This article will show you how to create your perfect Feng Shui garden with tips on good and bad Feng Shui plants! Plus, where to place your feng shui plants in the home.
I’ve been tending to my feng shui garden lately in an attempt to keep it alive with healthy Yang energy or positive, healthy Chi. This is a pursuit that, admittedly, is more suited to the summer months. However, I do try to keep wild and unruly weeds at bay all year round.
Flowers that are obscured by weeds, overgrown lawns and hedges, rotten leaves and tree stumps, piles of grass cuttings, dead plants and rubbish left lying on the ground will impede chi flow to and from your home and create an overriding sense of doom and gloom.
In Feng Shui, plants are said to represent the element wood (a life giving element that oozes Yang energy). You’ll, therefore, want to balance the right type of plants or Yang energy with Yin elements, such as shady areas that offer protection from the midday sun.
Although plants in Feng Shui generally represent Yang energy and need a fair amount of sunlight to flourish, some plants are naturally Yin plants and grow in the shade. These include ferns (Asplenium scolopendrium), hostas, hellebore and woodland cyclamen. You are ultimately striving for Feng Shui balance in the garden with taller bushes and leafy trees giving way to low lying flower beds and shrubs.
Matching Feng Shui plants to your specific soil type and climatic conditions is also an important factor in getting the balance right in the perfect feng shui garden. Try to ensure that soil is well aerated or turned over and avoid it becoming waterlogged or overrun with ants and other insects. If you do have waterlogged soil try adding sand to stabilise it.
Generally speaking, the most popular feng shui plants are those with round, heart-shaped, thick and succulent looking leaves. Plants that flower and provide fruit are also favoured in Feng Shui as are well established plants that indicate longevity, for example, evergreens (which don’t shed their leaves in winter).
Let’s take a more detailed look at what most Feng Shui practitioners recommend as good feng shui plants that give off nourishing chi.
Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
The Jade Plant is often known as the money tree which is why you’ll often see it in the entrance of a Chinese restaurant or store. Jade plants can be grown indoors and out and are a popular Feng Shui cure.
It’s incredible how quickly jade plants grow. I’ve seen an outdoor jade plant in California that was over 2 metres tall (about 6ft). My mother also has a jade plant that started out about 15cm high and is now over half metre tall. She places her jade plant on her window sill in the wealth corner of a spare bedroom and she’s a very abundant individual indeed!
Be careful not to overwater your jade plant as the succulent leaves soon become yellow and start to rot.
Jade plants are beautiful when they flower (white flowers June to August). A lot of clients have mentioned to me that their jade plants don’t always flower. If this is the case, try leaving them in a green house where they will be exposed to natural daylight and lower nighttime temperatures.
The Money Plant (Philodendron scandens)
The money plant, not unlike the jade plant, also symbolises great abundance and is a popular indoor feng shui plant with round heart-shaped leaves. It is capable of growing in dark corners and is said to purify the air.
Money plants rarely flower indoors and be careful to allow the plant to dry before watering.
If grown outside, it is a hardy creeper that needs a fair
amount of water and prefers shade to sunlight. It can cover a shady area with lush, dark green growth.
However, if left unattended the stems can climb a tree trunk and the large leaves may prove overwhelming. Don’t let it take over otherwise the life will literally be strangled out of your trees!
Peace Lilies (Spathiphullum Wallisii)
Peace lilies are (according to NASA) an effective way of cleansing the air, neutralising common pollutants such as formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is found in carpets, paints, wood varnishes and flame retardant material. It is said to irritate the throat, disturb sleep patterns and cause headaches so it’s something to be avoided.
The common peace lily will do the job just fine and I have them dotted all over my home! They they are relatively cheap to buy and widely available in most supermarkets.
What I like the most about peace lilies is that the dark green leaves contrast sharply with pure white, arum-like flowers UK that bloom repeatedly. It’s a feng shui plant that does not like direct sunlight and needs a fair amount of water. The flower stalks should also be removed once turned.
I always place my peace lilies next to electrical and electronic goods like televisions, computers, microwaves and DVDs as they help to reduce the positive ions surrounding this equipment.
Goosefoot Plant (Syngonium Podophyllum)
Another of those feng shui plants that acts in the same way as the peace lily is the goosefoot plant. It too has the ability to cleanse the air you breathe.
The goosefoot plant is also known as the white veined arrowhead vine and has a distinctive leaf which changes from ‘arrow’ shaped to a five lobed form as it matures. I always think the five lobed shape represents the five feng shui elements; water, fire, earth, wood and metal so it’s a particular favourite of mine. In addition, it provides the perfect balance of Yin and Yang as the new leaves are shiny and the older ones are matt.
Although the goosefoot plant makes an attractive houseplant keep an eye on it in the garden as it tends to take over. However, it’s great if you want to cover a fence, wall or trellis as it climbs almost anything.
Dwarf Banana Plant (Musa Cavendishii)
Another of those favourite feng shui plants is the dwarf banana plant. They have wonderful broad arching green leaves with purple/maroon blotches or stipes on them. Green is of the element wood which feeds fire (purple), so complementary colours or elements are at play here making the dwarf banana plant the ideal feng shui plant for the home!
I think you’d need to some serious sunlight for these plants to produce bananas but apparently it does happen in places like Florida where they are a popular border plant alongside terraces and swimming pools.
Silver Waves or Silver Crown (Cotyledon undulata)
The silver crown has succulent, spoon-shaped leaves with wavy edges. It is a plant that can be grown indoors or outdoors. If grown outdoors, it is best suited to an open-garden location. It has a white frosted coating on leaves which provides protection from the midday sun. It is useful at night as it gives off a white light so can be used to edge driveways or paths.
Indoors, try to keep the compost moist at all times but don’t overwater (once or twice a month in winter). The Chinese believe that the silver crown bestows good luck and fortune on all household members.
Golden Pothos and Peperomias
Other good feng shui plants to consider are golden pothos (Scindapsus Aureus) and peperomias which again are good at removing toxins from the air caused by cleaning products and modern furnishings made of synthetic materials.
Peperomias come in a huge variety of leaf colours, shapes and patterns so you can pick one that suits your colour scheme and personal taste. Careful not to over water peperomias as you’ll rot the roots and fleshy stems.
All the above feng shui plants will filter the air, increase oxygen, improve humidity and energise your home or garden.
I always recommend one plant per computer, television or hi-fi so bear this in mind the next time you sit at your PC or watch the television.
I always find it interesting that the Chinese attach certain characteristics to their feng shui plants and flowers. Plum blossoms, for example, are regarded as pure, bamboo as disciplined and strong, orchids as reclusive, chrysanthemums and magnolias as pure and peonies as loving and harmonious. So, if you are in search of a loving relationship be sure to place peonies in your relationship corner.
You can also choose feng shui plants with blossoms that
match the element associated with the area or gua you are trying to improve. For example, use feng shui plants with pink blossoms in relationship, red for wealth and fame, blue for career, yellow, peach or orange for study, knowledge and health, white, silver, magnolia or gold for helpful friends, travel and creativity and children.
To refer to a previous article on creating positive change with feng shui colours, please click on the following link:
Don’t forget that you can always place a living plant in front of a sharp corner or angle that may be throwing out cutting chi. This will help reduce stress, anxiety, sleep disorders and arguments. Remember that chi flows along a smooth wall or surface until it meets an angle where it creates turbulent energy at the point. Placing a feng shui plant in front of the angle will soften it.
This is why plants with thorns or spiky plants are such no-nos. A thorny cactus plant, for example, emits loads of cutting chi and symbolically indicates a dry, hostile environment. Other spiky plants with sharp pointed leaves include: yuccas, mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plant, holly, certain palms, the agave and roses.
Artificially stunted plants such as bonsai should be avoided as their chi has been stunted too.
Lastly, you should avoid using plants that grow downwards such as weeping willows and spider plants. If someone is depressed they’ll generally have downward growing plants in their home or objects that hang off furniture and backs of doors. This is simply because plants that grow downwards and hanging objects tend to pull energy downwards. Remember that with Feng Shui plants you are trying to lift the energy of a space.
So, whether your feng shui garden is a tiny window box or an ornate formal garden just bear in mind how certain feng shui plants can lead nurturing chi right to your front door!