QUESTION - A couple months ago, I had a strong urge to get an indoor plant. I have never had a plant before and was excited about it. So, I got a plant. I few days ago, I noticed that my plant had died. Part of it fell off and turned brown. I will admit that the reason that my plant died is because of my negligence in taking care of the plant. I am rather upset about this and I also feel guilty for not taking good care of a life that I brought into my home (yes, I realise it's a plant). I want to do some sort of ritual or ceremony honouring the life of the plant. I'm new to paganism and was just starting to toy around with appreciating and fully recognising that plants are living organisms and should be treated with respect. Basically what I'm asking is this; am I crazy for wanting to hold a funeral for a plant!?
ANSWER – You are talking to somebody who has recently engaged in a meaningful relationship with a Eucalyptus tree so no, I do not think you are crazy at all. In fact I think this is rather a lovely question. Too often people take on the responsibility for a plant and then neglect it without ever feeling any regret. You wouldn’t do this to an animal (I fervently hope people wouldn’t neglect a pet) so why do it to a plant? They are after all living creatures. It is nice that you are accepting responsibility for your treatment of the plant and wanting to do something to make amends.
My suggestion would be that you use this experience in two ways. Firstly as you evidently feel some kind of lost connection to the plant I see no reason at all why you cannot hold a short ceremony to mourn its passing. Burying your plant will allow the nutrients to return to the earth which will give it a purpose but perhaps more importantly will frame in your own mind a clear turning point in your life which has taught you to value and care for those living creatures you are responsible for.
I always try to find ways to bring good out of mishap and I think the best way you can make amends not just to the earth but to yourself is to go out of your way to seek another plant that needs your care and treat it well. Garden centres often have shelves of very unhappy looking half dead plants and I know of at least one witch who takes great delight in purchasing these plants at knock down prices and coaxing them back to health. This will bring something good out of your loss and also save the life of a plant or two who may otherwise have gone the way of your deceased houseplant.
As a side note witchy gardener to witchy gardener, plants really do seem to respond to being talked to. Since I promised hand on heart I wouldn’t purchase another Eucalyptus tree if mine stopped shedding its leaves we’ve had a lot of new growth and he has turned the corner from imminent death. I can’t explain why plants respond in this way but after trying it I am thoroughly converted to having discussions with my garden. Give it a go. It is also a lot harder to neglect a plant that to some extent you have anthromorphisised.
Image - Please advise for credit. (A Eucalyptus tree!)
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