Houseplants add a beautiful touch to a room, and according to feng shui design philosophy, they offer more than aesthetic value. This post has everything you need to know about adding more greenery to your home in a feng shui way.
How plants can affect energy.
Ancient Chinese practice Feng shui refers to the concept of balancing the earth, fire, metal, and water in the home. In accordance with feng shui, “a presence of plants in a room promotes good health, kindness, the desire to help others, flexibility, and an appreciation of life’s beauty.”
“Wood affects us in subtle ways to reach out and stretch ourselves in new ways,” says Simple Shui founder Amanda Gibby Peters. “Wood also signifies new beginnings nowadays, since it fuels the fire element, which helps us confront change.”
Peters pointed out that even the smell of dirt can release oxytocin (the “love hormone”).
The best plants for feng shui.
For romance and love:
- They grow quickly and have soft, heart-shaped leaves. Cho tells me they cultivate relationships.
- Marianne Gordon, a feng shui expert, says the rose is the most popular flower for attracting romance.
- People associate jasmine with love, sensuality, and beauty because of its strong odor.
For wealth and abundance:
- African violets
- Symbolic of money and wealth, these plants are regarded as well as others with round leaves.
- Money tree
- Often used in feng shui, this tree attracts and enhances abundance and wealth.
- Bonsai tree
- It is also believed that these low-maintenance trees represent good luck and prosperity.
- Orange tree
- According to Gordon, your home can be filled with abundance by planting an orange tree.
For strength and protection:
- Snake plant
- The snake plant represents power, strength, and fierceness, with its sword-like leaves.
- These plants are also good for attracting wealth and are therefore thought to be lucky charms.
For personal and professional growth:
- This plant climbs upward and expands outward as it grows, “representing expansion and connection as well as upward growth.”
- The tall plants like bamboo, along with plants as tall as yucca, suggest upward mobility.
For health and fertility:
- In addition to symbolizing fertility and creativity, white orchids are also good for your health, Gordon explains.
- Sage plant
- Gordon says sage grows easily outdoors, and you can eventually harvest enough to make your own smudging stick, which can “make the energy in your house feel light and happy.”
For comfort and balance:
- Adding softness to a space with ferns is an excellent way to balance out sharp corners, according to Gordon.
- Fiddleleaf Fig Tree
- In Cho’s opinion, the bowl-shaped leaves of this popular plant provide a strong sense of gentleness and support.
Where to put your plants
After discovering a plant that can thrive in your space and carries an energy you like, it’s time to find a good place for it. And placement is key!
Check out a bagua map for help in deciding where to place your plants—an easy-to-use tool that categorizes your space into nine categories, including love, health, life path, etc. Put the plant in a place associated with what you want to cultivate, such as the back right corner as you walk into the front door. In this zone, stay away from plants like the snake plant. “Place a plant near the missing space to serve as a guardian if your wealth gua is blocked or has a rear door in that area,” says Peters.
Having said that, don’t place a plant in a location where it has no chance of surviving. Plants need to get enough sunlight and air flow, too. Peters recommends grouping plants in fours when in doubt, since that is the number associated with the wealth gua. Grouping your plants also has the benefit of increasing humidity, which is good for cultivation.
3 plants to avoid, according to feng shui.
Last but not least, it is useful to remember a few things to prevent plants from ruining the energy of your space:
1. Sharp energy
Gordon recommends against using cactuses unless they are very small because of their sharp energy and Cho believes that softer, heart-shaped leaves work better in general.
2. Fake plants
Fake plants, though not typically viewed as desirable in feng shui, may be appropriate in certain situations, such as in a vacation home without natural light or in a home with no windows.
3. Dead or dying plants
If you have dead plants, I would advise trying to give them a new lease on life. They can be as resilient as fake plants, but let them sit around.
Once you know what certain plants symbolize and their place on the bagua map, you’re ready to place your new plant pal in a spot where it really thrives—and you too.
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