FENG SHUI YOUR HOME OR OFFICE
with Plants and Flowers
by Joelle Steele
Does it really matter what kinds of plants and flowers you have in your home? And can placing them in certain locations really improve your life? Those who practice the ancient Asian art of Feng Shui — Chinese words for "wind" and "water" — say it definitely does. And many people who have used Feng Shui to rearrange their homes and offices to improve the flow of life force energy, or "chi," agree. They believe that using and arranging certain objects in your home or office can counteract negative forces in your environment and promote positive or beneficial results in your life.
Plants and flowers can play a big part in manipulating that chi to your advantage. And, as you probably already know, live indoor plants also help clean the air of impurities, such as the EPA's top toxic offenders: formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. They also increase the oxygen levels in your home or office, while combating the effects of electromagnetic fields from our electronic equipment (e.g., computers, TVs, stereos, etc.). Plants and flowers, in general, create a comfortable environment that makes for harmonious relationships among people.
One of the keys to improving the flow of chi in your home or office is placing the right kinds of plants and flowers in the best locations. To do this, you can use the chart below. You superimpose the chart over your home or an individual room, with the door to the house or room lined up along the bottom edge of the chart. You can "stretch" out the chart in any direction to fit it over a house or room that is rectangular, square, L-shaped, etc. Place the appropriate plants or flowers in the areas you want to improve or activate.
Plants are useful in manipulating chi, especially wood plants. The color green symbolizes growth, peace, and harmony, so plants can be used to simply calm a room, reduce stress, and promote a peaceful environment. When used in recessed corners, plants with long pointed leaves help prevent the chi from stagnating there. In the reverse, if there is a projecting corner, bushier plants with round leaves will calm the chi. Have a long hallway? Chi moves too fast in corridors, so you can stagger some shrubby plants on either side of the hall to slow it down. Plants in a bedroom add chi to create a restful environment. Worried about security? Try some prickly cactus plants on your window sills.
The following plants and flowers are favorites among practitioners of Feng Shui:
African violets. These help you get public attention and enhance your reputation and fame.
Bamboo. This is a traditional "lucky" plant that is especially good for use in kitchens and bathrooms to bring wealth, love, good health, and happiness.
Cactus. Plants with sharp thorns or pointed leaves should only be used in recessed corners, where they activate any stagnant chi.
Carnations (Dianthus). Use red ones to improve romance; pink for sexual enjoyment, and white to get you motivated.
Chrysanthemum. Dark red mums are used to improve romantic relationships and increase your income.
Cyclamen. Use the purple ones to enhance passion in your life; red to improve romance; and white for financial stability.
Dahlias. The bright red flowers help bring romance into your life and improve your financial situation as well.
Dragon tree (Dracaena marginata). This pointed-leaf plant is good for moving chi that has stagnated in a corner or at the bottom of a sloping ceiling.
English ivy (Hedera helix). Ivies of all kind are good for any area that has harsh angles in need of softening, particularly bathrooms.
Ferns. These are used to promote health and vitality.
Fruits. Baskets or bowls of fruits in the bedroom, especially pomegranates, are good for improving fertility. Oranges, lemons, and tangerines bring wealth and prosperity. Apples promote peace and prosperity. Peaches are good for marriage and longevity. Pears are good for longevity.
Gerbera daisies. Use the deep red ones to enhance your love life and bring you money.
Jade plant (Crassula). Also known as a money plant, this helps you by stabilizing your finances.
Lavender. Use some lavender to bring you a little peace and relaxation.
Lilies. If you have a very busy and over-stimulating space in your home, lilies can be used as a calming influence in that area.
Lotus. These flowers are good for fertility.
Narcissus. These provide general good luck.
Orchids. These beautiful exotics help in the romance department and also improve fertility. Use red- or purple-flowered varieties.
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum). The white flowers help in places where you have a lot of electronic equipment.
Peonies. These are used to strengthen the heart and circulatory system, to reduce impotence, to increase affection and loyalty, and to encourage good fortune and wealth.
Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa). Good for calming a busy, noisy, or disruptive space.
Phoenix palm (Phoenix roebelenii). Another pointed-leaf plant that can be used to move chi that has stagnated in corners.
Roses. The rose when budded is good for money, and when opened is good for love and romance.
Rubber plant (Ficus elastica). These plants are used to improve your financial situation.
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). This plant creates a relaxed environment.
Tulips. Red ones improve romance, pink is for pleasure, and white motivates you.
CUT OR POTTED FLOWERS
Fresh cut flowers and potted flowers work equally well. However, both must be well cared for so that they do not end up having a negative effect on the chi. Always remove any dead flowers or leaves immediately. Water potted flowers just before they dry out, but do not let water sit in the saucer longer than 24 hours. Trim off the bottom quarter-inch of your cut flower stems every two days, remove any dead leaves or flowers, and change the water in the vase at the same time to extend the life of your cut flowers. When most of the flowers are gone discard them or the plant immediately.
DRIED OR ARTIFICIAL
Artificial and dried flowers and plants are not considered to be as helpful as fresh or living ones, but sometimes that is all you can have, and that's better than nothing. But dried flowers and plants are frowned on, primarily because they symbolize death or decay to some people. However, if you don't make this negative connotation yourself, you can use them. If you decide to use artificial plants or flowers, try to find ones that are made of silk or paper, not plastic or man-made fabrics.
Whether you use dried or artificial, always keep them dust-free. You can shake them out thoroughly (take them outside if you do) and in some cases you can hose them off (check first with the manufacturer before you get them wet). Don't let any dried or artificial plants fall over in their containers or fade in a bright, sunny window.
POTS AND VASES
The shape and material of which a vase or pot is made can magnify the effectiveness of the plant or flower it contains. You can mix and match the containers with your plants or flowers in order to place them in the parts of your home or office where they will have the most beneficial impact on your life.
Glass, curved vases are good for money. Tall wooden pots are good for careers. Purple or triangular containers help you to gain public recognition. Round metal pots and vases are good for romance and harmony, also income if they are red or silver. White vases with red or pink flowers, when placed in the bedroom, are helpful in bringing romance your way. Clay or stone containers bring family harmony, particularly if they are bowl-shaped.
This article last updated: 05/21/2013.