Having houseplants isn’t new.
These beautiful greens have infiltrated different homes and indoor space for centuries. That’s why there are conservatories, greenhouses, arboretums and small, indoor gardens. Today, with the pandemic and rise in ‘nature-craving’, this trend is growing again.
But as this plant trend comes and goes, their purposes at home evolve too. At the start, we were intrigued about these tropical beauties and started to decorate our homes with varying types of houseplants. Then, we learned about houseplant benefits such as cleaning the air of toxins, boosting our mental health and engaging in the biophilic design concept.
As our relationships with houseplants continue to grow, there’s another aspect that we’re taking note of – houseplants that have positive energy.
Like houseplants, feng shui isn’t new. This is an age-old Chinese belief and practice that has been around for millennia.
Photo source: Unsplash | Huy Phan
Today, we’re going to show you how to combine these two. Not only will these pretty houseplants beautify your space, but they’ll also assist in surrounding you with good vibes. In feng shui, we seek to improve the flow of ‘chi’ – or our vital life force. According to interior architect and feng shui advisor, Angie Cho, living indoor plants represent the wood element which cultivate healing and growth. As you welcome elements of nature in your home, you gain balance and harmony between your inner and outer environments.
While you can put houseplants in different rooms around the house, there are some that are more suitable in certain areas than others. But overall, you’ll find an underlying principle of going for those with soft, round or heart-shaped leaves for a smoother, more seamless flow.
Like the name suggests, this plant is believed to bring good fortune and wealth. If placed in your home’s money or prosperity corner (typically in the southeast corner), its perceived power will be especially effective there. This is also an ideal decor for smaller living spaces or on your office or WFH desk. If you’re entering into a big milestone in life and career, get this.
Similarly, money trees don’t grow quickly, and some who have braided trunks signify care and patience. Instead of get-rich-quick schemes and mindsets, this one focuses on cultivation of wealth for long-term growth.
Pothos are popularly known as one of those hard to kill houseplants. Beginner-friendly and very pretty to look at, usually placed atop cabinets and on shelves to allow their growing vines to trail. Additionally, pothos are air purifying plants which make them great add-ons in empty and neglected corners of your cupboards or shelves.
Easy to propagate with a faster growth rate, the golden pothos brings you a feeling of abundance and generosity which could potentially translate to lowered anxiety. Also, as more vines start to trail, they provide a curtain-like protection and minimize negative energy from outdoors or inside bathrooms.
A fit to those heart-shaped leaves you’re looking for. Like the pothos, the philodendron is also a hardy houseplant with trailing vines. This classic, low-maintenance indoor plant is well-suited for feng shui because it channels calmness, relaxation and love.
Glossy, green heart-shaped leaves help activate marriage and relationships. Its softness is fitting for the bedroom and for added effect, you can get two! If you display furniture and decor in pairs (especially in your bedroom), this emphasizes balanced and equal partnerships.
Citrus and Orange Tree
You’ve probably seen short trees dotted with orange or yellow displayed specifically during the Chinese festive seasons. During Chinese New Year, it is tradition to offer oranges, specifically mandarin oranges, or kumquats as gifts. Apart from being pretty to look at, they are believed to symbolize abundance in success, wealth and health.
First, because one tree can grow so much, it shows you have more and can share it with your neighbors. Second, bright colors and round shapes equate to luck. Therefore, having citrus trees either on your patio, balcony or even on your kitchen counters, is considered very lucky. You can optimize this feng shui benefit by placing it in the wealth and/or health corners of your home’s bagua map.
Photo source: India Gardening
This one is a little special. According to Buddhist text, under the peepal bonsai – also known as the Bodhi tree – was where Guatama Buddha attained enlightenment while meditating for seven weeks. Scientifically termed ficus religiosa (or sacred fig), and coined as ‘bodhi’ which means enlightenment.
Due to its prominence in Buddha’s story, this religious symbol is frequently seen as ornamental bonsai plants. Having this at home symbolizes our capacity to follow in Buddha’s discovery and achievement, while also celebrating good fortune, happiness and life. Peepal bonsai can grow quite quickly, but maintenance is low, making them a great addition to your displays of eye-catching houseplants.
This lush indoor plant could be the perfect indoor tree in a brightly lit corner of your home. With proper care, rubber plants can easily grow to 10 feet tall and be quite a head turner with its dark, broad leaves with a red underside shade. As part of the fig family, this ficus elastica is also believed to bring prosperity and abundance to your life and home.
Their height and large, rounded foliage can soften harsh, sharp corners of your home and promote the flow of positive energy. Plus, rubber plants are quite the superhero in houseplants that can purify indoor air. Position them in the wealth corner of your home for prosperity and make sure you give them room to grow into a beautiful indoor tree.
As its name suggests, the lucky bamboo symbolizes good fortune. While generally used to wish someone well, this blessing is determined by the number of stalks you have in your vase. Five stalks mean academic prosperity or creativity, seven is for health and family wellness, eight is all about wealth and fortune and nine is for overall luck. To accentuate its bright green stalks and for boosting positive effect, many tie a red ribbon around them.
Lucky bamboos can be placed anywhere in your home, but many have it in the main or center living area or in their office space. They prefer freshwater and a good amount of light. As you watch this rather quick-growing plant thrive and grow, it encourages personal growth, prosperity and positive energy.
Known for being pretty but fussy houseplants, orchids have different needs that also translate to different feng shui benefits from the ones we’ve mentioned so far. These pretty blooms come in different colors and shades, each with a meaning of its own. But overall, orchids are believed to symbolize marriage or fertility and love, career and strength, and beauty.
There are several orchid varieties leading to various colors. But generally, they have distinct needs because they grow on trees or rocks that allows them to absorb rainwater, instead of soil and water. Pure, white orchids are a symbol of fertility; pink-colored ones are gifts for marriage and love, bright yellow blooms are positioned centrally for health and strength, and purple ones are for career and wealth.
This unique houseplant is probably unlike any other you’ve seen or had before. Like the citrus trees, these are also popular Chinese Spring Festival gifts because of their long-term symbolism for wealth, success and happiness. The popularity of the pitcher plant comes from the unmistakable shape of its leaves – resembling bags and pitchers! As such, in Chinese, this plant is called ‘袋袋平安’ which translates to ‘bags that bring happiness and safety for years to come’.
If someone gives you a pitcher plant, hopefully you’ll see a lot of pitcher-shaped leaves because the more of these ‘money bags’ on it, the luckier the plant! But one thing you need to beware, these tropical plants are carnivorous and come in several varieties. They prefer warm, high humidity spaces either indoor or outdoor and can be kept quite happy if you give them an insect or two a week to enjoy.
Identified through its fleshy, succulent leaves, aloe vera is known for the healing and soothing properties of the translucent gel found in its sap. And as a bonus, they are a powerful air purifying houseplant that are very easy to care for.
With the hardiness, thick and pointy structure of their leaves, aloe vera is believed to add a protective and vibrant energy to your space. They are said to combat negative ‘chi’ and bad luck as it removes toxins from the air and keeps your indoor environment at home safer. Aloe vera are better suited in WFH space, or kitchens and living rooms where busy, common areas of the home may be more prone to entry of negative energy and toxins.
Chinese Money Plant
This popular houseplant comes by many trendier names – the UFO or pancake plant. If you’ve seen this before or have one, it’s easy to see why the Chinese money plant made it to the list. Its emerald-colored leaves are one of the roundest you’ll see in houseplants; plus, with that dot in the center, they look like ancient Chinese coins. Plus, the leaves come in large bunches and have offshoots, or ‘pups’, that perfectly symbolize wealth, fortune and prosperity.
A popularly decorative houseplant, the calathea is known for its beautiful striped leaves that can easily beautify any windowsill or sad corner of your home. With its aesthetically pleasing leaves, this houseplant will be an asset to fame and reputation – the south corner of your home on the bagua map.
Additionally, calatheas are also known for their air purifying qualities but could be harder to care for. They require a bit more attention especially in maintaining moisture levels. Better not get this first if you’re a beginner because wilting or drying plants can invite negative ‘chi’.