The Tender Heart plant, a member of the Monstera genus, is a lesser-known magical houseplant that frequently makes its way into local plant shops despite its magical nature. These finicky plants most frequently sport elongated, pointed leaves with a central petiole that creates the appearance of a heart. The veins of the leaves sprout in a spiral formation from the petiole, and the central, prominent vein extends to the apex of the leaf. The margins of the leaf are wavy in appearance and nearly scalloped. White dots decorate the surface of the leaf, and on the underside, the plant often appears pink.
When the plant's environment lacks love or positive human emotions, it withers and ultimately dies. When exposed to love and positivity, the plant thrives. This species cannot survive in the wild and depends on human contact to live.
The Tender Heart first became known in the magical world after World War II. A wizard, Jan Gorski, fled from his home in rural Poland with only the clothes on his back and a beloved plant that had been tended to by his late mother. It was during his initial days of escape that Jan noticed the leaves of his plant were withering and falling despite its continued care and sunlight. Distraught at the state of his only memory of home, Jan consulted with a local herbalist at the border of France. By this time, the plant had all but withered into decay. Unfamiliar with the plant, the herbalist, Bluette Laurent, could not help. However, she offered Jan shelter and protection in her shop. Having accepted the plant's fate, Jan placed it in the window of Bluette's kitchen with the mild hope that it would recover.
In the following months, Bluette and Jan developed a friendship. Bluette taught her guest how to speak French, and Jan entertained Bluette with small magic shows. Her favorite spell was when Jan would enchant the bluebells in the garden to ring like silver in the wind. Bluette took
a keen interest in magical plant studies and gladly accepted help from Jan, seeing as she was not a witch.
During this time, the plant grew a single new leaf. They got married in 1945 and opened an apothecary the following year. By then, the plant had made a full recovery. Fascinated with the miraculous change, Jan and Bluette decided to study the plant and gave cuttings to their neighbors. Over a five-year study, the couple realized that the plant somehow responded to the human emotions around it.
The Tender Heart is commonly used in spaces to gauge human emotion. Therapists, doctors, group homes, and office spaces often have a Tender Heart plant to keep track of the emotions that fill the space. When the plant looks sickly, people know to change their approach to managing the environment.
The plant has since diluted in its magical abilities, hence its tendency to become mixed up with everyday houseplants.
Prior to this date of February 6th, 2023, the Tender Heart had not been logged within the Enchanted Encylopedia. We would like to credit this entry to Grimbriar student Avalea Mulcahy, who submitted her discovery for further research and is responsible for assigning the name "Tender Heart." Avalea currently tends to her own Tender Heart plant within her home.
We also extend thanks to our research team for their speedy efforts in creating this entry. Our intern recognized the description of this entry and recalled an apothecary in France known for its finicky plants, at the time called "Weeping Hearts." Contact was made with Jan and Bluette's descendants in France, who could relay the information above for our records. The apothecary, Little Bell's, remains in business today and still tends to the original Tender Heart plant, which has provided thousands of cuttings and continues to thrive in the late Bluette's kitchen window.