Ever wondered how to utilize feng shui to bring more luck, love, health, or abundance into your life? For that matter, have you ever wondered what feng shui even is?
Well, a great way to boost your feng shui is by bringing a few houseplants into your home or office. But which plants are the best?
Let’s take a look…
What Is Feng Shui?
An ancient Chinese philosophy, feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is based on the idea that all living things are both connected to, and affected by, their environments – namely, the energy from these environments, known as “qi” (pronounced “chee”).1
All people, plants, animals, and even objects are swirling with this qi energy. It can affect you both physically and mentally, positively and negatively. But, though you can’t control qi in the outside world, you can attempt to control it within your own home.
So, why would you want to control qi?
Well, qi needs to flow harmoniously in order for you to be happy, and live in line with your desires. So, feng shui divides your environment – your entire home and each specific room – into eight areas. Within these areas, feng shui seeks to balance the five key elements of wood, fire, water, earth, and metal, in order to encourage positive energy to flow.
Using Plants in Feng Shui
One of the easiest ways to use feng shui for homes or offices is to utilize feng shui friendly plants. Plants are living, breathing entities, and they produce more energy than inanimate objects, therefore increasing the positive flow of energy.
There are several ways in which feng shui plants are believed to positively affect qi energy:
1. They may counteract negative energy, especially energy produced by electronics and their electromagnetic fields.
2. They can help connect you back to nature and soften angles in your home (by bringing in more of nature’s curves). They also offset heaviness in a room, such as low ceilings.
3. They can be used to balance out other elements. Plants are seen as a “wood” element. So, if used in the bathroom, for example, they can balance out the element of water by “drying it up.”
4. They can boost the energy in an area by bringing more “life” to a still environment.
5. They can attract love for those who are single, with bright, vibrant flowers.
6. They can increase learning abilities and academic achievement.
The possibilities are endless!
What Type of Plants are Best for Feng Shui?
Now, not all plants bring in good feng shui. The Chinese tradition is very specific about using the right kinds of feng shui plants. They tend to look at:
The leaves of a plant – Round leaves create flow, whereas pointy leaves bring about negative energy associated with sharp objects. Large leaves are better than small leaves.
The size of the plant – A large plant generally brings in more energy than a small plant, but this will depend on what needs to be balanced in a particular area.
The flowers of a plant – Vibrant, flowering plants are generally used for finding love in the feng shui tradition.
Eight is the luckiest number in Chinese culture. So, here are eight of the best feng shui indoor plants!
You can’t talk about feng shui without talking about the classic bamboo tree. Bamboo makes a wonderful feng shui office (or home office) plant, as it’s seen as being optimal for academic achievement. It also promotes peace by warding off bad spirits.
2. Peace Lily
The peace lily is viewed as a quintessential “purifying” plant that’s also one of the best houseplants available, as it grows so well under artificial light.
3. Philodendron (The Money Plant)
The heart-shaped leaves of the philodendron are said to represent great abundance (money!). It’s a popular indoor feng shui plant because it’s capable of growing in dark corners.
The ficus can grow to be a tall plant, and so it’s seen as being able to symbolically “lift” a ceiling. It’s also viewed as an excellent air purifier.
The iconic jade plant is often found at the entrance to a Chinese restaurant. Why? The leaves resemble coins, so it’s seen as the quintessential “money tree.” According to tradition, you should place a jade plant at your front door to “welcome’ wealth into your home.
6. Boston Fern
Favored as a lush, welcoming plant, the Boston fern can also be placed at the entrance to your home. This fern is also seen as one of the best houseplants by many modern gardening experts because of its air-purifying abilities.2
7. English Ivy
Those long vines produced by ivy plants are seen as being able to soften any “poison arrows” (sharp objects or corners) while you sleep or work. However, English ivy is poisonous if ingested, so it’s not an ideal choice around small children or animals.3
8. Golden Pothos
The golden pothos plant is said to bring life back to areas that have collected dead energy – most often around cabinets and shelving. But it’s also particularly efficient at filtering out toxins in your home, like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.4
Bad Feng Shui Plants
Some plants are particularly bad for feng shui because of their form or shape. The cactus is a solid example of this “negative” meaning of plants. The sharp needles of a cactus are said to bring negative energy into a home, making the inhabitants feel “on edge” and irritable.
But don’t trash your beloved cacti just yet! The cacti can live in harmony in your fame and reputation quadrant (see below). Here, the cactus is seen as a “protector” of your career and reputation.
Not sure what your “fame and reputation quadrant” is? It’s time to discuss …
The Placement of Feng Shui Plants
Feng shui comes with an “energy map” known as the Bagua, which is divided into eight (there’s that number again) key areas. So, you can divide up your entire home, as well as each room. Each of these eight zones corresponds to an area of your health or happiness, including health and family, journey and career, or prosperity and abundance.
A good Bagua map will guide you to find each of those zones in your home.
For the best positioning of plants, the ideal spots are usually in the Bagua areas that are nourished by the element of wood. These tend to be the east, south, and southeast zones of a space, which represent Family/Health, Wealth, and Fame.
Many feng shui experts don’t suggest plants for the bedroom, however. This is because they believe the plant’s energy is far too high for a restful night’s sleep. However, if you already have a plant in your bedroom, and you sleep soundly, don’t panic. Some of the more modern schools of feng shui believe that “woodsy” elements can actually help some people flourish.5
The interesting thing about feng shui and plants is that science tends to agree – plants are a wonderful choice for a home or office. They not only bring more oxygen into the room but some plants can even help filter out harmful toxins and purify the air. In fact, NASA undertook an entire study on this topic in 1989, with some very interesting findings.6
If you’re looking to get better acquainted with the tradition of feng shui, picking up a couple of feng shui plants is the perfect place to start.
For more health wisdom from Eastern philosophies, keep reading here:
10 Organizational Tips to Help Your Day Run Smoothly
Here’s Why You Should Try Tai Chi (meditation in motion!)
What is Functional Fitness? (+ 4 exercises you can try at home TODAY)