15 Lucky Plants According To Feng Shui & Where To Put Them In Your Home
Houseplants add a beautiful touch to any room—and according to feng shui design philosophy, their benefits are more than just aesthetic. If you want to add more greenery to your home, here's everything you need to know about how to do it the feng shui way.
How plants can affect energy.
Feng shui, a practice originating in ancient China, is all about balancing the elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Houseplants are associated with wood energy, and they "add vitality, kindness, human heartedness, and flexibility" to a space, notes feng shui expert Anjie Cho.
Wood also represents new beginnings, as it fuels the fire element and helps us confront change, according to Amanda Gibby Peters, founder of Simple Shui. "Wood subtly influences us to reach out and stretch ourselves in new ways."
Even the smell of soil, as Peters pointed out, can release oxytocin1 (the "love hormone"). And other research has shown plants can boost productivity and learning.
The best plants for feng shui.
For romance and love:
- Philodendron: These have soft, heart-shaped leaves that grow quickly. Cho notes they are great for cultivating relationships.
- Peonies: "The most popular flower to attract romance," according to feng shui expert Marianne Gordon.
- Jasmine: Popular for its rich scent, jasmine is often associated with love, beauty, and sensuality.
For wealth and abundance:
- African violets: Along with other plants with round, coin-like leaves, these are thought to be symbolic of money and wealth.
- Money tree: This small tree is commonly used in feng shui to attract and enhance wealth and abundance.
- Bonsai tree: These low-maintenance trees are also thought to be a symbol of good luck and fortune.
- Orange tree: Gordon says that an orange tree can help welcome abundance into your home, too.
For strength and protection:
- Snake plant: With its swordlike leaves, snake plants represent strength, fierceness, and protection.
- Jade: Think of jade plants like a protective lucky charm of sorts. These are also good for attracting wealth.
For personal and professional growth:
- Monstera: As this plant grows, it climbs up and expands out, "representing expansion and connection and upward growth," Cho notes.
- Bamboo: Fast-growing bamboo suggests upward mobility, along with other tall plants like yucca.
For health and fertility:
- Orchids: White orchids are a symbol of fertility and creativity, and yellow are great for health, Gordon notes.
- Sage plant: Sage easily grows outdoors, and you'll eventually have enough to make your own smudging stick, Gordon adds, which can "leave the energy in your home light and happy."
For comfort and balance:
- Fern: Ferns are excellent for balancing out harsh, sharp corners and adding some softness to a space, Gordon says.
- Fiddleleaf Fig Tree: This popular plant's soft leaves form a bowl-like shape, which Cho sees as being gentle and supportive.
Where to put your plants.
Once you've identified a plant that can thrive in your space and carries an energy you're into, it's time to find a good home for it. And placement really matters!
For help deciding where to place your plants, consider consulting a bagua map—an easy-to-use tool that splits your space into nine categories such as love, health, life path, etc. You can put your plant in an area associated with what you're trying to cultivate. For example, place peonies or jasmine into the love and marriage zone of your home, which is in the back right corner as you walk into the front door. In this area, you'd want to avoid any harsh or spiky plants, like the snake plant. Or, if your wealth gua is obstructed or has a back door in that area, Peters adds, "place a plant near the missing space to serve as a guardian."
That being said, don't feel like you need to place a plant somewhere where it has no chance of surviving. Factor in the sunlight and airflow it needs too. When in doubt, Peters also recommends grouping plants together in fours, the number associated with the wealth gua. Doing so is also healthy for your plants, as grouping can increase humidity and create a more suitable growing environment.
4 plants to avoid, according to feng shui.
And lastly, for some helpful "don'ts," there are a few things to keep in mind to help prevent plants from disrupting the energy of your space:
Sharp energy, or "sha qi," can come from plants like cactuses, which is why Gordon doesn't recommend them unless they're very small. Cho adds that in general, "you want to go with soft, heart-shaped leaves."
Fake plants are also not typically considered desirable in feng shui but can be used in a space where they're the only option, such as a vacation home or in a room with no natural light.
Dead or dying plants
Similar to fake plants, dead or dying plants aren't ideal! Try to revive them (plants are more resilient than you might think), and if they're really gone, don't let them sit around.
Now that you know what certain plants symbolize and how they fit into a bagua map, you're ready to put your newest plant pal in a spot where it can really thrive—and help you do the same.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.