The best indoor plants can add just the right amount of intrigue, color, and life into your home, but what about health and wealth too? Cultivating your interior garden can also happen by way of feng shui—not that we’re lacking in excuses to buy plants.
A quick primer on feng shui: Derived from one of the oldest known Chinese texts, feng shui charts the balance of energy, or chi, via scientific calculations. The end goal of feng shui is to invite positive chi into your home so that your life feels both energized and balanced. Now while we have no mastery of the Chinese practice, and the calculations really depend on your exact space, there are overarching rules. Turns out that positioning certain plants can bring good feelings and luck and banish negative vibes. Here, we have a basic primer for which plants will help you find your ideal chi and where they can be best positioned.
Counteract negative energy
Placing a plant within three feet of your computer to filter electromagnetic energy is a terrific way to start with combatting negative energy. Plants radiate harmonious energy simply by being living things. If you’ve ever wondered why plant-filled spaces bring you joy, this might have something to do with it.
Plants to get:
Aloe Vera: This succulent plant combats bad luck and negative energy and is known for cleaning air and reducing toxic chemicals.
Jasmine: In store for some positive romantic feelings? This fragrant, flowering plant helps strengthen relationships, and build romance, and the scent can help soothe a stressed mind. Experts recommend keeping jasmine near a south-facing window.
Bamboo: Lucky bamboo is a big plant for feng shui enthusiasts. It brings a very peaceful and wise energy into your home and since it is easy to grow and doesn’t require a lot of sunlight, it showcases a great amount of flexibility.
Connect with nature
We are continually inspired by Jarema Osofsky’s approach to caring for indoor plants and how she says they add a daily sense of grounding and nourishment. Plants also soften the hard angles in your home and evoke the feeling of being among nature, where everything tends to have more curves and softness. To achieve this, steer away from the spikiness of cacti and thorn-covered plants.
Plants to get:
Philodendron: With its heart-shaped leaves, this plant represents the fire element and can add emotion to a dim or cold part or your space.
Calatheas: This highly decorative plant is meant to be appreciated, looked at, and used for decoration. Even better, the Calatheas plant is known to purify the air and promote a better indoor environment.
Jade: In feng shui, this plant is also known as the money tree because the round leaves symbolize good fortune (this can come in the form of money, health, or fame). Get a jade plant to boost good finance vibes and for those soft, plump leaves.
Heighten the space
Feeling like you’re living in a small cave is unlikely to result in a positive sense of home, so it’s important to raise your ceiling even if you can’t literally do that sort of renovation. Situating tall plants in the corners of rooms with sloped ceilings or exposed beams can help offset symbolic heaviness.
Plants to get:
Ficus: These plants can get so big they can serve as room dividers, making your space feel taller. For health, they can also remove various toxic chemicals from the air.
Rubber Plant: Similar to the ficus, the rubber plant is also a member of the fig family and can grow easily indoors without much fuss. Rubber plants often grow up to 10 feet in height indoors and add a strong statement to any room with its sophisticated and shiny dark green leaves.
Banana Leaf Plant: Unless you live in the tropics or your home is a greenhouse, you probably won’t harvest any fruit from your banana tree, but that doesn’t mean these plants are easy to grow indoors. With plenty of attention, fertilizer, and water, you can grow a large stunner.
Balance the excess water
In feng shui, it’s important to bring balance, especially when referring to the elements. It makes sense then that using plants in bathrooms and laundry areas to symbolically dry up excess water will help balance those rooms. Plants aside, many experts suggest keeping the toilet seat and bathroom door closed at all times and recommend placing a green plant inside the bathroom to “absorb the chi.” Perhaps a good phrase to suggest with forgetful roommates: “Do you mind keeping the toilet seat down so we can better absorb the chi?”
Plants to get:
Pothos: This plant, also called devil’s ivy, is good for attracting and easily collecting stagnant and dead energy. It’s one of the easiest houseplants to grow, even if you are a forgetful waterer. Also, the trailing vine plant is also a great air purifier.
Peace lily: An easy guess from the name, this plant improves the flow of positive energy with its ability to neutralize harmful indoor gases. These elegant plants flourish best in dark environments where there is minimal light.
Air plant: Feng shui translates to “wind and water,” so it’s no surprise that an air plant is a perfect representation of those two elements combined. All these plants need are a little soak of water, so you can place them on a shelf or in a nook—no dirt necessary.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest