give you an idea..:-)

Mike

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:11PM
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blankpages

Mike, the jades are beautiful. I really love them. The third one down has such amazing color. I'll have to get over to the C&S forum to post a question about my jade. Although it looks pretty good, it hasn't really grown at all in the last 5-6 weeks. Since it doesn't look like it's in bad shape, I'm assuming it's okay.
I looked into some nursery greenhouses in the Phoenix area for when I'm down there so that I don't have to transport any on the plane. I think there are some nice ones and I'm sure I should be able to find a nice jade down there.
Thanks again for the pics and the nice comments.
Jose

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 9:20AM
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gobluedjm

You could post a question on the AZ forum on where to get one.
I hope you can find one not potted in peat!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 10:23AM
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blankpages

Thanks. I was unaware that there are specific forums. I'll have to check one out! Even if it's potted in peat, I figured I could find some drier medium to repot it in. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 11:44AM
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birdsnblooms

Blankpages..I too am very sorry, and pray all goes well.

I agree Jade is a great choice..But:
You said, she has some plants in her house?
Perhaps you should check the types she has. For instance, does she like flowering plants, like African Violets. AV's are happy plants, there are so many varieties, 'colors/shapes' to choose from.
I think one pretty, flowering AV, with its beauty, might brighter her day. AV's can bloom year round.

Since we don't know the whole story, if she's able to walk around, etc, maybe she'd prefer keeping busy. Not too busy, enough to keep her mind on other things.

Does she have a favorite color? Here's a few AV's she might like.

BlankPages..these are just a few..there are many more around, many can be bought locally.
A pretty, colorful Jade and a flowering plant just might bring joy. 'it would for me.' :)

God be with her...Toni

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 12:31PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Your friend is lucky to have you. Very thoughtful idea. I just bought a Jade Plant about a month ago. I haven't had one in a long time. This one is variegated and I just couldn't leave it on the shelf. I got lucky with a pot that really makes me smile every time I look at it too. It has soft felt on the feet so it doesn't scratch the table. This plant is SO EASY and it doesn't even get full sun. West facing window. I really enjoy it. Sorry it's a little out of focus.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 1:38PM
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blankpages

Thank you Toni and Prariemoon,
My wife had recommended african jades and indeed those in the pictures are beautiful. I love the deep colors. I also love that jade, I've never seen one like that. It's a great pot too. I found a great looking greenhouse in Phoenix that should have a great selection.
Thanks again guys.
Jose

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 9:36PM
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birdsnblooms

Jose, the Jade is variegated, meaning it has more than one color. They are beautiful, and Prariemoons is really something.
It's impossible finding variegated Jades here, but there are many online nurseries/Ebay who sell them. Toni

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 1:39AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I forgot to say I really like the colors in Mike's photos too. I may look for more Jades. LOVE those African Violets too. I don't always find them as easy to take care of though. One of these days I'm going to try them again. That last one with the variegated leaves is something!

Glad you both liked the variegated Jade. I found mine by accident when at a local nursery when looking for something else.

Jose, good wishes to your friend in the days to come. So many people are survivors of cancer now, I think there is a lot of hope in that.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 7:37AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Blankpages,

What a beautiful perfectly symetrical plant..I love it!

Hi Toni, Gobluedjm,..:-)))))

Beautiful pics Toni!

Oh, thank you Prairemoon..I find that the one you have can burn and mark easily if put in the full sun..
I put mine in bright diffused light..
As for the ones I posted, the Hummels, they thrive in color and in health, in direct full sun...
Once you get one interesting jade, it's non stop from there..lol

Mike

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 1:24PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

This thread had me looking for Crassula yesterday. [g]
I see at least a half a dozen more that I want to find. I saw a nursery that had a very good selection and thought I'd add the link to your thread....

Thanks...

Here is a link that might be useful: The Succulent Garden -- Crassulas

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 11:30AM
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blankpages

THanks prariemoon, that is a great site (although it could be dangerous for me!). I love browsing succulents.
Cheers!
Jose

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 1:13PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Darn it: I don't have access to that site here at work.!

Now I have to wait till I get home and I don't think I can wait that long!lol

Thank you

Mike

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 4:44PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Wow, Toni, I love the new leaves on that last av -- too bad they color-up as they get older!

While I know the theme here is living plants, but if time or ability to care for a plant is an issue, have you considered ... yes I'm going to say it .. a fake/artificial plant?

I mainly grow orchids and at some of the shows I've attended I have seen some truly remarkably rendered orchids. Ones so lifelike that I have seen fellow hobbists mistake them for the real thing. For example:

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 8:57PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Oh my God..Are you sure those Orchards are not real....My mother is asking me to buy her a few since she can only deal with just a couple of live plants..Those are nice looking..I bet you didn't get those at Walmart!

Toni, now that I can see your violets..WOWOWOW..

Ok. I will have to post a picture of mine, the only one I have and that I love..

Blankpages, are you getting any ideas yet? ow is your family member doing lately? You ok?..I respect someone like you wjo cares...

Mike..:-)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 9:31PM
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cynandjon(Z 5/6)

Best wishes and a speedy recovery to your family member.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 9:32PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Oh my God..Are you sure those Orchards are not real....My mother is asking me to buy her a few since she can only deal with just a couple of live plants..Those are nice looking..I bet you didn't get those at Walmart!

"Orchards"? No apple or orange trees in the pics, Mike! (Although, if memory serves me, the woman who makes these had also made a cute little blooming apple tree bonsai.) And no, Mike, you are quite correct that these are not available in Walmart or such. Nor are they cheap, though I also wouldn't say they are terribly expensive when one considers that each is handmade and the craftsmanship is excellant. If anyone is interested, email me and I'll try to find the artist's website.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 8:20AM
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birdsnblooms

Thanks Paul and Mike.
Paul, when you say they color up, are you referring to the leaves?
That partiuclar AV lost most of its variegation, but not all do. It depends on light and humidity. If they get enough of both, leaves remain variegated.

Your orchids look genuine minus brown/yeloow leaves. lol. Amazing.

Mike, I didn't know you had AV's, too..lol..Toni

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 1:24AM
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blankpages

Paul, I had an experience last winter when I was staying at a hotel for a wedding and each table had a small pot and an orchid. During breakfast, my grandmother and I had an extended conversation about how beautiful they were and it took us about 10 minutes until one of us actually touched the orchid and realized it was fake. The resemblance was uncanny. I even grow an orchid!
And thank you Mike. While my mom's surgery was a success (breast cancer), the cancer was the aggressive type, enough so that they are recommending a year of chemo. I'm going out in a couple of weeks and that's when I thought I'd pick up a plant. I'm really leaning towards a jade I think, although I can imagine a great place for an african violet or two in the house.
Thanks so much to all for the great advice and words of support!
Jose

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 9:47AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Jose,

Talk about a close family member..I am so sorry you have to endure this hardship, especially with your mom..I am sure many here will pull together for you in their thoughts.

You are a wonderful son to be so concerned about making your mother happy. I would be proud to have you as a family member..

I hope you have taken away many good idea's from here, and that whatever you choose, it will add many smiles to your mom and comfort to you knowing that we care..

Mike

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 1:40PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Although lavender is lovely outdoors inside I think it would be miserable and soon start to look scrawny and sick. Not what your Mother really wants to see. When my Dad had a massive stroke he enjoyed watching Amaryllis bulbs growing. They develop so fast that he could see progress every day and I'm sure it cheered him up. By the time one flowered I'd have another one ready to substitute and off he'd go again. Good luck to all of you. Flora.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:56AM
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birdsnblooms

Jose, I'm terribly sorry about your mom. Poor woman. How is she taking the news?
Right now, she needs something to lift her spirits, a bright, colorful plant is a good start. And of course, moral support. A lot of support. She'll be in my prayers.

Flora's right about Lavender. Indoors, it'd be the same as a cut flower. They don't do well. Outdoors, they're beautiful and fragrant.

A pretty variegated Jade, along with African Violets will be a wonderful gift.
It'd be nice if you can find an AV w/variegated leaves and double flowers. Toni

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 1:49PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Those African violets are gorgeous. I have killed everyone I buy. Same with orchids. I brought a orchid last winter and it is still alive I am surprised maybe one day I will be able to keep a African Violet alive.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 3:42PM
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threas(z7 PA)

Jose, You and your mom will be in my prayers.

Theresa

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 7:21AM
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