With feng shui plants you can welcome positive energy into your home, as well as enjoying the beauty of these living accessories.
We have all gone a bit mad for house plants in the past few years, especially with our homes becoming spaces to work as well as live and relax. There are many benefits to adding indoor plants to rooms in your home, not least that they can soften and enhance the look of a space, but are even said to improve sleep in the case of bedroom feng shui. But have you also considered that through careful choice and placement of feng shui plants for specific spaces in the house, you can improve the flow of positive energy in your life?
'In feng shui we seek to improve the flow of Chi which is our vital life force energy. Living green plants represent the wood element, which is said to cultivate human hardiness, flexibility, healing and growth. So not only can you bring these qualities into your life and home by adding plants, but by bringing in the element of nature into your interior space you will have more harmony between your inner environment and outer environment,' explains Anjie Cho (opens in new tab), New York based interior architect, feng shui advisor and author of Holistic Spaces, 108 ways to create a Mindful and Peaceful Home. (opens in new tab)
The best feng shui plants
You can include a feng shui plant in any room in the house, but there are certain choices that may be better for different areas.
'In general, look for soft, rounded and especially heart shaped leaves in feng shui plants – you want to bring in more ease and flow to your life and space,' says Anjie Cho. 'For instance, in a partnership area, such as a bedroom, you might not want to place two cacti, as this would introduce prickly, sharp energy.'
'Spiky plants are not good for feng shui; it is said that sharp points drain the personal energy, so something like a cactus doesn’t promote good energy,' agrees Rana Kashiwabara (opens in new tab), a San Francisco based, feng shui certified interior designer.
'When thinking about plant selection, most are naturally air cleaning indoor plants, the wood element brings balance, and adding green color to the space is very good, because it is a very uplifting color. Rounded edged leaves are good for all parts of the home because they bring great subtle energy,' Rana adds.
1. Money tree – Pachira aquatica
'Money trees are commonly used as feng shui plants and believed to bring wealth and good fortune,' says Bloomscape's (opens in new tab) gardening expert, Lindsay Pangborn.
'But it's also not just financial abundance they represent – financial wealth doesn’t necessarily mean someone feels abundant inside,' Anjie Cho adds. 'Plants don’t grow quickly, they take time to cultivate and that teaches you patience. It's not about getting rich quick, but how to create a steady, healthy flow of wealth into your life.'
With distinctive features, including its palmate leaves and gracefully braided trunk, 'the money tree not only absorbs toxins from the air, but can act as an impactful decor piece,' Lindsay adds.
Make sure you learn about money tree care to keep your plant healthy and improve its feng shui benefits.
'A money tree prefers deep, infrequent waterings when the soil volume is 75 per cent dry. It thrives in bright, indirect light, growing most evenly when it’s regularly turned so that each side receives an equal amount of light,' says Lindsay.
2. White bird of paradise – Strelitzia nicolai
'Any healthy indoor plant growing well is excellent for feng shui, encouraging nourishing positive energy. Foliage plants with lush leaves are traditionally the best feng shui plants, promoting clean air and positive energy in living spaces,' says Mark of Happy Houseplants (opens in new tab).
The Strelitzia Nicolai, or White Bird of Paradise is a bold, elegant, tall houseplant, originally native to South Africa.
'Although it's a tall houseplant, it doesn't take up a lot of space with its slim form. It likes high or afternoon sunlight and wants to be kept dry, so go easy on the watering. This is a great beginner's plant as it is easy to care for,' adds Mark.
3. Jade plant or money plant – Crassula ovata
'The jade plant or money plant is a popular succulent house plant with a miniature tree-like structure and thick, fleshy, opal-shaped leaves,' says Mark McCance, Director of plant and pot supplier Hortology (opens in new tab).
'Crassula ovata is believed to attract wealth due to the coin-shaped nature of its leaves, and also bring good fortune,' he adds.
'The money plant is a good feng shui plant for office Feng Shui. Typically, the southwest area of the home attracts wealth, prosperity, and abundance. But you can use these plants to attract wealth and prosperity in any space, 'says Rana Kashiwabara.
Money plants prefers bright, indirect light, with a few hours of direct sunlight each day to help keep their foliage full and vibrant, making them the perfect plants for windowsills and conservatories.
Money plants are easy to care for, and they typically have uniform growth. Find out how to care for succulents to keep them in the best condition.
'These plants do not need to be pruned regularly to look clean. They will hold all their foliage for months without dropping a leaf if cared for properly. When rotated regularly – every watering – at about 45 degrees, they should offer nice uniform growth throughout. Monthly leaf wiping should be done to keep them looking their best and to allow for optimal photosynthesis,' adds Matt Aulton, co founder of Plant Proper (opens in new tab).
When growing jade plants indoors, 'place them in a sunny location near a south- or west-facing window. If the plant is not getting enough light, it will start to stretch and lose its compact shape,' says Brody, co founder of The Indoor Nursery (opens in new tab).
'I love pothos as they are hardy plants that even a beginner can take care of,' says Anjie Cho.
'They create a sense of abundance and generosity as they are so easy to propagate. Just as if you have a fruit tree on your land, it gives more than one family can consume. So too, house plants can also offer this teaching on sharing and generosity and abundance,' says Anjie Cho
It is easy to get to grips with pothos plant care and there are many varieties of these excellent feng shui plants to choose from, such as the Marble Queen pothos from Urban Jungle at LiveTrends (opens in new tab), with its waxy green leaves streaked with white.
5. Snake plant – sansevieria
'A snake plant, sansevieria, that has a sword like leaf shape works well for a hallway or entry way as a feng shui plant that offers a feeling of protection,' says Rana Kashiwabara.
'You can place plants either side of a front door to create a gateway to enhance the positive flow of Chi into your home,' adds Anjie Cho.
Snake plants are very low maintenance and can handle low light levels so are a good choice for low light plants.
Snake plants also produce oxygen at night time, helping to cleanse your indoor environment, so are a good choice as a bedroom plant.
'A snake plant also protects you from negativities that could come from the bedroom door, so having her will give you peace of mind,' says Clara Leung of Clara's Green House (opens in new tab).
'She adjusts to room temperature: when the room is too hot, she will decrease temperature by giving cool O2. Likewise, when the room is too cold, she will increase the temperature by giving a warmer 02,' Clara adds. She recommended placing a snake plant on the left side from your bed frame or headboard.
'The best way to successfully water these plants is to check them weekly to see if they are light when they are lifted. If so, it's time to water. Water snake plants thoroughly. Allow the water to run through the soil completely saturating it and draining out of the drainage holes,' advises Matt Aulton of Plant Proper.
6. Philodendron heart leaf – Philodendron scandens
'The Philodendron heart leaf is an air-purifying vining plant that is easy to care for and has fun, heart-shaped, glossy leaves,' explains Lindsay Pangborn of Bloomscape.
'This low-maintenance plant is a great addition for an office desk or shelf where its vines can trail down,' boosting positive energy as you work.
It is very forgiving feng shui plant and able to tolerate all types of neglect, including low light – so is a good choice as a winter house plant – tight roots, and inconsistent watering. 'To help it thrive, provide bright indirect light. A humidity boost is not required, but higher humidity levels promote larger leaf development,' says Lindsay.
7. Anthurium clarinervium
The leaves of the Anthurium clarinervium are large, dark green – almost black – have a beautiful velvet texture, and are the perfect heart feng shui plant shape.
'The white veins stand out against the leaves' dark green, forming a stunning pattern. This is a fantastic foliage house plant, and will look amazing in any room in your home. It loves humidity, so a shower room, bathroom, or steamy kitchen would also be perfect for it,' says Mark from Happy Houseplants.
8. Rubber plant – ficus elastica
'One of the best air-filtering houseplants, the rubber plant features wide, glossy green foliage and can reach ultimate heights of 32 feet (10m) with the correct care,' says Mark McCance of Hortology.
'The broad leaves of the rubber plant are said to help the flow of positive energy throughout interiors, helping to eradicate negative Chi and promote health and prosperity,' he adds.
These feng shui plants require their soil to remain moist at all times; allow the top layer of soil to dry out slightly in between waterings and apply a small dose of plant nutrition 1-2 times a month during the growing season.
'It is a bit of a superhero when it comes to removing toxins from your air, keeping you feeling refreshed. To optimize the feng shui of the plant, we suggest that you position it in a sunny spot that is in the east or south east of your home. In this position, it should bring an air of calm and positivity into your space,' advises Shannon Barnadin, co owner of The African Garden (opens in new tab).
'As the ficus is related to the fig plant, it is connected with the good luck that figs are supposed to bring,' Shannon adds.
9. Rattlesnake plant – Calathea lancifolia
Popularly known as the rattlesnake plant, 'this beauty has fresh green leaves with darker green stripes and burgundy coloring on the underside. Originating in Brazil, Calathea Lancifolia is perfect as a taste of the tropical rainforest,' says Mark of Happy Houseplants.
Its common name has come about because of its markings, which look like a rattlesnake's skin. 'It needs bright but indirect light – if placed in full sun, the leaves may curl up and burn. Always keep Calathea damp throughout the year, but let it dry out between waterings so that the roots can breathe,' Mark adds.
As well as being good feng shui plants, calathea also make great pet-friendly house plants.
10. String of hearts or hearts on a string – Ceropegia Woodii
'More commonly known as a string of hearts, the heart-shaped leaves make Ceropegia woodii the perfect feng shui plant gift for someone special,' says Mark of Happy Houseplants.
'It is an easy-care delight, with trailing leaves in gorgeous green and purple. A very fast grower, with a bit of care, this little beauty will thrive in a small pot for years. It likes a shady corner, but it will also enjoy a sunny spot, so it's not a fussy plant,' he adds.
11. Aloe vera
'A trendy and easy-to-care-for house plant, aloe vera has thick, fleshy stems that contain a translucent gel that is favored for its healing and soothing properties.
'The Aloe vera is also said to ward off bad luck and bad energy, helping you to realign your space and create a welcoming and positive aura,' says Mark McCance of Hortology.
Learn about aloe plant care to get the most from these feng shui plants. 'As they only require watering every 2-3 weeks during summer, they are the perfect addition for homeowners who are fond of a summer getaway,' Mark adds.
12. Peace lily
The peace lily is a favorite in feng shui, and is known to keep the energy of a room positive and upbeat. The leaves are used to attract wealth, while the flowers bring good luck,' says Brody of The Indoor Nursery.
It is important to familiarise yourself with peace lily care to grow the plants successfully. A sunny windowsill is a great spot for these plants and they need god air circulation.
Where should feng shui plants be placed?
You can place feng shui plants in any room in your house and they are a great living room feng shui idea. Ideally plant them in the corner of the room.
'In feng shui, the belief is to have a healthy balance of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water – the five elements,' explains interior designer Rana Kashiwabara.
'The home is divided into nine different areas of energy, each with its own theme and distribution of the five elements. More of the wood element is needed in the east, southeast, and south parts of the home. In my opinion, bringing in plants to every space, with different shapes of leaves, is of benefit because the five elements are incorporated by colors, shapes, and reflection; it doesn’t need to be literal,' Rana adds.
There are many schools of feng shui and while some may advise the placement of plants in certain room, others don't. 'For instance, some advise not to place plants in the bedroom as they are too active, but follow your own feelings and experience,' says Anjie Cho.
If you do prefer to have plants in a bedroom, identify the relationship area. 'Stand in the doorway of the bedroom looking in and the far right is the relationship area. Here you can place two plants. They don’t have to be the same, but a typical feng shui plant choice is two bamboo stocks in one base, as a symbol of growth in your partnership,' adds Anjie.
'Nothing should be climbing – such as a vine – in the bedroom. Pothos, or devil's ivy, should only go in the kitchen or an office with computers, to suck up the bad energy from the computers,' says David Angelov, CEO of PlantParenthood (opens in new tab) in Massachusetts.
What plants bring good luck?
There are a number of the feng shui plants listed above that are believed to bring good luck.
These include the rubber plant, the snake plant, jade plant and money tree. But there are many more that could bring good luck and add to the positive energy in your home.
Which plant is good for feng shui?
There are many plants that can be good for feng shui.
It is important, however, that 'when choosing the type of plant you’ll use in your home, consider the amount of light that these areas of your home experience. Additionally, different types of plants bring different types of energy into your home. You’ll want to consider both of these factors when choosing your plant,' says Andra of Trendey (opens in new tab).
'You should never put a houseplant in an area where it won’t thrive, as a dying or ill plant will enhance the energies of sickness, difficulty and decay in your home and really you will want an ulpifting life space,' advises Anjie Cho.
Rachel is senior content editor, and writes and commissions gardening content for homesandgardens.com, Homes & Gardens magazine, and its sister titles Period Living Magazine and Country Homes & Interiors. She has written for lifestyle magazines for many years, with a particular focus on gardening, historic houses and arts and crafts, but started out her journalism career in BBC radio, where she enjoyed reporting on and writing programme scripts for all manner of stories. Rachel then moved into regional lifestyle magazines, where the topics she wrote about, and people she interviewed, were as varied and eclectic as they were on radio. Always harboring a passion for homes and gardens, she jumped at the opportunity to work on The English Home and The English Garden magazines for a number of years, before joining the Period Living team, then the wider Homes & Gardens team, specializing in gardens.