February 22, 2013 at 12:05 am

phytophilous   adj.  : fond of plants

The other day I was in a garden center nursery, looking for a few more plants for my front yard. While I was admiring a table of succulents, debating which one to choose, a woman walked by the other side of the table and said, loudly, “Those are ugly! I don’t want one of those in front of my house!”

She wasn’t speaking to me, she was speaking to the man accompanying her, but it felt like someone had just shoved a knife into my heart. It literally hurt. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I swear I felt the pain of those plants in being criticized that way. I’ll admit, there are definitely some plants that look a little strange, so I can understand why people wouldn’t choose them, but it still hurt to hear such harsh words being so casually projected at one of God’s creations. There are lots of people walking around who might be considered “ugly” by some individuals (don’t all of us look unattractive at times?), but thank goodness it’s rare for them to be loudly told, “You are ugly!

I was reading in a book the other day (I can’t remember what book) that someone gave a friend two plants. He told the friend to tell one plant, “I love you,” everyday and the other plant, “I hate you,” everyday. The hate-receiving plant was dead in three days. I don’t know if it’s true, but I do believe plants appreciate our love and nurturing. I do believe they have spiritual intelligence. And I do believe they suffer when negativity is surrounding them and/or actually thrown at them.

I have a plant that I’ve often thought was a little unattractive compared to my other plants, and it has grown very poorly ever since I got it. I have several other pots with the exact same type of plant, and they’ve all grown well ’cause I’ve always admired those ones. Maybe that little guy just wants to be loved?

Another of my houseplants has been slowly dropping leaves and looking sad ever since last Nov/Dec. A couple of days ago, my husband and I spent a moment telling that plant, “I love you.” This morning I noticed a tiny bright green branch of new growth! I haven’t seen new growth on that plant since I bought it last summer! Amazing what a little love can do.

And if positive words and energy can have such a profound impact on a plant, imagine what they can do for a person. Imagine what they can do for a woman in childbirth. Food for thought.