Bringing the Outdoors In: The Power of Plants For Your Feng Shui Home
As one of the ten essential energy cures, PLANTS are an essential part of feng shui spaces. And like feng shui, indoor plant cultivation originated in ancient China. In addition to improving the aesthetics of a home or office, they activate positive Chi to bring in opportunity and abundance. Because plants represent the earth element of wood they are especially beneficial in water-dominant places in the home, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms.
Not only do plants invite the grounding energy of nature indoors, but they also benefit our lives in other ways. They provide a sense of companionship, something to care for and nurture. And numerous studies have shown how they boost mood, creativity and general psychological well-being.
In some native languages the term for plants translates to 'Those who take care of us.'
ROBIN WALL KIMMERER
One of the most important purposes of plants in feng shui is in their physical healing properties. By placing them within three feet of an electric device (router, computer, television, etc) they can absorb radiation and offset disruptive electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs).
Clean the Air
Use plants to purify the air quality by removing off-gasses and toxins such as carbon monoxide, benzene, acetone and formaldehyde, and even to absorb mold spores. The best air-purifying examples include:
Medium to Bright Light: Spider Plant, Aloe Vera, Boston Fern
Low to Bright Indirect Light: Peace Lily, Rattlesnake Plant
Boost the Chi
Another purpose of plants in feng shui is to create dynamic visual interest. Not only can you change the material and color of your pots, but you can also shift the chi by varying the shapes of your plants. Taller, upright plants are especially useful in creating an illusion of height in a small space. The best vertical and colored plant examples are:
Bright to Medium Light: Ficus, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Banana Leaf, Meyer Lemon, Areca Palm, Rex Begonia
Low to Medium Indirect Light: Snake Plant, Cast Iron Plant
Plants give us oxygen for the lungs, and for the soul.
Plants with soft and rounded leaves are preferred in feng shui, as they promote a gentle energy that offsets hard angles of interior spaces. It is best to avoid plants with spiky and pointy leaves, such as cactus or anything with thorns. Rounded plant examples include:
Medium to Bright Light: Jade, Pilea/ Chinese Money Plant, Ball-Shaped Boxwood, Eucalyptus
Low to Bright Indirect Light: Prayer Plant, Pothos, Philodendron, Button Fern
Healthy & Thriving
Regardless of which varieties you choose your indoor plants should always be healthy, nourished and well cared for, with no decaying parts. For people with a "black thumb", opt for low-maintenance, hard-to-kill species that thrive in low light or drought conditions. Low maintenance plants include:
Bright Indirect Light: Dumb Cane, Air Plant, Queen Fern, Monstera, Kitchen Herbs (especially Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Mint, Sage, Oregano, Basil)
Low to Medium Light: ZZ Plant, Calathea, Nerve Plant/Fittonia, Chinese Evergreen
If faux plants absolutely must be chosen, they should be of the highest quality and look as realistic as possible. Indeed, when it comes to fake plants (and anything really), you get what you pay for!
One of the most traditional feng shui cures is Lucky Bamboo, which is the ultimate feng shui energy package of being hearty, rounded, vertical AND purifying. The number of stalks a pot has different symbolic meanings: 1 for simplicity, 2 for love, 3 for happiness, 5 for creativity, 7 for health, 8 for wealth, 9 for luck, and 10 for completion. Place your lucky bamboo in accordance with the bagua map, or in whatever area of the home that needs a boost of Chi. The best part? It's super hearty and content to live in even the darker areas of your space!
Feng Shui Flowers
Another popular feng shui option is the Orchid plant. It is colorful, rounded and vertical and represents purity and perfection, which is ideal for the bedroom, dining room and even the bathroom areas where family, fertility and love are a focus. Their sensitivity to temperature and water conditions gives them a mysterious and exotic quality that will take extra care and consideration. Orchid flowers come in a variety of colors so you can choose the color (white, pink, purple and green) that resonates best with your space.
Because orchids do not require traditional soil, you can grow them without pots, especially through the Japanese botanical art of Kokedama. These exquisite moss balls have wonderful feng shui quality because of their roundness, softness and vibrancy.
Roses are also extremely powerful cures, holding the highest vibration of anything in nature. Not only this, but they also have some other 'lucky" feng shui attributes - the color red and their rounded shape. Increase your vibe of your space with a vase of fresh (thornless) roses or a mop rinse of rosewater, or increase the vibe of your body through ingestion or inhalation with rosehip tea, rose-based skincare or rose essential oil.
Other feng shui flowers which activate positive chi with their color, shape, symbolism, and season:
SPRING: Daffodil, Tulip, Peonies
SUMMER: Ranunculus, Lotus
FALL: Sunflowers, Chrysanthemum
WINTER: African violet, Plum blossom
With so many benefits, it's no wonder that the houseplant industry is now a billion dollar market and continues to grow each year.
Our plants can be metaphors for our own self-care and growth. Do you prioritize their needs? Do you prioritize your own? Give your plants LOVE - whatever they need to thrive. In turn, you're giving yourself love too. You are one and the same.
Want to learn more about plants and how they relate to the feng shui of your home? Email me!
Erin Bowers is a certified feng shui consultant, energy healer, wellness coach and holistic growth strategist.
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