The One Room Where You Shouldn't Keep Tons Of Plants, According To Feng Shui
Who doesn't love a good houseplant? With their toxin-busting, happiness-inducing properties, plants are an amazing vehicle for ushering some of nature's healing power indoors. And these days, it seems like the more you have, the better. Instagram's most enviable homes feature rooms draped in greenery, and some of the world's most influential offices (Amazon, anyone?) are transforming into urban jungles.
But one design philosophy is saying not so fast. Here, leading feng shui experts explain why the bedroom may not be the best place for all of your plant pals:
Why plants can throw off the energy in a bedroom, according to feng shui.
"Since plants are really active and represent growth, they may not be great for such a passive, restful, quiet room," explains feng shui master and mbg class instructor Dana Claudat. She explains that there are plenty of other ways to bring some of Earth's magic into the bedroom, including investing in organic cotton sheets, gifting yourself with a weekly flower bouquet, or adding a pink salt lamp for a warm coral glow.
Amanda Gibby Peters, another feng shui consultant, agrees that houseplants can bring a lot of active energy (in feng shui, this is known as yang) to a more passive (yin) room. "When placed in a bedroom, plants are sometimes considered the culprit of sleep problems," she says. "If I suspect there is too much yang energy afoot in a bedroom, I will suggest that a client either replaces larger plants with smaller ones or displays imagery of a wooded landscape instead of plants. This gives the bedroom a lively spark without the nighttime interruption."
She also recommends looking into some of nature's other eye candy, like crystals, rocks, and driftwood. "Keep a bowl of river rocks out; display your collection of necklaces over a sturdy branch; or use a gorgeous quartz crystal as a paperweight atop a pile of books." Feng shui expert Marianne Gordon recommends bringing the outdoors in with unpainted furniture made of natural wood.
But if you already have them, it's totally OK.
If you have a bedroom full of plants and sleep like a baby, you don't need to change a thing. Most feng shui pros, including Maureen Calamia of Luminous Spaces, agree that, depending on the room, a few plants can be beneficial, especially when placed in the wealth corner to promote green of another kind.
Architect and feng shui expert Anjie Cho adds that some schools of feng shui, like the more Western BTB philosophy, think that woodsy elements in the bedroom can actually help some people thrive. "The wood element adds qualities like flexibility, kindness, growth, and healing into your life," she says. "For a very lethargic or depressed person, it may even be good to have some uplifting energy to raise your chi. I personally have plants in my bedroom and found that they brighten and perk up the space."
Moral of the story: If you have sleep issues, it may be worth moving some plants out of the bedroom, but if you feel OK, feel free to keep the greenery going.
Tired of always killing your houseplants? We've got some genius plant-care tips to share.
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.