We could wax poetic about the healing powers of indoor plants for days — they purify the air, relieve stress, and offer plant parents a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and enjoyment. But according to traditional feng shui principles, greenery can also change and improve the energy in our homes and promote good luck. Of course, some plants do so better than others.
To learn more about positive feng shui plants, we tapped Karen Rauch Carter, author of Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life, and Rodika Chi, feng shui expert and consultant. Ahead, learn about the basic feng shui principles, the bagua energy map, and the best feng shui plants to remove the negative energy in your home.
Good Feng Shui Principles: How Plants Bring Positive Energy into the Home
Simply put, “plants are living objects, which can revive tired, weak, or lifeless spaces,” explains Carter. “They’re always changing and growing, which can help people take action and get the ball rolling in any area of their life.” Chi echoed this sentiment, adding that “plants bring the wood element into a space, which is one of the five main feng shui elements. This creates and supports the energy of vibrant health, growth, and exploration.”
Additionally, plants’ air-purifying capabilities promote “good oxygenation levels, which is the basis of positive feng shui for health and well-being,” adds Chi. “Greenery also introduces mother nature’s vibrant, life-giving energy into a space, and every person needs that.”
The Bagua: What Is It & How Does It Affect You?
According to Chi, the bagua is an energy map that shows the feng shui anatomy of a home. “It helps one see (and change) certain aspects of their life that are connected to certain areas of their home,” she explains. The bagua has nine sections: wealth and prosperity, fame and reputation, relationships, family and physical health, spiritual health and well-being, children and creativity, knowledge and personal growth, career, and travel and connections.
“Each area of the bagua needs specific feng shui elements in order to thrive,” adds Chi. “For example, the ‘family and physical health’ area, which lies on the east side of your home, loves the wood element (plants), and the water element (a fountain), but cannot tolerate too much fire (a fireplace) or metal (metal shelving).”
As mentioned above, plants are representative of the wood element, which thrives in the east, southeast, and south areas of the home. With that said, each plant brings a different energy to a space.
“While the lush areca palm gives off a flowing, soft, and vibrant energy, the sharp cactus and the pointed snake plant give off a very different energy; they’re best used as a protective feng shui cure and should be placed by a front door or a big window,” explains Chi. It’s also important that the plants you bring into your home are vibrant, lush, and healthy — dead or dying plants are bad for feng shui.
The Best Plants for Feng Shui
Below, read up on the best feng shui plants for bringing good energy to the home, according to Chi and Carter.
The Money Tree is among the most famous feng shui plants and is used to attract wealth and prosperity. Place your money plant in the southwest area of your home (the “wealth” section on the bagua) to get the most out of this plant.
As mentioned above, the sword-like snake plant, or Sansevieria, can serve as a protector and is best positioned by the front door or a large window. It’s also good in an office or home office as it brings a vibrant, focused energy to a space. Avoid placing a snake plant in a bedroom or children’s rooms.
Similar to the snake plant, the Hedgehog Aloe has pointed, succulent leaves and adds a protective or vibrant energy to a space. It’s also a powerful air purifier, which is great for feng shui in general.
The humble Philodendron offers a great relaxing feng shui energy. It’s best placed in the southeast or east areas of the home (the wealth and physical health areas, respectively, on the bagua map).
The Rubber Tree plant is great at removing indoor toxins and will thrive in the dining area. Similar to the philodendron, it also offers a calm, relaxing energy and will bring positivity to the southeast and east areas of the home.
The air-purifying ficus is great for the physical health section of the Bagua (the east area of your home). It’s also a taller plant, and can, therefore, make small homes feel more spacious.
The air-purifying Pothos can easily liven up stagnant or “dead” areas of your home, like above the kitchen cupboards or neglected corners. It’s incredibly low-maintenance and will bring a positive energy to a home (even if you forget to water).
The aesthetically-pleasing calathea is a popular decorative house plant and will be an asset to the “fame and reputation” area of your home (south on the Bagua map). It’s also a great air purifier.