Money Plant (Scindapsus aureus) Benefits: Myth or Reality?
Trees and plants provide shelter, food, pure air, and many other useful benefits to humans. Many indoor plants are believed to bring prosperity and good luck, including basil, jasmine, lemon, sage, lavender, roses, orchids, and rosemary. Researchers studied houseplants as a way to purify the air and observed that some of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are filtered out from the air by several indoor plants.Although these studies were undertaken in the space facilities by NASA and collaborators, it is believed that indoor plants can also help clean indoor air. Besides other benefits, money plant (Scindapsus aureus, or Epipremnum aureum) is believed to bring prosperity and luck.
The Money Plant
Scindapsus aureus is the scientific name of the "money plant" grown in homes in Asia. Epipremnum aureum is another scientific name that many consider synonymous. Besides "money plant," other commonly used names for this plant are "pothos," "silver vine," "devil's ivy," "and "Solomon Islands ivy."
This plant is native to Southeastern Asia and New Guinea. It belongs to the Araceae family, which contains more than 100 genera.
The plant is called a money plant because its leaves (round, flat, heart-shaped, dark green, and plump) resemble coins. It is a perennial and may be grown as either a trailer or a climber. Young plants bear three- to four-inch-long heart-shaped leaves. This plant is grown mainly indoors.
Feng Shui, Vastu, and the Money Plant
Feng Shui principles regard money plant as one of the best plants to purify air polluted with synthetic chemicals from furniture and cleaning solutions. It energizes the home by filtering air and increasing oxygen inflow.
Feng Shui experts recommend keeping one plant near each computer, television, or WiFi router. Placing a money plant in front of a sharp corner or angle reduces anxiety and stress. It also helps avoid arguments and sleep disorders.
After all, sentiments and moods play a great role in energizing people and encouraging them to work relentlessly to achieve goals.
Vastu experts say plants activate positive energy in our day-to-day lives. They recommend planting money plants inside the house as they bring good luck. They do not recommend growing them outside in the garden, however.
Vastu experts recommend planting money plants inside the house as they bring good luck. They, however, do not recommend growing them outside in the garden. Dried leaves should be plucked off from the wine to draw the luck related benefits since dry leaves make the plant less attractive. It has been gathered from the experience of growing money plant as indoor plant that soil less plants should be grown inside the house as growth of it gets retarded in the open. Vigorous growth of plant, however, takes place when planted in the tilled soil with proper watering and nutrient application.
Other Beliefs About Money Plants
According to a popular belief, a money plant loses its power if it is grown from one's own cutting. Giving a money plant or its cuttings to others symbolizes giving your wealth to them.
House owners get more money or become richer if they propagate this plant using stolen branches or cuttings. According to another belief, the person whose house the cuttings were stolen from stands to lose his money. I don't wish to spread misconceptions or convey the wrong notion, but I have observed this to be true in a few cases. In one case, a homeowner's bike was stolen a few days after clippings of their money plant were stolen. However, nobody can say with full confidence whether the bicycle theft was the effect of the money plant theft, or just a coincidence.
An item in the newspaper said that the economic condition of the members of a household was likely to deteriorate if downward-growing branches of money plant could be found in the house.
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Growing Conditions Money Plants Prefer
Money plants require warmer temperatures (15o to 30o C). At a temperature lower than 10o C, the leaves will turn yellow and develop spots. It thrives best in medium to bright indirect sunlight (bright but filtered light); its growth is slowed in environments with low light. In too little or too much light, the leaves will become discolored.
It requires frequent watering from spring to autumn, but over-watering should be avoided in the winter. It grows well if the top layer of soil is dried out occasionally.
It can be propagated from stem cuttings. The best season for using cuttings is either summer or spring. It can be grown on moss sticks as a climber or allowed to trail down.
A special characteristic of money plant is that it can grow in a water-filled container without any soil. It can survive in a bottle filled with water alone for a reasonable time, if you simply keep changing or refilling the water. Although many plants can be grown hydroponically, money plants can survive on the naturally occurring minerals in plain water, without the addition of nutrients.
Money plants grown in soil-filled pots prosper if they are fertilized well with organic and inorganic fertilizers. Urea should be applied to the pot frequently, with occasional additions of phosphorus (in the form of single superphosphate or any other phosphate fertilizer) and potash (muriate of potash or any other suitable fertilizer).
Although money plants are hardy and easy to grow, one may opt for plastic or synthetic plants instead, as these will never dry and will always decorate your house.
Plants Similar to Money Plants
Pachira aquatica is also referred as "money tree." Hence, confusion exists in the nomenclature. Crassula ovatais is also known as jade plant, friendship tree, lucky plant, money plant, or money tree.
The leaves of the Scindapsus aureus are similar to Philodendron scandens, the sweetheart plant. Money plant leaves are, however, more colorful than those of the sweetheart plant.
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© 2009 C V Singh