In Sympathy: Plants to Heal the Soul
Live sympathy plants are a great way to send your condolences. Studies have shown that giving plants to express sympathy has a calming effect on the recipient, as the act of nurturing the plants has been shown to have a soothing effect on the person in grief. While cut flowers are beautiful and a nice way to show your respects, living plants can last for many years. These are a wonderful way to show someone you care and to give a lasting, living memory to someone in mourning.
When purchasing sympathy plants, the biggest consideration is ease of care. This is a very stressful time in a person’s life, and you do not want to give a plant that will require a lot of care and that may die easily. White and pink are the most traditional flower colors for sympathy plants, but other colors may be given as well. You may want to consider the personality of the person who has passed: if that person had a very vibrant personality, bolder colors may be appropriate.
Some of the most popular sympathy plants are listed below:
- Peace Lily. This is the most popular sympathy plant given in the United States. It thrives in low light, and it prefers to dry out between waterings, so this makes it an easy to care for gift. A note of caution: Peace lilies are poisonous, so you may want to take this into consideration if the recipient has children or pets that could possibly ingest the leaves.
- African Violets. Petite plants with circular, fuzzy leaves and pretty blooms available in multiple colors, African violets are easy to grow and are dainty, beautiful plants. They require diffused light and watering from the tray under the plant.
- Daffodils. Potted daffodils are a great choice if you are giving them to someone who does not tend to care for houseplants, but you want to give them a live plant. After they have finished blooming, the recipient can plant them outside, and they will continue to bloom for years every spring.
- Azaleas. Another popular plant that can be planted outside, the azalea is an increasingly popular sympathy plant. Azaleas have evergreen leaves and are filled with flowers every summer.
- Sympathy plant arrangements. Most often, sympathy plants are ordered in some type of a gift basket including several types of plants. Florists will select a variety of plants that are easy to care for and that show your respects.
- Trees. With all of the different varieties and types available, trees have become an increasingly popular choice of sympathy plant. They require little care, and they will stand as a tribute to the deceased for decades, if not centuries. Of course, you will want to make sure that the recipient has the yard to accommodate a full size tree, and you will want to be certain that the tree you choose will grow in that climate. Giving trees is a lovely, unique gesture that will be remembered and appreciated by many.
After you have selected the type of plant you would like to send, you should select a card to send with it. Just as with any other funeral arrangement, your name and sentiments should appear on a card stuck in with the plant. You can usually also select the type and color of pot that the plant or plants will come in. Remembering the personality and preferences of both the deceased and the family members receiving the sympathy plants will ensure that your gift will be appreciated for a time to come.